WWE ’12 is out, and rabid wrestling gamers have been putting it through the paces over the last week plus. The feature set is deep in this year’s game; Road to Wrestlemania, online play, exhibition play and the deepest creation suite out there.
But the mode that might be the most overlooked is Universe.
Universe mode allows your own WWE to begin, living and breathing, on your console. The steps to begin a Universe can be as deep or easy as you want it to be. You can just start stock or edit it to your heart’s content. I immediately got rid of the spinner belt and the old Intercontinental title, replacing both with older titles (WCW Title and the Classic I-C belt). After you have the titles set up, it’s time to set up which shows you want to “air.”
I have Raw on Mondays; Impact Wrestling (thanks to the creations download from Xbox Live) on Thursday; Nitro on Friday. Nitro is taking the Smackdown roster, but has the WCW logo, title and ring. The level of detail here is staggering. Any arena you want to use, any show name, anything you want is basically at your disposal.
I then edited the rosters of each show, making them pretty realistic to what is going on in the real world. The Legends were balanced between the shows and then I had several CAW’s that I had downloaded (AJ Styles, Sting, Rob Van Dam, etc) and those were also evenly distributed between the shows. I’m then using the Thursday Impact show as my mid-card show.
You can also look at your roster and change who has what titles, if a guy is a face or a heel, and who they are aligned with. On top of that, if you want The Nexus to return, you can make them a stable once again. The power is truly in your hands.
So now everything is set up, everything is ready to go, time to begin the Universe. My advice is to try play as many of the matches as possible, don’t simulate the shows. Storylines will unfold on their own, new rivalries will begin, new alliances will form, you will be surprised at results every week. The game does a great job of continuing rivalries, pushing guys and letting it all unfold on its own, so let it!
The things I saw over my first two weeks were incredible, and got me fired up to see where the Universe goes. First off, ready for this WWE fans? John Cena turned heel! Raw’s main event was set up with a match of Steve Austin vs. The Miz, Cena came down and jumped Austin allowing Miz to take the win. He turned full-fledged heel and joined a stable with Miz and Jack Swagger. The Universe page even caught this as news and Cena was booed at every arena (more than normal).
I was so impressed and shocked at the acitons that happened on my screen. WWE fans have been wanting a Cena heel turn to happen for ages, so it was awesome to have it play out on it’s own in my Universe.
Over on the Nitro side of things, Mark Henry holds the WCW title and during his main event match, CM Punk (World Champion) came down to just watch. Also over on Nitro, Rob Van Dam beat Christian, which lead to Christian flipping out and tearing apart the announcer table and other ringside items.
The living breathing world will continue to evolve as you play through. My set up is, I basically flip a coin before each match and that’s how I choose which wrestler I will control in the match. You can then continue or start feuds as well selecting the interfere option if you want the AI to take on itself. My next week on Raw had a John Cena/Nash match set up, so I had Steve Austin interfere on my own pushing that storyline that the Universe started.
Things like that make the game just feel so alive.
And this is just a small sample of what Universe can and will bring. Of course, as the all mighty GM, you can place belts on anyone, set up any match (including title matches) at any point you want, and fire wrestlers whenever you feel your inner Vince McMahon brewing. But what’s the fun in that? Let the Universe decide your roster’s fate. You may, and will, be surprised at the outcomes on a week to week basis. I’m not sure if I’ll ever walk out of my Universe again. Maybe at some point TNA will have a full fledged invasion, or WCW will want it’s Monday slot back, who knows.
Those are storylines for another day, but I urge you to get in, and let your Universe breath!