When it comes to content, THQ has thrown in everything AND the kitchen sink. The roster out of the box is close to 70 characters, including current superstars as well as a strong lineup of WWE Legends. If you combine that with the 50 create-a-superstar slots as well as already announced DLC characters, it is easily the largest roster THQ has ever assembled for a wrestling game. A large portion of the included roster is locked from the start, giving players a ton to work towards. In addition to the locked characters, players will also have to work to unlock a wide variety of additional championships, arenas, and even brands to which they can assign players.
I really, really enjoyed Smackdown vs Raw 2011 and look forward to playing a lot more of it as the online community grows after the retail launch. As great as I find the game to be, I think that there are still plenty of areas that future installments in the series can improve on. First off, customization options (amazingly) still have room to grow, especially as they relate to the new WWE Universe mode. If THQ can open up this mode a little more, and give players the ability to alter settings and cards in a direct manner, we could have an awesome simulator on our hands for running our own promotions. In addition to that, if they manage to add some online functionality to the mode, then these promotions could be taken online and online leagues could grow out of it. I really hope that they take a hard look at furthering their work on the grapple system they instituted in this year’s game. I get what they were trying to accomplish, and they achieved their goal(s) for the most part, but they sort of shot their selves in the foot at the same time. If they can find a means to opening up the variety of move choices with the new stamina based system, it could turn into the best wrestling engine to date. Even with those opportunities available to the series in the future, Smackdown vs Raw 2011 in itself is an amazing package that is sure to please wrestling fans all across the globe.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
THQ’s Smackdown vs Raw 2011 is a massive game, both in terms of its scope and its content. There is a ton to do here and wrestling game fans will likely find it easy to hold their selves over until next year’s game with this title. While there are some issues here and there throughout the game, most players should be pretty happy with this year’s installment. As a total package, I find this to easily be the best wrestling game I have played since the Nintendo 64 era.
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