Review: WWE'12 (X360)
I don’t follow the antics of those involved in the WWE, and most of everyone are new faces to me. Not being a fan of watching built men pummel and brawl in a ring, I decided to take WWE’12 from a fighting gamer’s standpoint, which is pretty much what WWE’12 is.
WWE’12 is THQ’s latest effort in bringing the American wrestling experience to the gaming household, without the hassle of injury or hospitalisation. It packs in all of your favourite wrestlers from RAW, Smackdown and the Divas, which you’ll see through the various game modes and match types. WWE’12 has also brought back several WWE Legends, including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, although the latter is only included as pre-order DLC.
The game also hails the return of the story mode in the form of “Road to Wrestlemania”. Although “Road to Wrestlemania” is based on a predetermined storyline with fixed characters, it is where players, old and new, pick up the basics of taking down your opponents as you complete objectives and move on to the next match to watch the story unfold. It’s not much of a story, it’s pretty much what you’d expect watching WWE on TV. You follow three specific wrestlers, Sheamus, Triple H and the fictional Jacob Cass in their parts during the three acts that takes place during the year’s WWE lineup of events.
All of the key events are fought out in a similar fashion. It involves the wearing-down of your opponent through a series of strategic moves. I say “strategic”, because the game is smart enough to see through your repetitive use of the same move, and will respond in kind. Luckily, you have the ability to counter or dodge to interrupt your opponent’s blows through responding to quick-time prompts, but unless you’re really good at those, you’ll probably take a blow or two to the head.
Your attacks change as you take more hits than you give, but the game offers you a chance to make a comeback, usually through more quick-time prompts. You can also wriggle yourself out of a pin-down by timing your button presses just right before the referee calls the match. There’s also the Breaking Point minigame where you mash your opponent into submission after wearing a specific part of their body down, as well as the regular finishing moves and taunts.
The WWE Universe campaign mode now allows players to sculpt their custom wrestlers to detail and attach custom finishing moves to them. and how you perform during matches throughout the calendar months will determine the outcomes of storylines or alliances, not to mention the random interferences and surprise fights sprinkled around the season, just to keep things interesting. There is also the option to build your very own custom arena, and the sharing of content can be done through Xbox Live.
WWE’12 covers more than just Road to Wrestlemania and WWE Universe. There are the standard matches that can be customised to fit certain rules of your choosing, elimination matches, “Hell in a Cell” cage matches and many other match types and their variations with the number of wrestlers taking part, not to mention the counterpart modes that unfolds in online multiplayer.
It is noted that WWE’12 is a fresh start for the consoles of the current generation. The graphics, lighting and effects help bring WWE to the household, only more interactive than just sitting on the couch and watching the fight. The shine on the sweaty wrestler as he makes his glamourous entrance, fireworks and all, from stage to ring, all presented in the original pay-per-view fashion. Most of the wrestlers took time off and added their original voices to the game and the commentary during matches aren’t half bad.
WWE’12 has commendable effort in bringing everything about WWE to home consoles. You may falter during combat, but there is always time to learn. There is a strong feel of realism given to WWE’12 and the huge amount of customisation options help let the game stand out. WWE fans will get very comfortable here.
|SCORESHEET (out of 10)||OVERALL
|Details on the arena and the wrestler makes the game feel like a real WWE broadcast, until you squint your eyes.|
|Not every wrestler gave their voice to the game, but at least the whole game is competently voiced.|
|Plenty of game modes means there’s plenty of fun to be had here.|
|With seemingly random events, your next game could turn out differently, not to mention the amount of customisation you can have with this game.|
|How the RGB Scoresheet works|
WWE’12 is a THQ game developed by Yuke’s for the Xbox 360, as well as the PlayStation 3 and Wii. Online multiplayer modes were not tested.