I thought I'd take a step away from the normal flow of things to talk about one of my favorite times of the year; SvR time. Each year THQ and Yukes team up to bring us the latest in their series of WWE gaming. Normally, we see a few new superstars, a new mode here or there, some things taken out, nothing massive but satisfying additions nonetheless. This year, that formula looks as if it's changing. Today IGN.com released a "blowout" preview of Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, and from what we've been shown so far, the entire landscape of the series could change for the better when released. THQ seems to have implemented new modes, characters, matches and updates to a degree we've almost never seen before, leading us to ask, Will SVR2011 go down in history as the best wrestling game ever?
In order to make that assessment we need to look at some of the new additions and determine how they'll impact the series from here on out. When talking about the greatest games in WWE history, 2 names that normally get brought up are WWF No Mercy and WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain! They both get mentioned because they helped revolutionize the series: New match types, big rosters, in depth creation modes and appreciated story modes. Essentially, each game brought something new to the table. Lately, The SVR Series has seemed like an expansion pack more than anything, and the outcry from fans has been too big to ignore. This year, it seems as though THQ And Yukes have listened to the fans, and gave us something to remember, but I'll let you be the judge.
The roster is one of the essential points of a WWE video game. Without a large or decent roster, complete with Main Eventer's all the way down to the lower card favorites, a WWE game could be an epic failure. This year, we see a roster of Over 70, one of the highest we have ever seen. With that number, it's possible that we'll see almost the entire WWE roster, and then some. Confirmed so far are Cena, Sheamus, Orton, The Miz, Bret Hart and many others. I'll leave a full list of who's been confirmed at the bottom, but even now we still have over 55 potential superstars left. With that number, we can make the safe assumptions (R-Truth, John Morrison) and even some un-safe ones (Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder). Hopefully we'll get a few of The Nexus guys and Bryan Danielson, even as Downloadable content, but I'm not holding my breath.
Confirmed- The Undertaker, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, The Miz, John Cena, Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Triple H, Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Evan Bourne, Christian, Edge, Bret Hart, Michelle McCool, Eve
If you've been on board for a while, you may already know about "Career Mode" and the amount of internet hate surrounding it. The mode was boring; a cheap knock off of GM Mode with limited match types and very little to do other than fight in uninteresting matches. Well, The SVR team may have outdone their-selves this time around with the new "WWE Universe" mode. "WWE Universe" is essentially a combination of exhibition, career, Create a Pay Per View, create a storyline and GM Mode, and from the looks of it, it shows a lot of promise. The mode takes Every match into account, and watches the matches you make, the rivalries you set up, the teams you assemble and other factors to decide things like the number 1 contender, pay per view matches, etc. It even goes as far as to provide corresponding promos and segments based on results and interaction between your wrestlers. You will be able to turn this off if you don't like it, but the mode sounds so life-like and promising, I don't know why anyone would WANT to turn it off. With over 100 cut scenes and all the possibilities, something tells me I'm going to have this in my X-Box for a long time.
This next topic is something I'm thrilled about. Money In The Bank. This is probably something that should have been included in the "Improvements" section, however with what we've been given, it seems like this could be a game changer. Finally the money in the bank match means something, and we will be given the option of cashing in, presumably at the end of championship matches. It's an incredible update and It makes playing And winning that match so much more meaning now. We know you can cash in currently, and while they haven't given any details, I'm psyched to see how far this really goes.
Finally, what we've all been waiting for... Hell In A Cell. It's finally been made larger, and we can finally take weapons out during the match. On top of that, the doors been removed, and for what's known as one of the most brutal matches, you now need to physically drive your opponent through the wall in order to get out. The new physics system looks incredible, and from what I've seen so far almost nothing is off limits. The tables break differently, the ladders can be placed almost anywhere you desire and the wrestlers react to these attacks so much more realistically. Now, the inclusion of "WWE Universe" doesn't mean the exclusion of "Road To Wrestlemania", and this year it looks to be completely different. They've finally implemented the free-roaming mode that we all fell in love with originally, and every decision you make plays a major role in your story. Every choice you make leads to a different outcome, and you're given several mini-jobs and quests that ultimately determine how your Wrestlemania shapes up. In addition to that, RTWM also has a new point system. Points can be redeemed for things such as damage resistance and strike modifiers, things you will need because "Road To Wrestlemania becomes harder as you go on". On The Creation side of things, We don't need to spend countless hours building up our CAW's anymore. We can create all 50 characters off the bat and assign them all their attributes right then and there. This saves us a ton of time which ultimately will lead to us creating more characters. A New Create-A-Finisher position has been added, however I don't believe it's been announced yet. A lot of evidence points to either a back finisher or a turnbuckle finisher, but once again that's not been confirmed yet. What is confirmed, is that we can make up to 130 new finishers and that the speed now goes up by 1-percent increments as opposed to 25% intervals. Opponents don't need to be stunned to hit your finisher now, and if you don't want to go for a pin after hitting a pinfall move you have the choice of not going for the pin with the press of a button. After all, who goes for a pin in a last man standing match? The last update I'll be providing is that The Tag Team Titles ARE Unified, and you should be able to carry both of them at the same time, as shown in a released picture with Chris Jericho.
