IGN unveiled details about THQ’s plans for the next WWE video game. Say goodbye to SmackDown vs. RAW and hello to WWE 12. THQ will attempt to take WWE 12 to a whole new level.
SmackDown vs. RAW is no more and for obvious reasons. The obvious being is that nobody cares about the brand rivalry in the WWE. Additionally, the intermingling of both brands on random occasions has greatly watered down the rivalry over the last few years. The news should have been expected after the WWE eliminated Bragging Rights from its 2011 schedule, a pay per view designed to sell the annual video game.
In a developer chat on the SmackDown vs. RAW game site, the developers mention that they wanted to change the name for a few years. One of the developers thought the concept had been stale for a few years. I’d love to hear his evaluation of RAW.
WWE 12 will be marketed similar to Madden, NHL, NCAA Football, and other popular sports franchise video games. The hope is that THQ will be able to create the same if not more hype around annual WWE gaming releases that Madden and other franchise games have. Unfortunately the SmackDown vs. RAW series was never able to quite grab that kind of attention.
The new WWE video game will be much different from past games. IGN released a full report today identifying initial changes that fans will see in the new World Wrestling Entertainment video game.
Predator Technology – Predator technology will reportedly revolutionize the game play of WWE 12. “The gameplay you have demanded is finally here with the most fluid WWE action and realistic animations to date in a WWE videogame, improved A.I. and an all-new Breaking Point submission system!”
I played the last SmackDown vs. RAW and hated it. It can certainly use a lot of improvement. Hopefully this new technology is a step in the right direction.
Dynamic TV Presentation – Did you expect to read a release about a new video game without anyone pimping the new graphics? “New rendering and lighting technologies will provide the most realistic WWE Superstars, WWE Divas and WWE Legends and best-looking in-ring action to date.”
This is one of my biggest pet peeves with the last few WWE video games. They all look great, but the gameplay wasn’t that fun at all or at least to me it wasn’t. It appears these gaming companies spend more time trying to correct all of the details of Randy Orton’s newest tattoos rather than make the gameplay fun. I hope there is an even balance.
Share Your WWE 12 Creations – “WWE ’12’s best-in-class creation suite gives you the ability to create Superstars, entrances, finishing moves, storylines, Highlight Reels and all-new capabilities never before seen in a WWE videogame! Go online and upload your creations to share them with the WWE Universe and download creations from others to add to your own experience.”
This is very similar to what Electronic Arts allows its users to do with its combat video games. I always liked this and I think this will be a nice perk to the game.
WWE Universe 2.0 – “Your actions determine your destiny and shape your experience, as storylines, matches, alliances and rivalries are built based on your decisions.”
Road to WrestleMania – “Which road will you pick, and what story will you tell, on your way to the biggest spectacle in sports entertainment?”
This is another feature common in past WWE video games. There is nothing real new with this one. Here are some highlights from the developer chat on the SmackDown vs. RAW website.
The developers noted several priority improvements they are hoping to make with WWE 12.
2.) Online Lag and Cheating
3.) Animation Quality
6.) Graphical Quality
The developers also mentioned that they are determined to bring the live WWE television and broadcast experience to the video game. Ironically, Vince McMahon just a few weeks ago was bragging about the production quality of the WWE event broadcasts and live events. Coincidence, I think not.
The developers also address all of the negative feedback that they have gotten over the years on the gameplay portion of SmackDown vs. RAW. The developers acknowledge the criticism and report that they have been working on these gameplay changes for the last two years. In other words, the changes to WWE 12 aren’t something they just thought about in a production meeting.
I love the aggression of THQ in strengthening the WWE video game franchise. It is something well overdue and something that should be well received by the fans. The market is definitely there, it is finding the right mix of gameplay, graphics, and novelty that is the key to making this thing work. THQ is certainly talking a good game, let’s see if they deliver.
On an aside, Dave Meltzer reported on his podcast that there were some “very interesting negotiations” for game characters. He didn’t reveal any names so it is purely guesswork at this point. If I am going to read into his statement I am thinking Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and/or Randy Savage may find their way into WWE 12. The obvious answer to his riddle would be Hogan, but again it is strictly a guess.
Finally, check out the first WWE 12 game trailer. The trailer features WWE world heavyweight champion Randy Orton. I don’t know about the actual game, but if the WWE wants to get The Viper even more over, play this trailer on TV every week. In terms of pro wrestling, I can’t think of anything better I have seen come out of the WWE in maybe ten years. It is simply awesome!
Read the entire article on IGN.com.
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