- Publisher: THQ
- Developer: Yuke’s
- ESRB Rating: “T” for Teen
- Genre: Wrestling
- Pros: Tons of creation options; custom content sharing; improved Royal Rumble; fun gameplay
- Cons: Targeting issues; online lag; A.I.
The mechanics of the gameplay haven’t changed much. It still uses the same right analog stick grappling and stuff as the last couple of years. There are lots of little tweaks that make big improvements, though. You have huge move lists now and the wrestlers perform just like they do on TV and each wrestler has signature moves you can use when they are in the right position. The gameplay overall is smoother and flows together better, but the hit detection has also been greatly improved and the result is a more realistic, better playing game than ever before.
One immediately noticeable area of improvement is in the Royal Rumble match. There are hot spots in the corners that make it easier to throw people out and when you’re on the ropes trying to throw someone out (or trying to avoid being thrown out) a button mashing minigame pops up. You can also use stored finishers to easily knock people out of the ring. Overall it is just a lot better than before and a lot of fun.
Some final gameplay notes. First, the A.I. is terrible. The CPU just never really puts up a fight, so it makes Achievement chasing easy, but if you want a challenge you need to play with other people. Second, targeting is a bit clunky, so matches with multiple opponents can be tricky as you don’t always attack who you wanted to.
This solves a few of my biggest problems with the last couple of games. Any problems you have with the included roster (a weak point in previous games) are immediately solved by downloading any and every character you want that other players have created. Likewise, we love the Road to Wrestlemania story mode, but it only covers a handful of characters. Now you can create your own storylines or download them from other people which make the game essentially last forever with fresh stories being available all the time.
The game also includes a full suite of gameplay modes both on and offline with any match type you could want. Online play suffers from a bit of lag, which does affect gameplay, but you do get used to it. Local multiplayer is smooth and perfect, of course, and definitely the way to play the game.
Graphics & Sound
The sound is also quite good overall. All of the theme music along with a bunch of other licensed tunes are available to use and you can use your own tracks from your 360 hard drive or PC as well. The commentary also flows pretty well and keeps up to the action, but they still tend to repeat themselves a bit too often.