All of the match types that players have grown to love over the past years will return. Throughout the game you will get a chance to participate in 1-on-1, tag, Inferno, Submission, Hell in a Cell, Cage, Eliminations Chamber, Royal Rumble, Championship Scramble, Iron Man, Ladder, Tables, TLC, Last Man Standing, First Blood matches and others. The Hell in a Cell match in particular has been revamped to better meet the demands of the fans. THQ admits that the version of the match that has been included in the previous installments has not allowed gamers to participate in matches that were representative of the actual match… not any more. For starters, the size of the cell itself has been expanded; there is a much wider space outside of the ring between the cell and the ring itself. This allows players to pull weapons from under the ring and incorporate them in the match. The door of the cell has been removed as well. There is no simple exit to the Cell now and players will need to inflict enough damage on the outside panels in order to crash through them and gain access to the outside. To do so, you will need to earn a signature / finishing maneuver and perform it near the outer two panels closest to the announce tables. Once outside, as you would expect, you can take the fight up to the top of the cage.
When players are on top of the cage, more options and special animations have been instituted for dispatching your opponents off of the top of the cage. The special maneuvers and animations on the top of the cage do not require a special status and can be performed at any time. This will include things such as performing the Undertaker’s Last Ride from the top and using Shawn Michael’s Sweet Chin Music to launch someone down to the floor below. Players can also crash through the center panel on the top, down into the ring below.
While there are about 60-70, preset match types included in the game, THQ is introducing an all new match creator in this year’s game. This mode will allow players to construct, and save, their own match details in pretty much every way that you can imagine. If you want to set up a 60-minute iron man match inside an Inferno match setting, go ahead. Want to change a match stipulation to be that the first person who lands a finishing maneuver wins, or perhaps who can hit the most over a set period of time? The options are all there. There is some limitation to the match options based on the initial match type chosen in this mode; for example, if you initiate an Inferno Match, rope break options aren’t available… or if you choose a First Blood match, pin and submission options will not be accessible. When you create new matches, you can save them and use them at any time and in any mode; they can even be incorporated in the new WWE Universe mode.
Smackdown vs Raw 2011 also introduces an all new online Royal Rumble for the game. This mode allows up to 12 players to battle it out in a Royal Rumble with up to 30 characters. Players are not only competing to simply win the Rumble in this mode, but to accumulate the most prestige points throughout the match. Prestige points are awarded throughout the match for various accomplishments such as eliminating an opponent or even avoiding a potential elimination yourself. These points, which are called Prestige points, allow you to “level” or rank up your online profile.
The amount of points awarded during a match is based on the amount of players participating in the match. Let’s say that there are only 2 human players involved in a match; the game will only award the players with 10% of the Prestige points that they accumulate during that match. If you manage to fill a room with a full 12 players though, you will get 400% of the points earned. Just because you are eliminated from the match doesn’t mean that you game is over. You will be allowed to return back as a future entrant in the rumble after everyone waiting ahead of you have entered the ring. The goal of the mod is focused more on accumulating the Prestige points than it is actually winning the Rumble… even though winning the Rumble itself gives you a nice Prestige point bonus.
As I mentioned, there are numerous categories that you can earn points in: elimination, victory, challenge, and quiz. Elimination bonuses are pretty self explanatory; you earn them by either eliminating an opponent or by staving off elimination yourself. Victory bonuses are award to the player who actually wins the match and challenge bonuses are often given out throughout the match for different feats. The bonus that requires the most explanation is the quiz bonus. This bonus is only offered when there are more than 6 players participating in an online Royal Rumble. Since the game only allows six characters / players in the ring at a time, those who are waiting in the queue for a chance to play will be given a chance to earn points by correctly guessing the answers such as “who will be the next superstar to enter the ring?” or “who will be the next superstar eliminated?”.
I spent a ton of time playing the online Royal Rumble during our visit and found this mode in particular to be extremely entertaining and addicting. There were numerous rivalries, and partnerships for that matter, forms between the journalists throughout the evening and everyone kept coming back for more. This mode is an absolute blast to play and will likely be a hit amongst fans of the game. I should also note that when a player sets up / hosts an online Royal Rumble, they are given the option of allowing or banning custom creations in the match… so bring your favorite created superstar and have a blast.
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