|Review: WWE '12|
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:30
Professional wrestling has seen a resurgence in South Africa.
This is due to e-TV's broadcast of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programming (previously you could only access it on Multichoice and M-net); recent nationwide tours in July and aggressive merchandise marketing by large retail stores.
WWE '12 is the first THQ game made exclusively for current consoles (previous titles were developed for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii as well as older consoles like the PS2), and it shows - the graphics look great, there are subtle changes like the ropes moving when someone is slammed; and clipping issues have been almost completely resolved.
WWE '12 also breaks free from and distances itself from previous iterations by dropping the 'Smackdown vs RAW' name. I like these changes as it now resembles other annual mainstream sport updates like Fifa, NHL etc.
WWE games are known for its vast roster, an insane amount of customisation options for the 'Create A Wrestler' mode as well as a ludicrous amount of tweaks and settings for match types. Thankfully WWE '12 delivers and you can spend months going through the different match types and not get bored. The roster contains veterans like The Undertaker, as well as new stars like Sin Cara. A great addition is the inclusion of former WWE and current UFC star Brock Lesnar.
There are over 80 different match types including the Elimination chamber as well as the 40 man Royal Rumble that was introduced this year. Another new feature is the 'Create an Arena'.
The main storyline (Road to Wrestlemania) has been streamlined and instead of going through various stories over a three month period, you can now choose three storylines that take place over eighteen months. For those who feel limited by this can always play the 'WWE Universe' mode with its almost endless permutations. I prefer the streamlining as previously it was too overwhelming.
The grapple system has changed, with the face buttons (the square, triangle, circle and cross) now representing different attacks, and there is a return to chain based grappling that was popular in an older wrestling game, No Mercy. This makes WWE '12 more accessible to casual gamers who just want to pick up a controller and play as well as appealing to hardcore wrestling fans like me who enjoy the nuances in the moves.
The new 'Predator System' which allows you to break up animations (previously if a wrestler had started an animation like John Cena's five knuckle shuffle you had to wait for the animation to be complete before you could react) is a welcome addition but is something that I've seen in the TNA Impact game several years ago. However, I am glad that it has finally been implemented in a WWE Game.
Wrestling games shine in the multiplayer mode, and I have had many enjoyable hours recreating the 'Money in the Bank' and 'Royal Rumble' match types with friends.
In conclusion, WWE '12 delivers an authentic wrestling experience that will make the perfect gift for any fan this holiday season.
Pros: Vast roster; lots of customisation options; the inclusion of legends like the Rock and Brock Lesnar.
Cons: It is a wrestling game so it might not appeal to those who aren’t fans of the sport.
Contact: BT Games - www.btgames.co.za
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