Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 Review

By on December 14, 2010

THQ delivers a well-round wrestling game this year.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Smackdown Vs raw 2010 was undoubtedly a great game, and so the level of expectation for the next iteration was to at least match if not exceed. The guys at THQ always have something to make the WWE franchise more lovable and addictive every time they build upon the previous Smackdown vs Raw games to give us a new one. If you are a loyal WWE fan like me, you would be to happy know that THQ hasn’t let us down, at least not completely. I was really excited when I got this game and even more as the game began. Something which caught my attention almost instantly after the game began is that instead of the standard game menu, we have a ring in which John Cena (a personal favorite) and Randy Orton are waiting to fight, and you can have a practice session. Whenever you feel like getting into the game all you have to do is press start and the menu pops up.

As usual we have the exhibition modes which now fall under the WWE Universe. The interesting part is that the game constantly keeps track of your record and interferes by putting in some random cutscenes as per your progress. So this basically means that the wrestler (superstar or created) needs to build up his/her reputation to have a shot at winning any of the titles i.e. either by winning matches or becoming the number one contender. Now this where the fun part in the WWE Universe begins, as you start playing matches the game automatically sets them up for you and as the you progress the rankings keep changing and so do the number of your friends and rivals. The only drawback is that your rivals may strike out at you at any point of time such as backstage or in your locker room thereby gifting you a seriously large disadvantage even before the match has begun. The cool part is the WWE universe is never-ending; it is always full of matches right one after another.

What didn’t fit in well with all this freedom is Road To WrestleMania, there are not many changes besides the fact that you can move you character around backstage, talk to other wrestlers and WWE staff or even eavesdrop on other conversations . There is always a need to talk to other people before you can proceed to a match. But that’s not all; you are also pushed into backstage brawls which aren’t of much significance.

As usual you have only a handful of superstars to choose from (five to be exact), which is a real put-off as we don’t get to enjoy playing all the way to WrestleMania with other superstars. Although the storyline is excellent and is always changing as you move ahead, most of the time you will find yourself getting bored of the backstage brawls as these are very mundane and repetitive.

As you progress on the Road to WrestleMania you collect Superstar Points which can be used to work on the skills of your superstar. Better the skills the higher are the chances of winning the matches that follow. The only flaw in this system of leveling up is that you would have to fight almost every one you see to just reach anywhere near the max levels. Even after this it all comes down to how you control your superstar whether it is in-ring or outside. Sure this mode lacks a few things, but keeping in mind all the awesome unlockables and the exhilarating story and scenarios… Road to WrestleMania has had the upgrade which it was deprived for all these years.

The new physics engine (Havoc) hasn’t made much of a difference. The characters are just about “okay” and the softness gives the game a polished look. The destruction of the tables, ladders or other artifacts used in-ring hasn’t changed much. But the worst of all is the horrible lip-syncing which doesn’t complement the fantastic audio in any way whatsoever. To look on the positive side, now you can do a hell lot more with the artifacts than before, be it stacking up ladders in various formations or throw people head-first onto tables at any random angle.

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The Scorecard
The gameplay as usual is very innovative, but gets really difficult to understand at times.
Graphic is definitely smoother than the previous version, and the cutscenes as well as entrances are just about right.
The music is real good but is spoiled by the disastrous lip-syncing.
For fans of the franchise it’s definitely worth more, but keeping in mind those who aren’t, its worth value but might not have what you might be looking for in a wrestling game.
Always fun but the controls could have been better.
THQ delivers a well-round wrestling game this year.


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More Reviews

    its pretty good but 8.8 is too damn high…..

    • kikfreek

      hi .. SPACEBOY
      I understand it might be too high as per your standard but we have to keep in mind the plethora of gamers while writing a review. "A biased review would ruin the spirit of gaming.."

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