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TGH is sat in a room, a white room with six monitors in and a huge lovely LED LCD HD TV on the back wall that has to be at least 50 inches. We are waiting for the rest of the press to arrive so we can get a look at the latest WWE game.
It takes a little while and after a cheeky match or two we get things going, and this is a game that’s really come on from the last time a WWE game was near my clammy gaming hands. First off we are told that instantly this is a complete rebranding and overhaul of the Smackdown Vs Raw franchise. THQ felt it had grown stale and that the market had really moved on and was calling for something new to come along, something with a whole new feel and presentation and so WWE12 was born.
Using a brand new engine called Predator, the animation has been completely smoothed over so glitches and warps that happened in previous versions should be a thing of the past with this one, the engine is also made for HD and so everything is visually sharper. For this outing they have also gone back to the old style controls found in the PS2 and PS1 Smackdown games, no longer are things mapped to the right stick, now grabs are done with the ‘A’ button and so are many of the other moves mapped to the face buttons. This came from a lot of player testing and many new players came in using the buttons first over the sticks. The controls however are as fluid as before and allow for a large move set. Along with these new controls they have also brought in the new ‘Breaking Point’ moves where you can push an opponent to breaking point in a match which pretty much takes them out. They have also implemented in special moves that can be used to do maximum damage and knock a player into a perfect stun position, also any player who is lying on the floor can be taunted to get up into a dazed state, a state perfect for performing these special moves on. A new feature is the ability to interrupt moves, so in a triple threat or four on the floor matches you can really cause some chaos mixing up someone else’s moves or doing joint moves on one player. One notable feature of how the game runs is that everything feels very much like watching a TV show of wrestling, that is because the entire time through development the team has been working closely with WWETV and has been given tips on the perfect camera angles to use and how to stage entrances.
Gameplay isn’t all that has been changed and included in this game. The update of the ‘Create a Superstar’ mode has meant that now you have even more choice than before in how the player looks and the moves he can perform, it means that if there is a wrestler that you really wanted to see but they didn’t make it into the final cut, you can go away and make them in the create a superstar mode. To give you an idea of how customizable they are, there are over 82 hairstyles for men, 14 pairs of teeth, the list goes on and on and they all contain ludicrous amounts of parts too. To compliment the ‘Create a Superstar’ mode they have now also allowed you to create your own rings. Everything is customizable, you can change the floor, the barricade, the ropes (individually) the ring mat and the side skirts, the arena floor, the banner around the side, the announcers booth, you name it you can change it. You can make it look however you want and place logos on the side of it and even custom designs that you can create in a built in paint mode! This is literally a WWE fan’s wet dream. If that wasn’t enough you can share all your creations online via a community creations, something that was in last years game and managed to reach 10million downloads.
With over 70 Superstars available (some will come in future DLC that has not been officially announced) this game is blindingly good fun. It feels much more like the super fun games that came out on the PS1 and PS2, and its chock full of all the over the top American stylings you could want, it really is like playing and watching the real show right before your eyes. Although im sure some of the rings on offer on the TV show wont be as garish as some that have been made in this bad boy.
WWE12 is available on PS3, 360 and Wii. The Wii version will support Classic Controller and Gamecube Controller configurations but wont have the online functionality present in the PS3 and 360 versions. It is out on November 22nd in NA and the 25th November in the EU.