The Average Gamer

WWE ’12 – Hands On Preview

11/11/11 was a key date for many. Before you all yell ‘Skyrim’ at your screens, instead it was the date of my first ever video games preview event, at the O2 Arena, for WWE ’12.

The very kind folks at THQ stationed several Xbox 360s and PS3s with WWE ’12 for people to get stuck in straightaway and it didn’t disappoint. It was instantly noticeable that the speed of the series has been turned up a notch, not only in the movement of characters, but also when completing moves and moving on the next. it’s clearly a more fluid experience. The matches themselves, from a simple One on One to a Ladder Match, capture the essence of WWE TV near perfectly. The most impressive new feature seen in action (against me I might add, by Sam from Ginx TV), is the Comeback system.

Being squashed by your opponent? Missing every counter opportunity? Have no fear, the match-turning Comeback system is here. It consists of a small set of QTEs which, if successful, not only leaves your opponent in a crumpled heap, tipping the scales, but also with a finisher ready to use. In video games, that might seem as fair as the blue shell in Mario Kart, but this system works perfectly in recreating the tug-of-war style matches that often occur in WWE.

Ultimately, the games’ designers have taken fans of the Smackdown vs. Raw series’ comments and criticisms, and done something positive about them. The presentation is the best ever seen in a WWE video game, with some really nice touches to the in-game cameras, and if you were to place a snapshot of a live Raw show alongside a shot of the game, there is very little difference. It’s that good.

But there are minor gripes. Portions of the controls have been altered from the last game, yet there is nothing to declare so. There are tutorials and help menus to digest these changes, but as gamers, we just want to get in there and have a game, and are willing to take a quick control pop-up menu to assist on the first go. As such with this year’s FIFA 12, when you load the game up, there is a brilliant, brief video that explains any new controls. This would have been more welcome in WWE ’12.

All in all, WWE ’12 is turning out to be an excellent game. As a fan of the franchise myself, I know I will lose hours and hours alone or with friends and family. Just bring it!

WWE ’12 will be out on 25th November for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii