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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 [Game Review]

The ever popular WWE Smackdown vs Raw series is back for its 12th installment this year and like anything thats getting on in age, tiredness and wear and tear begin to show. The game itself is as per usual a great addition to the franchise but like time and time again we're greeted with the same glitchy mechanics and positioning system that has plagued the series for so long.

With each new WWE release per year we expect a new breath of life to be given to the franchise which in fairness THQ & Yukes have noteably given it a shot this time round, but not to the extent we would of liked to have seen. It seems to most of us that they've just slightly updated SVR 2010s winning formula which isnt always a bad thing. The game includes 70 wrestlers which leaves us more than spoilt for choice when it comes to taking on friends in the one of the tons of gamemodes offered, although a fair few of the wrestlers will need to be unlocked from Road to wrestlemania mode and WWE Universe.

If you're yet to play this series you will be asking yourself, what the hell is WWE Universe? Well, Universe is a combination of career mode and exhibition mode which is basically a never ending calender of matchups that you can edit to your desire. You make the matchups on Raw, Smackdown or Superstars. You cant just decide hey, i want The Undertaker to be the new Heavyweight champion you have to make each superstar earn the title by booking them in matches each week forcing them to climb their way to the #1 contenders spot, which when the time comes for that superstar to take their title shot at a pay per view event there is more of a feeling of acheivement afterwards. This and the highly in depth create modes (i.e. Create a superstar, finisher, entrance and cutscenes) make this installment one of the most immersive to date.

As for the Road to Wrestlemania mode if truth be told i wasnt a huge fan, i much prefered the older SVR titles in which i could play as any superstar and follow one of a few paths throughout the game. Thats not to say i didnt enjoy certain wrestlers RTWM campaigns most notably Chris Jerichos, but i felt that the free roaming backstage was ridgid and very samey if at all necessary. I've not got much else to say with regards to this gamemode.

Growing up watching the WWE and playing the games i'll always have that nerdy little love for the series of games and television show so i'm naturally going to suggest to you all that this game is a must buy, especially if you're one of those gamers who likes to sit down with your mates and immerse yourselves in a bit of mindless and ridiculous gaming in which you see a 300+ pound man jump from the top of a steel cell only to miss and faceplant the mat below.

Overall Grade: B-

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