WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 Updated Hands-On

We put the figure-four on the GM, season, and create modes available in this year's SmackDown! vs. RAW.

After getting hands-on time with two different builds of WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 at both the Tokyo Game Show and X06, respectively, and after every Xbox 360 owner got the opportunity to try the game for themselves last week when a demo hit the Xbox Live Marketplace, you might be wondering what, if anything, is left to talk about with this game. The answer? Plenty. While we've previously discussed at length the game's new right analog stick grappling controls in earlier previews, and last week we brought you a look at the full roster, Xbox 360 achievements, and the new GM mode, there's still the new season mode, online features, create modes, and even more on the new GM mode to check out. Plus, with all the attention being lavished on the Xbox 360 version of the game, some might be wondering what's up with the PlayStation 2 version. Fortunately for you, we've gotten some hands-on time with all of the above in a near-complete build of the game.

Xbox fans might finally get a wrestling game worth its salt in SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007.

Though we touched on the new GM mode last week, there are even more new features to be found than what we initially discussed. Beyond the new interface and character profile data, a whole new way to design feuds has been included. You still create feuds by pitting wrestlers on your roster against one another, but rather than forcing them to fight in repeated matches until the game recognizes a rivalry, you can now manually select specific wrestlers and set up a rivalry within a menu screen. You have to create a rivalry between a heel and a face (a bad guy and a good guy), but otherwise, there's really no restrictions. You can set the length of the rivalry and even designate specific storyline types for that rivalry. There are six storylines available, including jealous friend, stalker, ungrateful rookie, rookie partners, legend killer, and outnumbered. Anyone who has spent much time watching the cyclical WWE storylines over the last few years ought to be able to glean from these descriptions what these types of stories entail. Unfortunately, like last year's game, 2007 wont let you see your storylines play out via the game engine. You can watch the matches but not the promos.

Feuding gets even crazier when you realize you have to hire writers for these storylines. Each available writer has specialties in certain types of storylines. You might find someone good at doing David-versus-Goliath-type stories or another that's adept at diva-related plots. Obviously, you can't just hire a billion writers and stay under budget, so you need to be selective about whom you hire.

SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007's season mode has also seen something of an overhaul. Unlike in previous years, you can now go through multiple seasons with a single wrestler. Eventually, storylines will repeat, but THQ claims that you should be able to go through at least a few seasons before that happens. When starting out, there are three storyline paths available to you, and they all depend on who you choose. There's a champion path for title holders, a challenger path for number-one contenders, and a general storyline for just about anyone else on the roster. Furthermore, the mode features branching paths depending on specific choices you make during a storyline. These choices are pretty obvious, as you're presented with a couple of specific options, like whether or not you want to side with a faction or fight them. Still, it's nice to have some clear control over where a season goes. All in all, there's around 36 specific storylines in the mode.

The new GM mode interface is much easier to deal with than the previous game's.

Like last year's game, 2007 features a huge amount of voice work from the WWE superstars that adjusts depending on who you're playing in which storyline. According to THQ, the lines aren't built generically. Wrestlers will use the mannerisms and inflections of their onscreen personas in each situation. At this point, we've only played through short bits of each of the available season stories, but the dialogue has been spot-on for the level of quality one would generally experience watching a WWE broadcast.

The season mode's locker room has also seen an upgrade. Like the area in previous years, this area acts as your hub between shows. You can customize the place with all sorts of different unlockable furniture and WWE schwag if you like, and from here you can access the WWE Web site, which informs you of the latest happenings in the company, as well as voicemail and e-mail from other superstars. Voicemails, like the cutscenes, are voiced by the wrestlers themselves, which is pretty cool. As one might expect, these messages tie directly into the storylines of the mode.

Multiple match types and up to four players will be supported online.

On the customization and creation front, all the usual suspects are on hand this year, with editable wrestler appearances, move-sets, entrances, title belts, and stables. One extremely nice addition to this year's game is the new preview system for created entrances. Whereas in previous years you were forced to manually load up a preview of every change you made to a wrestler's entrance sequence, now the changes load on the fly in the background. If you change a piece of lighting or pyrotechnic, the game will quickly load that change in the background video, and you'll see it nearly instantly. You can also create very specific timing for pyrotechnics and other effects. By switching to the preview view, you can set the timing of these effects and camera changes just by pressing a button at the moment you want the change to occur. The game will then save the change instantly. These features apply to both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 versions of the game, although the PS2 version takes a little longer to load up changes than the 360. Unfortunately, one of the coolest, and perhaps biggest, no-brainer options one could have on the 360 version isn't available in this year's game. You can't use custom soundtracks stored on the 360 hard drive as theme music for created wrestlers. Considering how that was one of the few redeeming features of THQ's previous wrestling efforts on the Xbox, it seems like a major oversight.

