What a difference a year makes.
From the moment my first match started, I was immersed in the world of WWE 12. The presentation of each match is so authentic when comparing it to a TV broadcast.
The wrestler’s entrances are done well for the most part. Their themes blare and their mannerisms are replicated to near perfection. Also the crowd will cheer for the favorites, but when the baddies come on stage expect to hear all the boos echo.
When the match finally starts, the fantastic presentational elements once again shine. Replicated are each of the 25 new WWE television camera angles, which adds so much to the gameplay, it makes last year’s game a snooze fest.
Since this type of game starts you off by immersing you into its presentation, it takes a bit of time to get into gameplay.
THQ is Touting the new “predator technology” as a game changer. Early on I think it might be just that. THQ/Yukes has done what has been long overdue by finally creating a wrestling game instead of a fighting game. The matches flow better than ever. The moves make sense and the momentum will dictate the pace of the match. The game is also much harder, which is a more than welcome change from last year. Even on normal difficulty I got my butt kicked. However, it's not too hard, it just seems better balanced.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the coolest new features of the game in the comeback moment. With certain superstars, just when you think you have been beat, you get the chance to come back and take over the match via a quick-time event. These few button presses will dictate the success of this comeback. You better watch out though, if you miss a button you might as well dig your own grave -- especially if your opponent is the Undertaker.
But with all the positive comes the negative. One nitpick that has bothered me is how the AI sometimes decides to pin you late in a match after a simple move such as a leg sweep or a clothesline. This is somewhat troublesome to me, and we will see how it shakes down with more time spent with the game.
Another area of concern would be that sometimes the AI forgets they're in a wrestling match and stands there like he knows someone in the crowd. There also seems to be a lot of the same chain grappling. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it looks smooth as butter, but it opens up the opportunity to pull off more devastating attacks. The AI also seems to reverse to many moves, which makes it harder to get a consistent offensive attack going.
I have to say that I saw one of the funniest glitches in a wrestling game ever. I was Alberto Del Rio in a match against CM Punk and my personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez literally morphed through the entire ring as the match went on. Yes it was funny, but it shouldn't happen.
Early on, the game just feels organic much unlike the old Smackdown vs. Raw series. The animations flow freely and the superstars look amazing. However with the poor AI, problems could arise as I delve deeper into the game.