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WWE 12 Review

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Steven Burns

Despite the name change, this is still the same WWE SmackDown game.

Published on Nov 24, 2011

Another year, another exercise in abject mediocrity, another cry for the series to change developer or have a year off, another year of said request being utterly ignored as marketing bigwigs turn a blind eye to critical feedback in the endless pursuit for the mighty dollar. Another Yuke’s WWE game.

Every year the developer and THQ promise change, and every year we nod our heads and say, ‘yeah, right’. It’s no different here. Despite the developer making all of the right noises about changing the aged franchise’s treacle-slow formula – some guff about ‘rebuilding from the ground up’ – this is still the SmackDown series in all but name, with a lot of the same problems, and no moniker change can disguise that.

Granted, some work has been done. The traditionally shonky transitions between animations are better, bar the occasional clipping problems, and the new rope physics add a surprising amount to the action.

Sadly, it’s still the same old WWE game underneath, with poor AI – John Cena’s pathfinding failing to get him from the ring to the Titantron in the first challenge of Road To WrestleMania mode being a case in point – and slow, laborious gameplay.

Speaking of which, this year Yuke’s ‘streamlined’ the move system, attempting to bring a sense of momentum by making wrestlers start with low-impact moves and then as the fighters weaken progress to high-impact ones.

All it means in actuality is that matches shuffle to a conclusion with the grace and impact of a Brock Lesnar moonsault. There’s a new limb-targeting system for ‘working’ opponents, but when these moves are laid over wooden animations it doesn’t help much. 

So far, so predictable. What makes the whole shebang so infuriating is that at times WWE ’12 shows that it can still provide a good game of wrestling, and played with mates this can still be an enjoyable experience.

You look like this, you gotta learn to fight.

Outside of the ring, Road To WrestleMania is better than before and the character and story creation elements are a lot of fun to mess around with.

Yuke’s obviously cares about WWE, but does it have the time to actually create something new? No, because there must be a new WWE game every year or whatever will our financial department do?

Unless you desperately need a ‘new’ WWE experience, then we suggest you go and buy 2003’s Here Comes The Pain. Which was another Yuke’s WWE game before that was a negative thing to say.

 

 

Score Breakdown
Graphics
5.0 / 10
Sound
7.0 / 10
Gameplay
5.0 / 10
Longevity
7.8 / 10
Multiplayer
6.0 / 10
Overall
5.0 / 10
Final Verdict
Die-hard WWE fans might find something to love here, but everyone else will be far less enamoured with another minuscule change in direction for a stalled series. It’s too harsh to say that WWE ’12 is a terrible game. What it is, however, is a flatly mediocre representation of the ‘sport’.
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Game Details
Format:
PS3
Release Date:
25/11/2011
Price:
£49.99
Publisher:
THQ
Developer:
Yuke's
Genre:
Sport
No. of players:
1-6
Verdict
5.0 /10
There's not much to recommend to anyone but the most diehard of WWE fans.
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