Yesterday officially marked the beginning of a new era for WWE video games, as WWE ’12 was announced for a November 22, 2011 release. Smackdown vs. RAW, which has ran for six years, is dead and buried. The rebranding of the franchise into WWE ’12 signifies that it is the definitive WWE game released each year, comparable to Madden, NCAA Football, and FIFA. We know that WWE ’12 is going to be “BIGGER, BADDER, BETTER” than the SvR games that proceeded it:
- Predator Technology is supposed to bring the most dynamic, fluid, authentic, and action packed WWE simulation to date. The most realistic WWE presentation ever seen in a video game.
- Matches involving multiple men can see moves be broken up, even Royal Rumble eliminations. No more being unable to help your partner out when John Cena’s about to hit an Attitude Adjustment, and no more watching a temporary ally get eliminated.
- Wrestlers no longer warp to the middle of the ring to do moves like the Five Knuckle Shuffle; you’ll hit the move where ever the wrestler was already position at.
- Controls are back to the face buttons, eliminating analog controlled grappling. Gameplay will be faster, more action-packed.
- The roster will feature one of the largest ever assembled of WWE Superstars, Divas, and Legends.
- Road to WrestleMania is undergoing changes.
All of that is stuff that we know already. We’ll get to see how this Predator Technology works next week during E3, as THQ will be live streaming the demo games each day of the event.
We also know that Universe mode is back as Universe 2.0… bigger, badder, and better than what we saw in Smackdown vs. RAW 2011. It’s here that I’ll start my wishlist for WWE ’12 (and beyond).
SvR ’11 was a great game and one of the reasons for that was the introduction of the Universe mode. I spent most of time with the game in Universe mode, and it was fun. It was a good foundation to build upon once they had the core concept in place. But there’s no denying that Universe is severely limiting in what you can do. It’s way too strict and the CPU has a mind of its own, completely going against what you’re trying to do. So here’s what I want to see in the “bigger, badder, better” Universe 2.0 in WWE ’12:
1.) Create a brand was okay, but served no purpose. I’m wanting to see that return with the custom logos introduced in SvR ’11, but really ramped up for Universe inclusion. Create-An-Arena, Create-A-TV Show, Create-A-Championship, Create-A-PPV… create, create, and create some more! I want to control everything.
It’s a WWE game and should be treated as such, but as long as there is a Create-A-Wrestler mode people will create wrestlers from other promotions. Last year you could take that a step further and create a brand with a custom logo, and some folks are really good at making company logos in Paint Tool. With all this in place, if I want to create a TNA roster with TNA logos, I should be able to inject Impact Wrestling into my Universe schedule and run a show with it (even if there is no getting around having King and Cole calling the action).
Not only do I want to run a TNA show in my Universe, and perhaps ROH as well, but I want the ability to fully customize pay-per-views. I don’t want to be limited to one at the end of every month, hell WWE had two pay-per-views in May themselves. I want to create a pay-per-view, inject it into the Universe schedule, select a custom arena for it, and then limit the PPV to a brand only. And I don’t just want that sort of a feature to run alternative promotions, I want custom brand-only PPVs for my WWE shows as well. I want Smackdown only PPVs, RAW only PPVs, and then co-branded PPVs like Summer Slam and WrestleMania.
The more freedom I have to run MY Universe the happier I will be. That obviously includes being able to have more than six matches, indicate whether or not I want someone to run-in during a match or not (and select who I want to run-in, and who they should attack), and perhaps most importantly… I want to be able to CHOOSE which titles are on the line and who gets a shot independent of the rankings. I don’t want an Inferno WWE Championship match every other month. There was nothing more frustrating about Universe in SvR ’11 than not being able to change title matches and create title matches even on TV shows. If only one thing were to change in this mode, I hope it is the ability to completely control championship matches and when they take place.
2.) I want Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, and Trent Barreta in this game. I want to make them a stable in Universe, and don’t want to have to use CAWs to do it. Every year there’s wrestlers who were with the company already that get left out, yet we get useless Blue and Green wrestlers and Druids, just because they fit in some mode or story. I’d rather not see that happen this year.
3.) This goes with #1 and #2, but I want to make custom teams and stables that ACTUALLY stay together. It was annoying going through the tedious process of creating tag teams and stables, naming them, and then editing their entrance only for the CPU in Universe to decide two weeks (Universe time) later that they should split up. Let me decide when it’s time for a team to split up, and don’t go deleting my teams on the whim of CPU booking.
4.) Road to WrestleMania storylines have grown tired, so just create a few stories, maybe that branch depending on actions to allow for replay value, and most importantly stories that don’t restrict me to having to play as a specific wrestler. I want to choose which wrestler I complete a story with, and that’s really a rather simple request.
5.) An online request… ditch GameSpy. I will be so happy if WWE ’12 runs on something besides GameSpy. WWE All Stars didn’t use those horrible servers, and it runs like a charm. All Stars is actually FUN to play online and is almost completely lag free. Bring that online experience to WWE ’12 on top of everything else, and this will probably be the best wrestling simulator ever.
That’s my wishlist for WWE ’12 and beyond since I’m sure every bit of that won’t be in the game, but I do know the guys involved listen to the fans and feedback and take it all into consideration. I am extremely pumped for this game and have been since late April. I’m looking forward to seeing some gameplay streams and videos to really get an idea of the new technology and how it operates in action.
We’ll have a lot more coverage of WWE ’12 here on Vortex Effect throughout the coming months so stay tuned. WWE ’12 hits store shelves on November 22nd here in the States, and November 25th in the UK for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii… and only those systems. No Playstation 2 or PSP support this year, as the rebranded franchise is finally moving onwards. About time!