WWE ’12 Review
By James Bones
The next game in the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw series was released this week but as most of us know it has simply evolved into WWE 12. With lots of hype and media attention especially on WWE TV, the game had my interest since the first mention. After having some significant time to play it and get my roster the way I like it on Universe mode, and also defeating the “Hero” on Road To WrestleMania I’m going to give you my thoughts on the ups and downs of the game in my opinion. If you have the game already I’d love to hear what you think about it, too. Especially if you’ve played previous SvR games, you’ll probably understand this article better. Warning….this will contain spoilers so if you’re too slow to realize there’s spoilers everywhere, please go shoot yourself in the forehead or disconnect your internet. Either or.
First things first…great roster! We’ve seen a lot of additions to keep current with the ever evolving roster and they’ve also given us a whole bunch of great legends right from the start. Obviously The Rock is one of the highlights, but also Stone Cold, Brock Lesnar, Vader, LOD, Demolition…hell, even Arn Anderson! What’s even better is the download packs that will be coming out in the near future with more Divas, like Kharma, and also another legends pack which will have Macho Man Randy Savage…ohhh yeahh! I’m excited for that one. Over all, great roster and pretty decently updated.
The game play is great. The moves flow well and look good on screen. The controls are different from previous years but once you get used to them it works out well and seems to function well. It was a little different to get used to at first as I caught myself going back to the old controls, which is an easy way to get beat. The AI is just that, intelligent. When you’re going up against the computer it actually feels like a challenge. They’re always quick to counter your moves and make you work for a win. What I don’t like is the limb targeting mode. Sure it’s neat, but so far I need to have the opponent beat up pretty good in order to concentrate on limbs.
Universe mode to me is exactly the same as last year, but almost more work to get through. If you play only one match, it automatically brings you to the next match without the option to edit it. You have to quit in order to get back to the main screen and then you can edit the match. A little annoying to me as I like to control which matches take place and who’s facing who in order to complete pushes/depushes. Same three shows, Raw, Superstars and Smackdown and all the PPV’s.
The Road to WrestleMania feature is a little different as thus far you have 3 options. I chose “Hero” and you start out as an NXT winner who just made it into the locker room. Your name is Jacob Cass (at least it’s not “Yourself” like that one old WWF game for NES) and you have the ability to change his looks and ring gear. They chose this name so the announcers and characters in the story can actually call you by name which makes it a lot more realistic. This Road to Mania is fun and the storyline is great. Havoc is running wild in WWE and Kevin Nash ends up GM. All of a sudden old school WCW characters start attacking you and all the top performers in WWE. Eventually there’s a takeover and you spend your time fighting as the hero of WWE. I won’t ruin anymore for you but it’s quite interesting and I actually love the story to it.
Backstage action is fun except your moves are fairly limited. Nothing to complain about though because there’s lots of interactive objects you can smash your opponent into. Also the Hell in a Cell match is fun and you can end up on top of the cage much like previous versions. Lots of match options but fairly similar to last year’s version of the game with options. The Royal Rumble is quite fun and in order to get your opponent out of the ring it’s changed a little bit. Pretty neat system that makes you think and pay attention.
Overall the game is really good and is in my opinion so far the best wrestling game I’ve played. The details make the game special such as when injured areas get red or you’re limping around the ring and can’t run. The Road to Mania story is great and has enjoyable storylines which makes it fun. Universe mode really hasn’t changed and gets repetitive after a while. I’m very interested to see future download packs and what other updates and upgrades they’ll make to the game. I’ve noticed a few bugs that won’t take much to fix which I’m sure THQ is already on. I have no issues putting this game in in order to kill some time and relax. Good job, THQ….I highly recommend.