Excerpt: The SmackDown series remained the dominant force in pro wrestling gaming for over a decade. While challengers like TNA and Lucha Libre tried, only one thing could dethrone SD: the game makers themselves. This year publisher THQ dumped the brand to replace it with WWE 12. However, even with the new name and image, things aren't quite as different as some might hope, but we aren't that bothered by it.
Pros: Fast paced combat, Gigantic selection of off and online modes, Great roster with many classic superstars
Cons: Not the new experience the title implies, Matches with more than two guys can be hectic, So many customization options can be daunting
Excerpt: On the table in-front of me are two relics of my not-too-distant youth, both of them mugs. The one to the left is for the Junior Foxes, the youth wing of my football club, Leicester City. To the right, half-full of lukewarm coffee (decaff – caffeine makes me shake like Big Show near a salad), a larger mug is adorned with the heroes of my childhood; The Rock gurns at Kane, Stone Cold Steve Austin stares at the viewer whilst Mick Foley...
Conclusion: It's an exciting time for WWE fans. THQ's attempts may have fallen slightly short this year, but there's plenty of potential in a title that looks towards the future. Finally significant progress has been put into place, as the game's backbone is starting to feel sturdy enough to carry the weight of expectation. Universe mode continues to have the most appeal, and with the improved in-ring dramatics, it's more enticing than last year.
Excerpt: For the last twelve years, THQ has been at the helm of WWE’s videogame franchise. Bearing the SmackDown! name for much of that time, annual installments in the franchise began to show signs of stagnation from title to title. This year, the company decided to do an overhaul by bringing a deeper, streamlined experience to the table in WWE ’12 .
Pros: Incredibly authentic presentation, Streamlined game modes, New create modes expand already deep customization, Improved controls
Cons: Glitches galore, Mailed-in voice overs, Repetitiveness in Road to Wrestlemania
Excerpt: There are plenty of game modes and matches to choose from, such as Inferno , which isn't found in the TV show. The Royal Rumble is my favourite, and involves a 10, 20, 30, or even 40-man event. However, if you truly want to enjoy the game, get some friends along, or go online to experience the multiplayer. It could do with fewer bugs though.
Pros: Great graphics; Smooth transitions between moves; Improved gameplay mechanics; Accurate 3D models.
Cons: Lacklustre story mode; Lots of bugs; Glitchy AI; Online mode is problematic.
Conclusion: WWE 12 is the best wrestling game I have played since Smackdown 2 all of those years ago. Hopefully wrestling fans won’t have to wait so long for another high scoring WWE game, but until next year they will have plenty to occupy them in Yuke’s finest wrestling title to date.
Pros: Stories in the Road to Wrestlemania much better. Will keep you playing for hours at a time. It's simply the best WWE game in a hell of a long time. No more "Lost Souls"
Cons: Difficulty can be quite steep if not modified. Some minor bugs and glitches.
Excerpt: “Bigger. Badder. Better.” This is the headline for THQ’s latest foray into the world of championship wrestling. With the Smackdown vs. RAW series finally coming to a halt, THQ has aptly named the new title WWE ’12 . Graphical improvements, a streamlined control system, and a plethora of content make for an authentically entertaining wrestling experience, though a few hiccups prevent the title from being the pinnacle of true WWE perfection.