Game: WWE 12
System: Xbox 360
Review by: MrB4
Back in high school I was a huge fan of professional wrestling, primarily of the WWE. My friends and I would sit down and watch just about any tv show or pay per view that came out for it, and would definitely play any current video game based on the sport as well. There was something about how the company handled itself at this time that made their programming more appealing to me compared to how things are handled today. Characters were much more memorable, stories were predictable, but nevertheless fun to watch, and the matches showcased some of the most daring stunts I have ever seen performed on National TV. THQ has decided to try and recreate this experience in the form of their latest Video Game, WWE 12. Have they created the ultimate wrestling title?, or does this one fall face first onto the mat?, let’s find out.
Story: Believe it or not, there is an actual story in this game. In the Road to Wrestlemania mode, you are set on an journey through three different types of scenarios (Villain, Outsider, and Hero) all leading up to their own individual conclusions. The storylines are not all that deep, but they are presented in such a way that the player will definitely feel like they are in the shoes of a real WWE superstar. Each cutscene was a blast to watch, and seemed to have just the right amount of pacing to them to prevent the player from becoming annoyed.
Graphics: Quite possibly the best ever for a WWE game in recent memory. All of the characters look and move almost exactly like their counterparts in real life, and the entrances are so spot on with how real they look it’s scary. Arenas are nicely detailed as well, the developers actually went the extra mile to make each event feel like a real live broadcast of the show, and I appreciate that. A few of the negative things that could be pointed out here are the jerky animations as far the in-ring action goes, and the framerate could literally slow down to a crawl at times, but for the most part, everything worked just fine.
Gameplay: The new grappling system took some time for me to get used to, but as far as the rest of the gameplay goes, everything felt tight and responsive. Where things did get a little bit crazy though is with the AI of computer players, they were downright unfair on almost a consistent basis. This is kind of a two way street situation when you think about it, because some people may enjoy a new challenge, whereas others just want to kick back, relax, and have a good time. I personally prefer a nice balance of both, but this game wanted to challenge me more often than anything else.
Despite all of these problems, the game was still a lot of fun to play, at least in the single player mode anyway. When I tried to go head to head with other people online there was a considerable amount of lag in almost every single match. In addition to this, the chance of having a real match against someone who actually wants to play legitimately is about as good as having a million dollars show up to your doorstep for no reason at all (chances are it’s just not going to happen). Hopefully some kind of patch is released in a future update that will allow players of the same skill level to fight against one another, but I doubt that will happen.
Sound: A solid presentation on all fronts, especially when it comes to the voice acting. Just about every wrestler I know actually came in and did a voice over for the game, which added a nice level of authenticity rarely seen in these types of games. The commentary that took place during each match varied depending on who was in the ring, very cool stuff. What made things even better was the fact that the commentators had a love/hate relationship with each other, which created a dynamic between the two of them that would end up leading to some laugh out loud moments that were fun to listen to. As far as everything else goes, the sound effects were impactful( and sometimes cringing), and the background music was tolerable for the type of demographic it was shooting for.
Replayability: An almost unlimited amount of content will give people many reasons to come back to this game for years to come. There are a number of different wrestlers and arenas to unlock, titles to acquire, and a slew of different create modes to mess around with. Combine that with a full fledged online mode with leaderboards, online multiplayer (with a ranking system), and the ability to share just about anything you’ve created with the entire world, and you have a game that is just oozing to the brim with replay value.
WWE 12 is a step in the right direction as far as wrestling games are concerned, so if you are a fan of the franchise, and can overlook a few flaws here and there, then by all means buy this one as soon as possible.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars
MSRP: $59.99 WWE ’12 (PS3, XBOX 360, Wii) $49.99 FREE Shipping