Can you smeeelllll what the Yuke’s’ cooking?
Well now you can, WWE 2012 has been unleashed! This time THQ & its tag team partner Yuke’s have attempted to re-invent and re-energise the franchise. While previous titles (Smackdown vs. Raw) have had no real significant changes over recent years, WWE 2012 is different.
In ‘Road to Wrestlemania’ (main story mode) by playing as 3 characters: a goodie, a baddie and your own creation, there is a close knit storyline. This is great as previous titles had gamers playing all characters separately to get the big story (no more love lost). With around a day or twos game time, this mode doesn’t hold up to repetitive plays.
After RTW, comes ‘WWE Universe’, first seen last year, but improved to give better game play and keep players ‘in game’ using match creation, simulations along with alliances, feuds and scenarios. Whilst aiding in a more realistic representation of the WWE Experience, combined they can make for some random occasions before, during and after matches.
Online play is a test of the all new fighting techniques. Server and lag issues have haunted players in the past, but seem to be ok now. Testing both before and after release date, I personally saw no difference in response. Some players may find it easier to stick with ‘non-line’ play depending on ability, but is always worth a tussle with.
To partner the new combat systems, welcome ‘The submission system’, leading players onto button mashing mayhem as opponents can break out based on the same ‘technique’. A meter appears at the centre of the screen to show who is in control. If full it’s a tap out, if empty a release is imminent, giving a more even feel and chances of payback more balanced.
THQ’s new ‘Character Creation Sim’ (seen recently in Saints Row: The Third) takes customisation to a new level. Whether it be facial manipulation for a chiselled look, or birth of a monster. Clothing, tattoos, battle wounds, everything from head to toe is available. If you’re like me, you could spend an endless amount of time in this section. This continues in ‘Create An Arena’, to embark on your own personal arena, or recreate a retro arena from wrestling past.
The new direction of WWE ‘12 does have minor initial flaws, but heralds a new sense of sophistication that should be welcomed with open arms by wrestling fanatics worldwide. Even if you’re not a big wrestling fan, it might still be worth a week long rent at least.
By the way, if you’re online and come across ‘BLANKA’ from Street Fighter, chances are it could be me!
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3 & Wii