Game Review: WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2011
Release: October 26, 2010
Genre: Fighting, Sports & Recreation
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2 and PSP
Players: 1-4 (2-12 online)
ESRB Rating: Teen
Smackdown Vs Raw was the first wrestling game that I’ve actually put work into for some time. I’m not going to lie to you guys, I was out of the loop on this game because over the years I have just become bored with wrestling games as well as wrestling, it’s just something that didn’t seem to interest me anymore. Because of this, I went into SvR with a fresh new look not knowing what to fully expect and I’ll let you know now, it was a slobberknocker in my book!
I was able to get some time with the game a few months ago at a community event that I was invited to. The event was extremely helpful for me as it not only gave me time with the game but it allowed me to talk to those that make and are involved in the process of getting game into our hands. I was able to hear why they did what they did, what they would like to do in the future as well as I was able to give them my own suggestions for the future iterations of the series. During the event I was really liking what I was seeing but at the time I was limited to only certain parts of the game as it was still in beta. This time though, I was able to fully experience everything that SvR 2011 had to offer.
SvR has a lot of great things going for it, the graphics look great for starters. Everything in the game looks extremely true to form, the wrestlers, the arenas, the rings and most definitely the entrances. Speaking of the entrances, wow, it really does look like I’m watching it on live TV or on a PPV. Even the crowds were looking great in the game, to the point where they not only looked real but you would see random signs (which you can create more of), based off of who is wrestling.
The numbers are another thing that is working for SvR, over 70 wrestlers, over 100 match types and 20 arenas. The rosters don’t just include the current stars in the WWE, not just the Divas (BTW, I’m sorry guys but I can’t stand using the Divas, I really could care less if they are in this game), but classic guys as well like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (my personal favorite), Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and so many more, I was loving this aspect of the game, especially with all the legends of the franchise.
SvR features one super in-depth create a superstar mode as well. There’s suppose to be something like 150 different parts in the mode that you can use to customize your star but that isn’t the impressive part to me, the part that I like the most is the Create-a-Finisher where you can not only make a special finisher but you have full control over it and you can customize it however you see best. It’s a pretty in-depth mode that only adds to the full WWE experience.
The last part of the game that I wanted to point out and talk about a little bit is the new WWE Universe mode. For those of you that have been wanting a GM type of mode, this is it. You have full control of the rosters, who is fighting on what cards or shows, and you can even play, simulate or watch the shows or individually matches as you see fit. I had a pretty fun time playing with this mode once I was able to figure out what I was actually doing.
Now that I’ve highlighted all the things I liked about the game, it’s time for me to do the opposite. For the casual gamer, all these options can be kind of confusing and overwhelming. I screwed around with the WWE Universe mode for quite sometime before I fully understood what it really was, even so, besides a simulation of the “Universe”, I still didn’t really understand the objective of what or why I was doing what I was. Unless you are one of the type of people that want to control everything, there really doesn’t seem like a purpose to this mode for the casual gamer, someone who just wants to pick up and play.
Another mode that I felt didn’t fully pull it’s weight was the Road to WrestleMania. It’s sounds like a pretty cool mode, control your superstar in the backstage, during interviews, interactions with other wrestlers and of course your matches. The unfortunate part is EVERY backstage is the exact same, you have zero control over the interviews, the interactions are extremely limited, the only fun I had with this mode was the actual wrestling part. The story that I experienced was actually kind of ok, but everything else was forgettable for me.
Steve’s final say: For the casual user or fan of wrestling, you should probably rent this game, I can almost guarantee you will have a fun time with it. The controls were easy to pick up and play, while at the same time it wasn’t a button masher, and the game just looked beautiful. What about you hardcore wrestling fans? I’d have to say that you would probably love this game! You have control of every single aspect with the new WWE Universe mode and the depth of gameplay for those that want to stick around and master the game will keep you busy and having a fun for sometime, certainly until next year when the next version of Smackdown Vs Raw comes out.