Home
Preview
WWE '12 Preview

Gameplay

So far I like to sum this game up as part wrestling sim and part WWE All-Stars. It takes most of the best elements of All-Stars, the best wrestling game THQ has created this generation, and combines it with simulation wrestling elements. In effect, the developers finally seem to be making a wrestling game rather than a fighting game while also simplifying things for everybody along the way.

Those elements of professional wrestling are immediately noticeable now. After each move, the wrestlers are selling their injuries. There's also a distinct flow at work here that tries to mimic the ebb and flow of a real match. I still think you'll be able to dominate inferior players, but players close to the same skill level should have some great back and forth matches.

The improved flow is possible because the game takes certain things away from you without it being a hindrance or even really noticeable. I was flustered about only having one grapple button for about 20 seconds. But immediately after the starting bell, I did a couple moves and it almost instantly washed all that consternation away. I just did not care if the game was selecting moves for me because the flow of the match was immediately improved.


I feel strongly about these new controls because no strategy was removed by providing less user control, just unnecessary fluff. In short, it's rather brilliant because you actually see a wider variety of moves -- no more accidentally doing the same move over and over as you just smash on your controller -- at a brisk pace (at least until players begin to build up damage), while always being focused on your opponent and trying to stay one step ahead of him in the ring.

This game also seems to be unique because it simplifies the controls yet should still make all types of fans happy. Perhaps that is simply because the analog controls were just so bad in some of the previous Smackdown games, but regardless, what happened happened, and now THQ has found something that does actually work. I didn't miss the lack of certain moves or buttons because the game still retains one smart element from the fighting game genre: balance. You're focusing more on strengths and weaknesses of your wrestlers because there more attributes at work here, and the simplified controls mean you have to understand when to counter, when to grapple, when to punch and when to just mix things up. It comes back to your ability to understand your grappler and read your opponent -- the best part of the gameplay in WWE All-Stars.

Of course, nothing is perfect. The grappling system is solid overall, but the limb-targeting system does suffer from a lack of moves. While using a normal grapple you are cycling through moves and even tiers of moves/signatures as your opponent gets more damaged, it seems like most of the targeting grapples are very similar or just repeat many times in a row. It sort of drove me out of the experience and made me not even want to target specific body parts because I did not want to see a repetitive move once again.

Presentation

I don't care if I'm staring at nearly naked men, the graphics still make me swoon. It doesn't look like a massive change in screenshots, but the new, more TV-like camera angles, mixed with a minimized HUD and improved lighting really help to drag you much deeper into the experience. Sure, Michael Cole is still awful on commentary, but everything beyond the audio is just working here.

Entrances are even more impressive because of these new elements. I used Alberto Del Rio during my time with the game, and the Mexican aristocrat did not disappoint after coming out in his (generic) Bentley and strutting down to the ring with a big ol' grin on his face. Different camera cuts were going on during the entirety of this sequence, and it all just looked so lifelike. I'm sure the entrances will still get boring eventually, but they are still a great way to sell any WWE fan on the general look of this new game.


About the only negative I can say about the presentation, beyond the shoddy audio, is the use of some overlays. The HUD is actually quite minimized this year, which really makes the game look like a match you would see on TV, but certain garish gameplay elements take you out of the experience. I like the Breaking Point submission system, but I wish there was some way to hide (or at least move) the graphic that comes on screen and shows how you're doing on a submission -- I don't think I really need that info during a button-mashing sequence. I get why the pinning graphic has to show up when you're trying to escape a pin sequence, but even that could be shrunk down or placed somewhere that is not in the middle of your screen. In short, the developers are already quickly flashing a specific button on your screen to tell you when to do certain things at particular moments in a match, so I'd like to see them find a balance with these other gameplay touches as well.

Final Thoughts

The theme of the year at E3 2011 seems to be "revitalization" when it comes to sports games. I read about the positive changes for WWE '12, but playing is believing in this case. Clearly this is just the first step for the franchise, but even so, everything from the visuals down to the minimized HUD to the new controls just works here.

WWE '12 is no longer running from what it should have been all along: a wrestling simulation.