THQ announced that there will be Over 100 match types in this years installment. Last year we saw something in the ball park of 60-80 match types (I don't remember the exact number, but I believe it was about 70 something). With about 20 match types remaining, we could see The Iron Man Submission, Guest Ref, Submissions count anywhere, Lumberjack (here's hoping) and/or I quit match return finally. I'm praying for the return of the Triple Threat Tag Match as it was one of my favorites and I don't understand why it was removed in the first place. We Know RTWM has been touched up on, but we don't know who has RTWM's, though we have a few rumored. Christian is rumored to have a Nexus-like RTWM with former ECW members, however that could also be a Swagger or Sheamus RTWM. It looks like Christian, Cena, Jericho and Mysterio may have RTWM's, as well as a currently unknown "Vs. Undertaker" Road To Wrestlemania. There may be more later announced, but until then we won't know.
If you've ever played a Smackdown Vs Raw game before, you know the importance of all these additions. If you never have but would like to, I would definitely wait until this one comes out. All the additions look top notch, and the graphics and game-play look absolutely stunning so far. I hope you guys enjoyed my preview, and I'd like to Cite IGN.Com as my source for information. If you have any opinions or anything like that, please let me know!
-Bret Hart May Only Be DLC and may only be Best Buy Exclusive.
-Stephanie McMahon is in.
-Create-A-Sign is in. From what I've heard you can only make signs with logo's using the paint tool however and not text. You can however upload them like you could for 2010, so it's unclear how that will play out this year.
-5-Knuckle Shuffle's been updated to allow the Attitude Adjustment right after. It may even be 1 move combined.
-The First DLC pack will come with Chris Masters and Alternate Holloween themed outfits for Kelly Kelly and Rey Mysterio.
-Special Referee is not in this year.
-Eve, Tyson Kidd, CM Punk and a non playable Hornswoggle have been confirmed.
-Down the road, Downloadable Content should include Arena's and characters, and THQ is trying to ensure they will have DLC this year, according to Bryan Williams.
-Create A Finisher's new position is Turnbuckle finishers. There will be about 10 inital tie-up's to start with.
-Call Name's for CAW's increased from about 48 to about 84.
-Some alternate attires can be accessed right from the beginning, others need to be unlocked. Any star of a RTW already has alternate attires confirmed, and it's believe that The Miz will have his vest and tie combo as an alternate attire. It's unclear right now if he will have his "I'm Awesome" T-shirt as an alternate attire or enterance attire.
-We will not be able to edit a superstars Entrance attire in superstar threads.
-Blood is in, and it's optional.
-Some gimmick pay per views will be in, though it's unknown how many will be in and whether it will replace the other PPV's or just be added to them. It's also possible that we may only be able to have specific matches (TLC, HIAC) IN that arena, similar to the Royal Rumble of last year. Hell In A Cell has been confirmed by photos.
-In Story Designer, we can use 15 Different CAW's an Unlimited amount of times. Basically, we pick which 15 we want to use, and can use them as much as your heart Desires.
-In Superstar Threads, we can edit Superstar's Logos now.
-The Table Match has been Updated. This time around you will need to inflict enough damage on your opponents to put them through the Table. It's possible you may not need a special because of this, but that hasn't been confirmed or denied yet.
-THQ stated they wanted to Focus on re-vamping current match types instead of implementing new ones. Expect updated versions of several different match types!
-Specific Un-Named Pay Per Views will have Curvetrons.
-We have the Ability to Remove Entrance accessories from Superstars (Cena's Hat, Triple H's water bottle, etc.)
-A DLC Pack available this Holiday Season Will feautre the NXT Arena and 3 Nexus Members! In The Pack We'll See Wade Barret, Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, The NXT Arena, British Bulldog, Lex Luger, Layla and Alternate Attires for Shad and Shawn Michaels!
Confirmed Road To Wrestlemania's-
-Vs. Undertaker *Currently unknown if this a CAW RTW, a Specific RTW, or a Road To Wrestlemania which allows you to choose who "breaks the streak".
4. Wrestlemania 26
6. Hell In A Cell
7. Tribute To The Troops *DLC, possibly Unlockable in RTW
9. NXT *Second DLC Pack, Holiday Season
10. Royal Rumble 2010
Some haven't been announced yet, but we're waiting for 14 superstars to be announced that are on disc already, 10 of which are legends! I also tried to break it up by brand the best I could, but eventually it went a little speedy for me lol.
By The Way... AA=Alternate Attire Available
John Cena (AA)
Randy Orton (AA, With Preorder, Possibly in game)
Chris Jericho (AA)
Triple H (AA)
Shawn Michaels (AA, 2nd DLC Pack-Holiday Seasons)
CM Punk (AA)
Cody Rhodes (AA)
Jack Swagger (AA)
Rey Mysterio (AA, With 1st DLC Pack)
The Undertaker (AA)
Chris Masters (DLC)
Kelly Kelly (AA)
David Hart Smith
Bret Hart (DLC, Alternate way to obtain also)
Ted Dibiase (AA)
- Batista (Alternate Attire Available)
DLC Pack 1-
1. Chris Masters
2. Alternate Attire- Kelly Kelly
3. Alternate Attire- Rey Mysterio
DLC Pack 2 (Holiday Season)-
1. Wade Barret
2. David Otunga
3. Justin Gabriel
4. The British Bulldog
5. Lex Luger
7. Alternate Attire- Shad
8. Alternate Attire- Shawn Michaels
9. NXT Arena