Westlake Village, CA - On October 8th we had the privilege to attend the Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 review courtesy of THQ. The event was held at the Westlake Village Inn located in sunny Westlake Village, California. On hand were 2 game developers (Jonathon Durr & Bryan Williams), THQ PR, and even a WWE Superstar whom I will discuss a bit later in the article.
THQ’s tagline for Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 is “It’s Your World Now”. I can assure you that the tagline is a true representation of the entire game. There are so many additions and subtle changes in the game that really make this SVR title stand out among previous years. You’ll see new game modes, plenty of customization options and even new online interactions encouraging community creativity. Fans of the series will definitely find many, many hours of playing time with this game and for most the game should remain fresh until SVR 2011 rolls out. In this article I will not go into depth on what the game modes offer and the distinct changes that have been made since we’ll have a review coming in the very near future. What I will discuss is the excitement and energy shown by the entire THQ staff about their new game and the experiences they think people will have with the game. They are truly excited.
“This is the best Smackdown vs. Raw we have made so far.” One of the developers, Bryan Williams made that statement during the presentation and he truly believes it. From what I saw and played, I cannot disagree at this time, nor do I think I will disagree once I get some in depth playing time with it. I can’t stress it enough that they have overhauled this game in terms of graphical enhancements, new streamlined commentary, better game play and overall presentation.
The moment you boot up the game you’ll notice a big difference. You are immediately thrust into a mode called Training Facility. This mode allows you to work on yours wrestling mechanics, practice and learn the basic maneuvers as well complete over 100 tasks in a checklist of sorts. You’ll have a dummy opponent which will just stand there and take all the punishment you dish out. You can change it to more of a sparring partner with different levels of difficulty as well. At any point in this mode, or any mode in the game for that matter, you can press start to bring up the navigation menu.
For those that love to be creative there are plenty of options in the game that will let you just go wild with your imagination. Any Superstar that you create can be used throughout any mode of the game including Road to Wrestlemania. You quickly notice the depth of the creation tools as well as the load times which are practically nonexistent compared to previous games. Not only do you get a create-a-superstar mode, but you also get a new tool called Create-A-Entrance Movie for that Superstar. This one allows you to compile highlights from your CAS and create the background movie that plays while your superstar enters the arena.
Oh did I mention highlights? Why yes, you’ll be able to compile highlight reels as well and upload them for the world to see. Your standard create modes are still there, and you’ll even be able to create top rope finishers in the Create-A-Finisher tool. But I have to say that the most intriguing and probably the best Create mode will be the Create-A-Storyline mode. Here you can script out a 2 year run of any brand show, wrestler, etc. You can have cut scenes, determine match conditions for outcomes such as a win or lose, cause interruptions, etc. Folks will go crazy with this and extend the life of this game until next year’s game for sure. That’s really all I am going to go into for now pertaining to the Create modes.
Another new feature folks will love is the new paint feature. You’ll now be able to create logos of your own using a program in the game very similar to MS Paint. You can zoom in and out and get as detailed as you like with your creations. This will allow for some really spectacular creations and I am sure the community will go wild with their imagination. Load times throughout the creation modes have been dramatically increased, so you’ll quickly notice that there will be no more waiting for logos, accessories, clothing, etc. to load up on the screen.
Overall, folks should get pretty excited for this game, especially long time fans of the series. The developers tried to really focus on things that the fans wanted to see in the game and addressed the major concerns and desires. I could go on and on about the new features in the game and the pros and cons, but then I would have nothing to write in the official review. I can tell you this though. The list of pros heavily outweighs the list of cons in every facet. A special thank you goes out to THQ for inviting XXLGaming to the invite and we really look forward to sitting down with the game at our own pace in just a few weeks. You should look forward to the game as well.
To finish out this article I wanted to mention our interactions with WWE Superstar and now the United States Champion, The Miz. We had a chance to sit down with him for a few minutes and chat. Whether you like him or not, he definitely isn’t lying when he says he is awesome. We had a great time chatting with him and he was the perfect representative for the WWE and THQ. It was even his birthday, and he spent it promoting the game and chatting with all of us when he could have been out having some fun. Oh and btw, he is not quite 30 years old yet. He was sure to remind us of that several times throughout the event. At one point he addressed his 78 rating with Bryan Williams, whom was responsible for the rating. The whole conversation between the 2 was very comical and a great laugh throughout. My hat goes off to The Miz, THQ and the WWE for putting on such a great event.
Be sure to head out on October 20th and snag your copy of the game. From what we have seen and played so far we can assure you that you will not regret the decision. Also, be sure to check out our review later this month when we detail all of the features of the game and the good and not so good(if we find any).
Please excuse the shaky camera. I'm not a cameraman.