70 WWE Superstars and the new Universe mode are really why anyone and everyone should buy WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2011. Not to mention the $20 pricetag. The Universe mode generates wrestling cards based on who your WWE superstars are feuding with. You play the matches you don’t or make matches to add to the card or don’t play any.
There is a new Road to WrestleMania where you choose from 5 workers (Undertaker, Christian, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio and John Cena). This time in Road to WrestleMania… you can walk backstage around a virtually empty arena. There are a few scattered wrestlers to talk with, but it feels very vacant. This really could have been streamlined. The voice work is bad and wooden. Sure some workers step out above the rest, but they sound very uninspired. The bad part is you’re stuck having to watch the workers talking… It could have been like Morrowind where you zoom in on the worker’s face, but no you’re stuck having to hold the analog stick to look at the worker’s face.
And the next main showpiece is the storyline mode. You can make your own storylines and play them. You follow the storyline in matches and angles from week to week and it branches such as if you win a match against Primo, you’ll face Chavo, but if you lose you could end up in an angle with John Morrisson. It is like the old N64 WWF No Mercy path system only far more advanced. Since this is the Playstation 2 version, you’re not allowed to save more than two storylines. Its quite limiting, but its still nice to have.
There are tons of options to edit the computer intelligence, movesets and entrances. You can even change a wreslter’s brand, change their enemies and allies and so on. As for matches, you’ve got special frills like Hell in a Cell, Inferno Match, a timed Championship Scramble and much more. You can even edit match stipulations heading into a match. Want a cage match? Go for it. You have a full bag of options. Knock out, pinfall, submission, irst blood, weapons, 2 of 3 falls, no disqualification and so on.
The controls are pickup and play, but have depth that you’ll find hours into gameplay. Its nice. Some of the animations could be better like you’ll be do a side headlock and then do a second side headlock takeover. So the guy is in a headlock… then you re-headlock him to do a takeover. Maybe its a Playstation 2 limitation? It just feels like it could have been smoother.
With Playstation 3 in full swing, this has to be the final SmackDown game for Playstation 2. Since this is the Playstation 2 version there are glaring flaws. Things like the game will slow down every so often. I heard the slow down was horrible, but it only happened for brief times. The load times are pretty noticeable and the commentary can get very inaccurate. Such as referring to female wrestlers as he and him. I’ve also heard the announcers indicate the wrong person is the champion. That is all forgivable, especially when you can just turn off the commentary. Its still funny to hear, so why not keep it on? The creation tools are a little cumbersome, I’m not sure if that’s a Playstation 2 flaw or its just cumbersome in general with a controller.
Its still an enjoyable fun game. Mostly for the Universe mode.