WWE '12 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 PantherBeast_OS @ 06/08/11 09:02 AM
Chase thanks for the preview bro. From what I'm reading and seeing. It sounds like you don't choose the moves you want to pull off. Which to me sounds like THQ is now scripting the freaking moves and stuff. Which to me THQ is limiting people once again. I got a bad feeling about WWE12 this year. I might be taking this the wrong way. But if I'm reading this correct and all. Then I might be just sticking with SDvsRaw11 for another year and waiting on WWE13. Still need game footage and all to get a better sense of the gameplay and all. But for now this to me sounds like a rent to me this year. Thanks again for the review Chase.
 
# 2 ExtremeGamer @ 06/08/11 09:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legend Killer
Chase thanks for the preview bro. From what I'm reading and seeing. It sounds like you don't choose the moves you want to pull off. Which to me sounds like THQ is now scripting the freaking moves and stuff. Which to me THQ is limiting people once again. I got a bad feeling about WWE12 this year. I might be taking this the wrong way. But if I'm reading this correct and all. Then I might be just sticking with SDvsRaw11 for another year and waiting on WWE13. Still need game footage and all to get a better sense of the gameplay and all. But for now this to me sounds like a rent to me this year. Thanks again for the review Chase.
Where are you getting the scripted thing from? There's nothing scripted, everything flows freely. A comparison to WWE All-Stars works well in that sense.

It does play like SvR11, but it's not SvR11 at all if that makes sense. It's more organic and fluid.
 
# 3 PantherBeast_OS @ 06/08/11 10:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeGamer
Where are you getting the scripted thing from? There's nothing scripted, everything flows freely. A comparison to WWE All-Stars works well in that sense.

It does play like SvR11, but it's not SvR11 at all if that makes sense. It's more organic and fluid.
Well I might have been misreading tho. From what I read in his review at the beginning it sounded like that when you push the button then random move happens. Like I said I must of misread it and all. But right now I would love to see some gameplay footage of it. But from what I've herd that they are doing some gameplay footage today or tomorrow on IGN. So I will get a better feel for the game hopefully.
 
# 4 ChaseB @ 06/08/11 03:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseySuave4
i dont get it, so if i want to perform a body slam i can't unless the AI decides a body slam would go well there?
In a way, yes. Your moveset is sort of out of your hands in some respects as certain moves change/unlock as matches continue. Like I said, it bothered me for about 20 seconds before I just got into the flow of the match. In the past, I tended to do the same moves over and over by accident or just because of a comfort level, so I think the change is actually a positive of sorts.
 
# 5 PVarck31 @ 06/08/11 04:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
In a way, yes. Your moveset is sort of out of your hands in some respects as certain moves change/unlock as matches continue. Like I said, it bothered me for about 20 seconds before I just got into the flow of the match. In the past, I tended to do the same moves over and over by accident or just because of a comfort level, so I think the change is actually a positive of sorts.
I don't know if I like that. I will have to see how it works first hand though. If it helps it be more of a simulation than a fighting game then I think I can live with it.
 
# 6 scottyo60 @ 06/08/11 06:26 PM
Im worried at the control. I kinda feel like this would be playing Madden and the game deciding whether or not it would be good to juke, stiff arm or plow through while pressing one button. While last controls seemed overwhelming, these seem underwhelming. I hope a demo gets put out this year so I can get a feel to see if I like the change
 
# 7 Steven547 @ 06/08/11 06:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
In a way, yes. Your moveset is sort of out of your hands in some respects as certain moves change/unlock as matches continue..
Hmm...very mixed on this...This definitely sounds scripted. You can only pull off certain moves at certain times...? If I wanted to perform, as stated in another post, a bodyslam at the beginning of the match, I can't unless the CPU decides it's okay to do so now. Bodyslams (as an example) can happen ANY time during a real match..just as any other move can happen.

Maybe this is THQ's way of lengthening the match, which is a pretty bad way of doing it. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm still waiting for news / features that will make this a "must buy" game. So far, it feels they are limiting us again in order to make up for other errors (longer matches instead of quick pins.)

But as Chase said, maybe we have to play it to get an understanding of it. So far though, the marketing department of THQ has not won many people over yet. Guess I was expecting more "oomph" news at E3 from THQ. Even if they released an "unfinished" DEMO of this gameplay, it would certainly help us understand what is going on here.
 
# 8 LBzrule @ 06/08/11 06:58 PM
I will say this about the moves. For offline guys might get mad, but I think it is perfect for online where guys just spam the HHH knee and a few other moves. Just about every created wrestler online had that HHH knee. It was/is very annoying.
 
