Significant Change of Pace
Imagine if WWE and The Bigs franchise were combined. Now, stop imagining because WWE All Stars is that game. Created by the folks behind TNA Impact, All Stars is a major change of pace for wrestling titles, trading the sim aspects (yes, sim aspects for a worked "sport") of SD v RAW for a more arcade-y approach. They may have been aiming for the old AKI system, but they seem to lack the depth of that engine. Instead, they seem to believe the flaws will overcome the game's problems.
Now, for me, that it came from the guys who made Impact was a concern. Impact annoyed me to no end due to the heavy usage of reversals by the AI. They will begin reversing everything for a while. Its fairly obnoxious, to be perfectly honest. And WWE All Stars has that in spades. The AI doesn't always do it, but they wll go through stretches of reversing your reversals. You also have the Impact cage match minigame which isn't that bad...and the AI is abnormally bad at them.
This is done to mask bad AI. The game has really weak AI. If not for constant reversals, the computer could do nothing. But, reversals give it a leg up since you won't be nearly as good as it is in that regard. The bad AI SD v RAW has always had for multi-person matches continues on as if you have a 3 or 4 way....it is REALLY a handicap match as the AI will target you most of the time and switching focus to somebody else (done via right stick) isn't a functional as it should be.
CAW is a waste. Few options and few moves to choose from (you select your finisher and that is all). It is the worst CAW I have ever seen and I wonder why it was included.
You have 3 "story" modes and a bunch of "fantasy warfare" matches. The fantasy matches have nice video packages (WWE games tend to have great video packages when they include them) and the story modes have...well, some of the better voice over work in WWE gaming (didn't sound like it was recorded in an echo chamber). You have to face Legends, ending with Undertaker, Superstars ending with Randy Orton, and tag teams, ending with DX. The tag team road is a headache as you get the usual WWE game problems involving multi-person matches as mentioned earlier. The singles matches have elimination matches which aren't that much fun, but about half of them are 1 on 1, which is markedly less irritating.
The character list is decent in length and decently varied. No massively odd omissions and no really weird additions. The move set isn't long and it gets old quickly. I do like the KO finish, which ends with you doing a mocking pin finish. Its a really nice addition and fits the game.
This game is a rental. It is fun for a while...then stops being fun. Shelf life isn't long here. But I can't say it is crap. Its not great, but it ain't crap.