8 October 2018 | Olicosmic
A great, yet mildly disappointing start to a franchise
After the greatness that was Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011, it was really exciting to see how the next game would be. And the game that followed (this game) is a great follow-up that can easily stand on its own. But, a few strange decisions and omissions sort of keep this from feeling like the true champion it wants to be. First, the pros. The visuals are a massive step up from previous games, the gameplay follows that same path by being more fluid amd fine-tuned, the modes in this game offer a ton of replay value, and the creation suite is pretty damn great compared to previous games. Also, the ability to finally put a championship on the line in exhibition mode is great to see here, and sorely missed from SvR 2011. Overall, this game seems to have knocked it out of the park with most things. However, a few issues keep this from being as great as it feels like it should be. The create an arena mode is a cool new feature in this game, but it isn't exactly what I was hoping for, as all you can really do is just create a ring, floor mat, barricade, and announcement table, and that's about it. It's disappointing that being able to create a stage for your custom "arena" is absent, as this mode, while it's definitely nice to have, is very underwhelming. It should've just been called "Create A Ring" instead, because that's about the only thing you can really do, which sucks. The roster in this game is pretty good, but a bit smaller than previous games. There are obviously all the current (at the time) superstars, as well as a few legends, but it's a bit underwhelming compared to previous games. Another massive disappointment is the Road To WrestleMania mode. In SvR 2011 and under, the player had choices for which story they wanna play through, but that is completely absent here, as it's just one long story. Another thing is the ability of being able to roam backstage in RTWM has been removed as well, meaning that there's a lot less immersion than this games predecessor. If there's one thing I can give credit for is how decently written it all is. The story is pretty much exactly what one may see on a WWE show, which is awesome. The stuff you unlock and the objectives to unlock the stuff all add a lot of replay value and may do a good job to keep completionists happy. So, the RTWM in this game isn't bad at all, but it does feel like THQ and Yukes sort of backed away from what really made the mode immersive and pro-consumer, which is disappointing. Despite these drawbacks sort of making the experience underwhelming, I'd be lying if I said this isn't a great wrestling game, as it has almost everything to keep a wrestling fan happy, and is one of the highlights from the early 2010s when it comes to the wrestling game genre, and I do recommend anyone who is a wrestling fan to check this out if they haven't already, as it's definitely a worthwhile investment in that regard. But, it's probably more recommended to play a newer WWE game for those new to the wrestling fandom. All in all, this game is a great, yet mildly disappointing start to a franchise. Thankfully, it only got better (mostly) from here.