E3 2011: WWE ’12 (XBox 360) Preview
While at E3, I got the chance to play the new WWE game from THQ which is WWE ’12. The demo on display didn’t have too much available, but players could select between playing as John Cena, The Miz, Alberto del Rio, and Randy Orton. So according to THQ this is a brand new game and they are changing things up from Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. In some ways that definitely appears to be the case and in other ways not.
The graphics and physics engine still look and feel similar to the Smackdown vs. RAW series. The good news is the physics aren’t sloppy like some of the older games where it seems all you had to do was move next to the corner or the ropes and suddenly go tumbling out. The controls are different as well as grappling. By pressing the A button on the Xbox controller you initiate a chain wrestling grapple and from there you can press another button to do an Irish whip or use your right analog stick to change up your grapple moves. I found character animations and designs to be very realistic and fluid. Alberto del Rio has his full entrance intact complete with Ricardo Rodriguez and del Rio comes to the entrance stage in his car. Awesome!
The developers also talked about being able to now attack specific body parts in the game with strikes and submissions. So the submission system has been changed up as well. As far as actually playing the game, I didn’t have much trouble. The controls were nicely responsive, and reversals and grappling work really well. THQ wouldn’t tell us too much about additional features for the game, but they did promise extensive story modes as well as an up to date WWE roster. So I hope that means Daniel Bryan won’t get screwed out of a WWE game again. During gameplay when you work up your power gauge enough you can unleash a signature move on your opponent such as Orton’s trademark knee drop. You can continue to work offense on your opponent in order to get a finisher prompt so you can do your special move or finisher. Another system THQ has added is the “Comeback” system. There’s a point in the fight where you can be prompted to initiate a “Comeback” where you hulk up and unleash some powerful offense. Following the comeback prompt you start attacking your opponent and a mini-game of sorts will start on the screen and you can follow the button prompts to continue your “Comeback” offensive attacks. This is a cool and realistic feature in terms of mimicing the WWE main event wrestling style.
WWE ’12 will be due out later this year for PS3, XBox 360, and the Wii.