WWE 12 Wii review By dropping the regular Smackdown Vs Raw title from its annual wrestling series, THQ is making it clear that it wants the WWE games to be the wrestling equivalent of EA's FIFA series.
As such it's released a game that, while blessed with improvements, still isn't that much different from its predecessor in terms of core gameplay.
As you'd expect, the WWE rosters have been updated to take into account the comings and goings over the last year.
There are loads of unlockable wrestlers too, mainly legendary superstars like Demolition, the Legion Of Doom, Kevin Nash, Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar. Add the unlockable arenas and outfits and there's plenty to keep playing for.
When you actually get a bout going it's business as usual and players of the previous game won't take too long to get back into the swing of things. As has been the case for a while, new players would be wise to struggle through a few easy one-on-one matches for an hour or two to get used to the controls and their lengthy set of context-sensitive moves.
Excellence Of Execution
The two 'big' additions this year are Breaking Point submissions and limb-specific attacks. The former is simply a fancy name for a new gauge showing how close you are to making your opponent tap out while in a submission hold, but the latter is actually pretty interesting.
While you can still perform normal grapples on your opponent, if you wish you can hold a modifier button and choose which body part you want your grapple move to have the most impact on. This is great for wearing down the legs of a speedy fighter like Rey Mysterio, or working on someone's head in a First Blood match.
The Road To Wrestlemania mode returns and it's finally become the proper story mode it always threatened to be. Starting four months before the Bragging Rights PPV, you follow the events of every RAW and Smackdown show and PPV all the way up to Wrestlemania, taking part in various wrestlers' storylines along the way.
It's great fun for fans of the WWE's ridiculous twist-riddled plots and the authentic wrestler voices are a nice touch. You'll never play it again once you finish it, but it's excellent while it lasts. At least the WWE Universe mode - which lets you develop your own rivalries and stables as you play through each year - is back and just as compelling.
It goes without saying that WWE 12 is mainly for diehards who want an update on last year's title. While the gameplay hasn't changed enough for casual fans to update there are enough customisation options to keep fans of the squared circle busy until next year.
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