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whatshot WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 PS3 Review - -

Gameplay 8.1
Graphics 8.0
Sound 8.1
Value 8.2
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
November 2010
Tyrone Williams


WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011

If there's been one constant in sport games, more specifically wrestling games, it's definitely THQ who have been the creators of wrestling games on the console world for many, many years. And every year like clockwork, another WWE game gets released and this time, it's another round of  WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2011 which actually refines the gameplay from the previous game, although the graphics are pretty much identical. However, it's great to see the menu system receive a new facelift and best of all, the game is faster in terms of loading and pulling off those classic wrestling manoeuvres.

With a variety of gaming modes from quick play to exhibition, online and my favourite, Road to Wrestlemania (curses Undertaker for making my journey so difficult), this game definitely has some great replay value. THQ have also thrown a new spanner into the ring called "Universe"  which creates matches for your character based on your performance that mirrors the TV series and has a little story as well.

It's an interesting gaming mode for its creativity but is no way as strong as the other modes in the game. It should be noted that the story designer has been increased to 15 characters and you have more control on the "story" by adding different elements that effect the outcome. Needless to say, this creates a whole wealth of replay!

In terms of wrestling controls, the control system is taken directly from 2010 as you punch, kick, hold and throw your opponents but there are some new manoeuvres into the fray. It's more the subtle changes to the moves which open up more freedom to the player such as new reversals or almost "quick-time" events which are triggered when you are in a certain part of the ring or near a piece of equipment. I must admit that each wrestler has a truck load of manoeuvres and some are almost impossible to remember due to the sheer number of them. This is a good thing though!

My favourite mode is Road to Wrestlemania that features some wrestling super stars like John Cena, Christian, Jericho, Rey Mysterio and the Undertaker. As you attempt to wrestle your way to the top, it's quite an strenuous journey but if you can make it, it's well worth the tears of frustration. In this mode, you can even explore the Wrestling Arena and interact with characters off stage that is kind of cool in a weird wrestling way. A little creepy in a fanboy way as well! In terms of Road to Wrestlemania, there are five stories that you can engage in and it's cool that your wrestling experience XP can in a way "level" your character. The improved story designer will give you hours of gameplay creation as you tweaky your own wrestling stories that is almost as fun as the wrestling itself.

Another element of the game are the diverse online modes which now offers more players to play against each other. With leader boards, lots of players and future DLC, this is a great option to test your skills against other real-world players as the AI is sometimes a hit and miss affair just like the collision detection still... come on, after all these years, you would think that the developers Yuke would get it right in 2010! As mentioned, online features quite a bit of diversity such as one-off matches like the Royal Rumble to allow up to six-players to engage and a cool online leader board system that ranks your player with losses and wins. Lag sometimes effects the gameplay though, especially for us in Australia.

Graphically, the title is almost a mirror image of the 2010 but the models still look good, although a little zombie like... Wrestling eyes! The graphics are slowly starting to show their age but the movement, backgrounds and theatrics are thankfully still quite entertaining to watch. The voice acting is perfect as are the commentators and that perfect wrestling music which does liven things up for the better. All in all, the game looks good and sounds good but I think for next year, it might be time for a new engine!

Final Thoughts?

WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 is still the best wrestling series available and features everything fan girls and boys need for their home console experience. The action is fun, the control system is improved but best of all, it's all that customisation that is given to the player that makes this game so competent. It's a good all rounder game!


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