History of WWF/E Games Part 49
WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2011
Microsoft Xbox 360
Sony Playstation 3
Sony Playstation Portable
Sony Playstation 2
Time to look at the last game in the Smackdown vs RAW series.
Smackdown vs RAW 2011 would be the end of an era. First of all this would be the last game to have the name Smackdown vs RAW. It was also the eleveth game to have the Smackdown name, and the seventh in the Smackdown vs RAW series. Smackdown vs RAW 2011 would also mark the last time a WWE game would be made for both the Playstation 2 and the Playstation Portable.
One cool thing that THQ did was they decided to have three different versions of the game available. There was specific versions based on Bret Hart, Undertaker and Randy Orton. Each one had its own cover sleeve art and a few bonuses as well.
The actual wrestlers look great as they pretty much always do. The problem is that they spent so much time making the wrestlers look great, you really notice a few other details. The championship belts for example look absolutely terrible. They are far too small and look like toys. Not like a prestigious championship the wrestlers want to win. Also this year I really noticed how bad the fans in the arena looked in comparison to the wrestlers. I know that they cannot spend as much time and effort on the fans, but when the camera cuts to the fans during a entrance for example you really notice how bad they look.
Smackdown vs RAW 2011 once again had the Road to Wrestlemania mode. The presentation here was kicked up a notch, and it let us once we had picked our particular wrestler to walk around back stage. This was similar to what we could do in Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth on the Playstation 2. Only this time everything was much more detailed. This was a nice little feature that they did, but the execution needed some work.
In all it is really hard to criticise the game for its presentation, but at the same time no huge leaps were made in the series at all. Many people say this is because the Playstation 2 version held back the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions. I honestly do not know if this is true, but I do think that for this year Yukes and THQ really did play it safe.
The best thing about the game play this year was the new physics system. The idea of this was that weapons would behave much more realistically. For example when you slam someone through a table the way it breaks will depend on the angle. Other weapons like ladders also had these new physics. While these were intended to make them behave more realistic which for the most part they did, there are some great YouTube videos of when the physics system goes a bit haywire.
“WWE Universe” was the new big game mode that was added. Basically what this mode did was let you play exhibition matches, but it added the look and feel as though it was all happening in real time and you were in control of the WWE. There was a ton of cut scenes that were made for this mode, so that story lines could develop. When I was a kid I used to make up my own WWE stories in exhibition matches, and now the game would actually do this for you. As a first try WWE Universe was a great idea, but it was not quite there yet. Still for a first try it is hard to be to critical of Yukes and THQ for that. The main issue I had with this mode was you would spend ages building up a big feud only for all that drama to be ruined the second a wrestler would walk out with one of those terrible championship belts. Also in the previews for the game THQ really built this up and I think many of us had too high expectations.
Road To Wrestlemania was once again back and while they tried to make it more interactive this time around, the actual story lines were boring as hell. Like I mentioned before you now could walk around backstage. This was pretty cool as you could interact with other wrestlers in the back stage area and do extra little missions as well. The idea was great, but sadly the story lines made it a real chore to play through. I am a huge WWE fan and I found them terrible. So for someone who is a non WWE fan I imagine it would be even worse.
All your other favourite create modes and match types returned. The “Hell in the Cell” match was given the most attention. For the most part if you could do it in last years game then you could do it here.
I have not talked about the game play yet and the reason for this is simple. This is the most instantly forgettable WWE game I have ever played. This game is just so damn boring; it is unreal. I have never gotten as board with a wrestling game as quickly as I did this one. It is like everything is just going through the motions. It has no soul at all, and it’s like they took away all the fun that wrestling is supposed to be. Now let me just say I think I am in the minority here, because many people love this “simulation” style game play, but for me a wrestling game should be more about fun. And this game really does lack any fun. The game controls fine, and it is not as is if there are any big flaws or anything, but its just boring.
This by far is one of my least favourite games in the series. I really got the impression that Yukes and THQ phoned this one in. It is not that there is anything really wrong with the game. There is just nothing that made me go WOW. Hey I could be totally wrong as I do know many people who swear that this is one of the best games in the series. So I would be very interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this game. Maybe the reason for the lack of progression in this years game was that they were already working on there next generation of WWE game in WWE 12.
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