THQ and the WWE have been partners for a long time. Right along aside the best sports video game franchises including the Madden, NHL, and 2K Sports series, the WWE has been delivering a console version of their sports entertainment to avid wrestling fans. Over that time, many wrestlers have come and go, but THQ always delivers a solid gaming experience and a few surprises along the way.WWE 12 includes some new features, classic WWE superstars and more customization than ever before.
Become entrenched in the WWE world that takes you through a complete year-long storyline as a villain with the updated Road to Wrestlemania mode. You’ll be faced with all kinds of challenges from backstage brawls, to 4-on-1 competition as you fight your way to win all of the gold in the WWE. This mode can be incredibly difficult and frustrating because you cannot advance until you meet the objectives in each level. This mode is very similar to the older WWE title -- Day of Reckoning for the Nintendo GameCube. Best of all, just when you thought you won… you’ve got another thing coming.
You can also enter the WWE universe, playing a complete calendar of WWE events. It is your job to plan and play to decide the outcome. You become the booker and set the rules, the match type and where it will take place. It’s a grueling experience, but you familiarize yourself with the in-ring talents and out of the ring personalities of the current WWE stars.
Along the way and in both modes you’ll be challenged by your foes and in some cases a few legends such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Enforcer Arn Anderson and former WWE/UFC champ Brock Lesnar. As part of the story your characters will also be dressed in different attire and you can unlock those outfits too.
If you’ve ever wanted to compete in an inferno match but not get 3rd degree burns or step inside the Elimination Chamber and not get your brains scrambled, you can do it without physical injury; well… your fingers might hurt a little after mashing some buttons trying to win matches.
All of your favorites are in the game including CM Punk, John Cena, The Miz, Triple H, Alberto Del Rio, Sin Cara, Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix and many more. You get to be a part of RAW and Smackdown and display their abilities from town to town on all of the popular pay-per-view programs including the Royal Rumble, Extreme Rules or Hell in A Cell and the granddaddy of them all Wrestlemania.
Game play for WWE 12 is much the same as previous incarnations of the game. Sure there are some additions like the new Predator technology that provides a better looking game with much smoother action. For those that complained about overlapping and poor mechanics, this helps for sure.
The presentation of the game is superb. You get the look, the feel and the sonic overload as if you were watching or attending a live WWE event. The highlight reels, cutaways and even the on-screen graphics are nearly exact replicas from the one area the WWE has always destroyed their competition – the production. It is superior production that caused fans to take notice of the World Wrestling Federation in the first place and they continue to dominate their competition as World Wrestling Entertainment.
Up to four players can jump right in and play and if you are hooked up to Xbox Live, up to 12 players can get in on the action. The online action gives WWE 12 an entirely different dimension. With the most robust create mode to grace a WWE game to date; your characters, your arenas, your entrances and your special moves can all be shared online. If you aren’t the creative type, you can download creations from other WWE 12 players. Trust me, there are some very creative people out there and wrestlers from another era are always a welcome addition with the current WWE roster. We have to give proper credit to THQ though for crafting the tools and making it possible to create just about any wrestler from scratch and have their entrance and finisher look as realistic as it can be. Without those tools, it wouldn’t be nearly as easy or fun.
In addition to sharing online content, you may also find game-content downloads such as new characters, avatars, arenas, and more online. They aren’t free, but THQ is pretty good about making add-ons affordable and interesting. Coming soon are three content packs including a Legends pack containing the Macho Man Randy Savage, Batista and Mick Foley. A Wrestlemania DLC pack will feature Jerry “the King” Lawler, Jim Ross, Michael Cole and WWE Superstars Shawn Michaels, the Road Warriors, Edge and Christian.
If you are a fan of the Divas, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a DLC pack that includes Kharma, Brie & Nikki Bella, the iconic Trish Stratus and Alicia Fox as playable characters & the always annoying Vickie Guerrero as selectable Superstar manager.
As a WWE fan, you’ll want to include this in your collection as it is the latest update to the long-running series, especially if you don’t own a previous version of the game. If you are looking for a completely new experience, you won’t find it here. There are plenty of bells and whistles, but the game does have its flaws. Commentary is very repetitive and in some cases, more than I would have liked to hear, the game actually missed a commentary cue and the words insert commentary placeholder were spoken. Other commentary faux pas included Michael Cole referring to male opponents as she and her. I’d almost let it slide because Cole is such a jackass, but when the “SHE” in question was Dolph Ziggler and Cole’s best bud “The Miz”, I highly doubt it was intentional.
Overall, THQ delivers another year’s worth of the WWE experience to its most loyal gaming fans. You might want to keep this one away from the little kids in your house as there is some foul language, blood, some suggestive themes and of course a truckload of violence.
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