For lack of serious competitors, otherwise comet TNA Impact! in 2008, WWE Smackdown versus Raw 2011 sticks to the routine by relying on its original formula: “just like on TV”. Dozens of takes, the show in the ring as well as outside, tons of variations in the fights and, of course, the style of the WWE superstars reproduced with all the fidelity they deserve.
No upheaval in sight for this 2011 edition, WWE SvR remains the good wrestling simulation that fans expect. But without spilling, without graphic redesign, or deep changes in gameplay, except a multiplication of the possibilities of against. Basically, the standard of the 2010 episode is maintained with two or three deepenings. The point is now to find them.
The story of life
Scenarios still have an important place at WWE. Also WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw makes every year a point of honor to expand the scripted modes of his solo part. The idea of a career cushy until the title of heavyweight world champion having had its day, this episode 2011 hosts two types of mode scenario: one very scripted and the other a bit less (we remain all of even at WWE, nothing is left to chance).
The most dirigiste of the two is the traditional Road to WrestleMania. These are five single-player scenarios featuring Christian, John Cena, Rey Mysterio or Chris Jericho’s career in Wrestlemania XXVI, as well as a challenger’s course against the Undertaker (Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth or a created character).
Except that the altercations now extend well beyond the ring. The player must manage the preparations of the matches from the locker room by walking his wrestler in the corridors. A good idea about the pre-game contract, which however proves dramatic throttle in hand.
Firstly, because the locker rooms are ugly and not much is happening there, except for uninteresting sequences of dialogue. Then and especially because the walk behind the scenes is very poorly staged. The camera sticks too close to the player and the possible fights that are triggered by jostling other cloakrooms are not at all the same intensity as in the ring.
The other scripted mode is the WWE Universe. As simple and effective as its name suggests, this single-player mode is a kind of storyline generator per evening, following the schedule of Smackdown, Raw and PPV. From match to match until the main event , with random twists.
For example, we could see Edge the opportunist coming out of nowhere to win a quick victory before fleeing like a coward … Unless HHH in turn shows up brandishing his Sledgehammer. It is obviously possible to create a wrestler to make it evolve through this mode or use one of the superstars Raw, Smackdown and ECW available. There are more than sixty-five including divas and a score of characters to unlock.
All together, all together
Out of the vast solo mode, the player has the opportunity to launch a simple fight with one or more playmates. It is even recommended because Smackdown Vs Raw is particularly rich to many. If we count all types of match, the 2011 vintage brings together nearly 60 variants from the real WWE shows. TLC, Hell in a Cell, Ladder Match, Royal Rumble to 10, 20 or 30 wrestlers, Handicap, Elimination Chamber, First Blood, Inferno …
Without a doubt, the exhaustiveness and the variety of the modes of play remain the two assets Top WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw. While leaving a margin of freedom to the players in the editor of finisheror the creator of story lines, the license is fully exploited. Each wrestler has his full input and commentators Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are on hand, although it must be recognized that they are always repeating their aftershocks.
Online, SvR 2011also hits hard with more than 20 combat variants, including the Royal Rumble up to 12 players and caged games, Money in the Bank or Battle Royal up to six. All without too much scattering the players because it is possible to select indifferently the most popular variants. At the time of the test, the high proportion of North American players tended to make the games unstable.
The title coming out a few days ahead in the United States, good connections were not legion. Note that access to online services is subject to the registration of a one-time access code provided free of charge with each new set. A trial period of seven days allows to test the functionalities before entering the code or possibly to buy it for the sum of 7, 99 € (!) On the online store. A shop that offers the passage to unlock all the content of the game (hidden characters, alternative outfits, arenas …) for 0.79 €. That’s the WWE too.
Coup de mouth
Traditionally, WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw evolves little from year to year visually. This time, physics has been refined and we can therefore rejoice to see for example legs in the ropes or slippery objects in the ring in case of shock. But apart from this detail, the persistence of certain defects is a task.
Of course, wrestlers are always very caring. We like to find the style and catch of each superstar faithfully reproduced, Shawn Michaels ate mis or the intimidation of the Undertaker with the mimicry, but what does it all age … The realization stagnates and the discomfort becomes really unbearable. Without waiting for a reworked game engine each season, fans are entitled to hope at least the correction of some bugs like crappy collisions, still far too frequent.
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And what about animations? Resets in full swing? From the lip sync completely to the pickup? It is more than time for the series to look at its plastic rather than rest on its withered laurels.
Yuki’s Media Creation, the developer of the WWE series, has also provided proof that he knew how to put a little flexibility in his combat animations with his other flagship saga, UFC Undisputed , just as Electronic Arts did with his EA Sports MMA . So many neighboring titles that, with a ring, protruding muscles and sweat send this outright Smackdown Vs Raw 2011 over the third string of terms.