WWE '12 review
It's the same old song and dance in '12...
Create mode (to some extent)
Better flow for matches
Road to Wrestlemania
THQ Servers (couldn't even connect most times)
Same stuff from previous games in most areas...
I had high expectations of this game from the previews that were around before the release but in the end I still ended up a little disappointed like I have been with the last few WWE games.
The graphics are improved with a more glossy layer on top of everything was the first thing I noticed, more better colours, though some of the superstars can look a little too orange at times, I was quite taken by this at first that I was for once getting my ass handed to me by the AI - "That's a first time in years" I said in surprise, realizing that the balancing is more like how you see WWE on the TV where a match can go either way at any point with moves flowing together a lot smoother than previous releases. A few new features have been added in matches to go with the balancing like 'Comeback' - this ability is taken from when a wrestler is down but suddenly gains momentum doing a traditional combo (in this game sequenced by pressing triangle then doing a quick time event) to get the ball back on their park so to speak.
I do like this ability but this is probably the only one I felt was really a step in the right direction but submissions on the other hand takes one step forward and two steps back with the system used there 'Breaking Point' in which it's all about who can ram the buttons the fastest first. In normal AI matches this ability is useless and gets reversed over 90% of the time where the only exceptions are superstar's finishing moves and that still can take a lot of wearing down before it back be effective which I think defeats the point, submission moves are supposed to be there to break the opposition down in the first place so making it do the opposite effect than it's normally intended for seems rather pointless, I give this area a thumbs down but I will give credit to the featured added of while in certain submissions you can crawl to the ropes to break them, even then it still requires you to button bash a bit to make sure you don't tap out but bashing too much just escapes and reverses the hold and can make it useless in most occasions.
Creation mode is still pretty much the same with a few new twists such as 'Create an entrance video mode' which really isn't as exciting as it sounds with a handful of cheesy presets to mix and match from it's nothing special especially when entrance videos can only be seen before a match and not even the whole thing, just little snips featured in the background as your superstar walks to the ring... Create a storyline can still be as stupid as always creating unbelievably unrealistic scenarios where 2 referees beat the hell out of each other then someone gets run over by a limo, a good feature to mess with but from what I could see nothing new was brought to the table in terms of segments that can be added, overall it looks pretty much like a copy and paste from WWE SvR2011.
Sticking with the topic of creations, the created superstars ALWAYS look out of place in matches, cutscenes and just anywhere you can imagine... I created a character of myself, put him at the right build and height of 6'2" - He looked to scale with no ginormous head or arms stretching to the floor or anything like that and I put him in a match to have him looking as tall as The Big Show (7'2") with a massive head and looking completely out of place, overall my creation looked like it got dragged through something that made the graphics worse as it didn't look anything like any of the other superstars who all had different skin tones and certain areas with more shading while mine looked like a basic cartoon character with 1 tone of skin for all areas. I even tried downloading some community creations to see if they looked any better, in the create mode they looked absolutely perfect but in matches they still all had big heads and looked pixelated and out of place... I really do think the developers of this game need to look at improving this for future releases, what I would do is to add a "polish" mode to the finalizing section of create where you add the overall glow that the real wrestlers have.
Going back to a point I made a little while ago; unrealistic stories... The ones you can create can be a lot more realistic and a hell of a lot better than those from Road to Wrestlemania mode! With 3 stories in total playing as Sheamus, Triple H then created superstar going by the name of 'Jacob Cass' - Voiced by the TNA wrestler Austin Aries. These stories are very bland at most featuring superstars that aren't main eventers doing main eventing roles and winning all the title belts. The created story is about WCW to which I was saying "what the hell is this crap? I came to play a WWE game, not a game about a company that went under 10 years ago." The voice acting in it is atrocious at best! With no effort put into them at all, most superstars being angry is like sitting down in the room with them having a nice chat with a cup of coffee.
The very worst part of RTWM mode has got to be the EVERY WEEK match interference, backstage brawls and general bullcrap causing you to find a strong hate for the game and certain wrestlers. At one point in RTWM I had the exact same backstage brawl for 6 weeks in a row, all of which were 3 or 4 on 1 brawls where I'd get annihilated for the best of them. Most matches aren't "real matches" as you get to a certain point then a triangle appears above your opponent's head triggering a story cut scene (like I say, every week is interference.) - In every match I'd try to do a pin right away just to check on what I would have to do, actually win or wait for an indication to show, around 80% of the time it was the triangle indicator which before it even happened I knew what was going to happen and got very bored of the story from the same crap happening each week. In some matches I'd lose (mostly from the game putting me in unbelievably stupid circumstances such as a 3 on 1 handicap match where I was mostly damaged from a backstage beating before it started) and the game would tell me I failed and have to try again but when the triangle indicates I lose the match anyway through the story!? So the game just ends up wasting my time being awkward and pedantic, I could have done the game in half the time if it didn't arse me around so much!
The unlockables aren't great either with a few alternate attires, a few "legends" ...Most of which have been in too many WWE games over the years, are dead or just aren't very legendary at all. Most unlockables can be collected through Universe mode which is just as boring as ever, setting yourself up for matches to win some title belts then that's it. For the last few years Universe mode has been included and I could never see the point in it ever, all it did for me was help me get a few trophies.
The achievements/trophies are very easy to attain (proved by the fact that it took me 6 days to earn the Platinum trophy while not exactly putting myself out there to get them, working at my job for 3 of the days of the 6 and doing other activities on the side...) Most achievements/trophies are simple and just seem like they were added just to fill in a blank, the only ones that seemed somewhat challenging were a couple of the secret ones and win 50 matches on hard - which to be honest wasn't really hard at all. Most of which were just create some things, win title belts and do RTWM mode. Not much variety there at all, to me it seems like WWE games have gotten more lazy over the years; I remember the games that were on the PS2 had a lot more going for them with games like 'Shut You Mouth' and 'Here Comes The Pain' with a lot of unlockables that you ACTUALLY WANTED TO UNLOCK! Along with multiple hours of playtime to get them and of course those games were more fun with more engaging stories that featured main eventers instead of lower carders beating you up every week for no good reason... Ah, good fond memories there.
In conclusion: WWE 12 is a very slight improvement over Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 but it's still the same old crap it's pushing out before, the title shift making it seem like a completely fresh start is fooling nobody, a very disappointing game. I feel a little smug though as I did find it in a very nifty sale getting the game at half the original release price because honestly if I payed out £40 for this game brand new I would be quite furious with what I was given on the disc.
If you want a quick 1000G or platinum trophy it's the game for you and it's the game for fond WWE followers but overall, it's not a game I would recommend to anyone and that's quite sad to say as I like the WWE but not this.
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