# 9 ExtremeGamer @ 06/08/11 07:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
In a way, yes. Your moveset is sort of out of your hands in some respects as certain moves change/unlock as matches continue. Like I said, it bothered me for about 20 seconds before I just got into the flow of the match. In the past, I tended to do the same moves over and over by accident or just because of a comfort level, so I think the change is actually a positive of sorts.
I can say I experienced none of that and besides signatures and finishers could pull off any move at any time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 10 OriolesFanRD @ 06/08/11 09:17 PM
Casuals will ruin wrestling even more than you know. Freedom to do moves and 2 button reversal should be standard like in SVR 2006 and 2007. Nothing will change my mind that the CPU choosing moves for me is awesome. Screw that.
 
# 11 ChaseB @ 06/08/11 09:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeGamer
I can say I experienced none of that and besides signatures and finishers could pull off any move at any time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Is there another grapple system I am unaware of? It certainly seemed to be based on how much damage the wrestler had gone through at certain points in matches. Don't you just front or back grapple etc. and press "A"? I mean the signatures and finishers are tied to certain things obviously, but I didn't always know what front grapple I was going to get because "X" does strikes, and then there is the irish whip from grapple position as the other option. I'm going to play it tomorrow again so I could be wrong, but I didn't feel like I could select every move unless I'm missing out on combining "A" with a directional movement or a modifier like with the limb-targeting system.
 
# 12 ChaseB @ 06/08/11 10:00 PM
BTW, CaWs can still add whatever moves to their repertoire, regardless of their weight class/height and all that. And also Mysterio can still do every move to Big Show. However, on that one, it seems like the caveat is there are struggle animations to certain moves or different ways the moves can happen -- so that one seems a little more muddy for now. Everyone in the demo is around the same weight class so I can't see exactly what they are talking about.
 
# 13 LBzrule @ 06/08/11 11:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
BTW, CaWs can still add whatever moves to their repertoire, regardless of their weight class/height and all that. And also Mysterio can still do every move to Big Show. However, on that one, it seems like the caveat is there are struggle animations to certain moves or different ways the moves can happen -- so that one seems a little more muddy for now. Everyone in the demo is around the same weight class so I can't see exactly what they are talking about.
Don't like Mysterio being about to do that. But ohhh well.
 
# 14 ExtremeGamer @ 06/09/11 04:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
Is there another grapple system I am unaware of? It certainly seemed to be based on how much damage the wrestler had gone through at certain points in matches. Don't you just front or back grapple etc. and press "A"? I mean the signatures and finishers are tied to certain things obviously, but I didn't always know what front grapple I was going to get because "X" does strikes, and then there is the irish whip from grapple position as the other option. I'm going to play it tomorrow again so I could be wrong, but I didn't feel like I could select every move unless I'm missing out on combining "A" with a directional movement or a modifier like with the limb-targeting system.
When you grapple, you push the stick in a direction and do a move. I never did a grapple without moving the stick, so maybe that does become random. But if body slam was up and A, I could do that move over and over again with each grapple if I wanted to.
 
# 15 ChaseB @ 06/09/11 11:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExtremeGamer
When you grapple, you push the stick in a direction and do a move. I never did a grapple without moving the stick, so maybe that does become random. But if body slam was up and A, I could do that move over and over again with each grapple if I wanted to.
OK, I'll check it out today, thanks EG. So it's just the moves are tiered but there are selectable grapples within the tier.
 
# 16 ExtremeGamer @ 06/09/11 01:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseB
OK, I'll check it out today, thanks EG. So it's just the moves are tiered but there are selectable grapples within the tier.
That's what I experienced. Not sure if it's just years of playing so much Smackdown that it never clicked to me when I was doing moves or what. But I was able to just go in and play it and pull off moves at will when I wanted to.

Granted, I had about 20 hours of basic private playtime to your few minutes and you were in a gaming mob, so I can see how it could feel differently.
 
# 17 doncoryell @ 06/12/11 06:22 AM
I don't see a problem with not being able to perform some moves until later in the match. For example, with the text based "Wrestling Spirit 2" game you use wear down moves then after a while some mid level moves are able for use before your high level moves and finishers become available. That sounds logical to me.
 

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.