SmackDown vs Raw is no more, and in it’s place… WWE ’12.
Some of the features already announced:
EXPERIENCE THE NEW WWE! – WWE Action is redefined with new Predator Technology! This new system delivers a fresh and strategic gameplay experience that looks, feels and plays better than ever before. the gameplay you have demanded is finally here with the most fluid WWE action and realistic animations to date in a WWE videogame, improved A.I. and an all-new Breaking Point submission system!
DYNAMIC TV PRESENTATION – Witness the most electrifying presenation in all of sports entertainment. A dynamic new broadcast camera system and badder visual presentation replicate everything you see on WWE’s television broadcasts. New rendering and lighting technologies will provide the most realistic WWE Superstars, WWE Divas and WWE Legends and best-looking in-ring action to date.
CREATE AND SHARE YOUR WWE – WWE ’12’s best-in-class creation suite gives you the ability to create Superstars, entrances, finishing moves, storylines, Highlight Reels and all-new capabilities never before seen in a WWE videogame! Go online and upload your creations to share them with the WWE Universe and download creations from others to add to your own experience.
WWE UNIVERSE 2.0 – Take control of your WWE career in a bigger, badder and better WWE universe. Your actions determine your destiny and shape your experience, as storylines, matches, alliances and rivalries are built based on your decisions.
ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA – The Road to WrestleMania is fraught with action, drama, challenges, storyline twists and truns, and surprises. Which road will you pick, and what story will you tell, on your way to the biggest spectacle in sports entertainment?
So why the name change? Here’s what Creative Director Cory Ledesma had to say about it:
I’ve just felt for a couple of years now that the franchise has been getting stale and in need of a reboot. Not just with the name but also with the game experience. The name of the franchise evolved a couple of times over the years, and it has gotten to the point where the name doesn’t really mean anything. WWE currently doesn’t have brand wars, and the shows themselves are rarely competing against each other, so SmackDown vs. Raw as a name doesn’t really have a meaning. We started out as just being called SmackDown when that show made its debut for WWE back in 1999. Back then, we were releasing WWE products exclusively for specific platforms – SmackDown for Sony, Raw for Microsoft and Day of Reckoning for Nintendo. We then made the decision in 2004 to pool all of our resources together and make one great game, which is how SmackDown vs. Raw came together. Now, we are just WWE ’12, which is great because we just want to be known as the official, authentic WWE simulation product … period. All that encompasses what’s great about WWE live events and television is encapsulated and recreated in WWE ’12. It’s simple and to the point. I’m pumped about it because I’ve always wanted to re-launch this franchise the right way, and we are finally getting the opportunity to do it this year.
The screens may look a lot like Smackdown vs. Raw, but Ledesma assures us that this is a new animal:
WWE ’12 is far from just a name change. Our goal has been to create a brand new experience with a new, high quality animation system, a new renderer and a new strategic gameplay experience that will look, feel and play substantially better than its predecessors.
We aren’t changing the game entirely or completely ripping everything out to start over. That wasn’t the goal. What we are doing is taking the basic essence of what is good in the past games and making a new experience that feels fresh, fun, responsive, faster, smoother and is of higher quality. If you’re played the SmackDown vs. Raw games in the past, I have zero doubt you will notice the difference as soon as you pick up this year’s game. We are adding new gameplay systems, completely overhauling gameplay systems and improving current gameplay systems. The new animation system is giving us new capabilities as well. One quick is example is that you now have the ability to interrupt animations. For example, if John Cena is doing a five-knuckle shuffle in the game, you can knock him right on his butt in the middle of the move (something you’ve never been able to do in our game because the animation had to completely play out – and that goes for every single move in the game).
Ledesma also reiterates that THQ is always listening to fan feedback and offers two examples of new features that came as a result:
1) The fans have been asking for a new submission system. I’m happy to report there is a new submission system. It’s called the Breaking Point Submission system. It has a new mini-game, and also, for the first time, submissions where you can climb to the rope for a rope break.
2) The fans have been asking for wake-up taunts. I’m happy to report there are now wake-up taunts. Do you love those dramatic moments where Randy Orton slams his fists to the ground, daring his opponent to stand up and then unleashing his RKO when the opponent stumbles right into his clutches? Well then, you’re going to be one happy camper.
UPDATE: The first video featuring gameplay footage of WWE ’12 has hit the internet and you can watch it right here!