As far as SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007's online features go, they should be familiar to those who played the game last year on the PS2. Up to four players can take part in practically all the available matches in the game, from simple one-on-one bouts to tables-ladders-and-chairs matches. You'll be able to put your created title belts on the line against online opponents and even trade created wrestlers through a separate lobby system. One nice addition is a proper leaderboard that tracks your total ranking, as well as title-match rankings.

Visually, SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 is looking as good as ever on the PS2, and better than ever on the Xbox 360. It's obvious that the 360 version is using the same game engine as the PS2 one, but every visual component has gotten a nice upgrade. Skin textures are the most readily visible changes. The definition in the muscles and veins looks far more realistic, and you'll see details like progressive buildup of sweat and blood as the match goes on. The sweat isn't so overwrought as to give the wrestlers that dunked-in-grease look. It looks very realistic in the way it slowly builds up as a match goes on. The PS2 version is, of course, no slouch. The SmackDown! games have consistently been some of the best-looking games on the system, and 2007 looks to be no different. You won't get all the little details you would with the 360 version, but it's still an extremely nice-looking game. Little has changed, it seems, in the animation system, save for the new grapple moves and weapon attacks, but it all still looks fabulous. The only real flaw we noted with the presentation was the commentary, which sounds mostly recycled from last year's game.

Yuke's has consistently turned out great-looking games with each iteration of the SmackDown! series, and 2007 looks to be no exception.

It only took an entire console generation to make it happen, but it looks like a Microsoft console will finally be getting a worthwhile wrestling game in SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007. This year's game looks to be bigger and prettier than ever, and it certainly doesn't look like it lacks content. And of course, you PS2 owners don't look to be left out in the cold, as save for the shorter load times and upgraded graphics, the PS2 version looks to include every change found in the 360 game. We'll be sure to bring you our full review of SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 before it ships this November.

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81 comments
kill3r_vanilla
kill3r_vanilla

no custom soundtrack i was lookin forwards 2 it but they can still do it if they update the game by using ms poiints or some kind of update like they did with halo 2 with the maps

345669
345669

Never really played wrestling games with interest before, however i'm hooked on the new demo, even though there is only one matchup. Would like the full version when its out.

Fawaz_roma
Fawaz_roma

FANTASTICAAA , awesome THQ will never let think even for moments about the bads of all it games , GREAT gust Waiting

ronpez
ronpez

ok, now i like to know information of new game the hitman...

devxwill
devxwill

got it pre-ordered, hoping its worth it!

niel_games
niel_games

i think the would be the best game of smack down.. anyone agree with me?? i can't wait to play this game.. john cena vs edge .. who will be the winner???

shadowmagx
shadowmagx

i must say that this is one game that will keep me entertained for endless hours, but the only shame is that commentary or songs are not played during types of hardcore matches like street fights....but they have more details in it which should be really fun.

pcanepa
pcanepa

yes this game will be the best so far. ive been waitin for a wrestlin game to come out, and now with online... it makes it so much better. i cant wait. this is gana be great.

GamermArter
GamermArter

like to say at this game will be the best so far!!!!!!!!!

TChaos
TChaos

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

naruto767
naruto767

wwe yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Howell123
Howell123

Like every year we always get one thing we always want that's not in the game! and it looks like this game will be EXACTLY THE SAME! still gonna get it tho!

sasuke55
sasuke55

It does suck yes but after the 80th time looking at your created wrestlers entrance I bet you would skip by it.

superjord
superjord

OMFG look at the fanboy right there below dude why are you buthurt that SvR isn't on the PS3 calm down dude wait till next year jeez they always 100% of the time make upgrades from last years gome on all consoles its just a little differences here and there but DUDE! COME ON! GET A LIFE DON'T BE DISSIN THIS GAME CUZ YOU WON"T PLAY IT ON THE PS3! just wait till next year and then you'll jump of the wall leaving skidmarks in ur undies playin SvR 2008 on ur PS3 so there

davidboggs2005
davidboggs2005

thier proaly goign to make the ps3 svr 2008 like realy good grafix way better then this and actualy fight in the whole crowd and custume soundtraks their just giving the xbox users their trash so what theve done so far ant to waist look at the pictures the wresilers dont even look like them its pathetic this game is pathetic for a next gen game it sucks theri just trying to make the 360 look bad to the ps3 but it wont wrok to many good games coming for the 360 sooooo xbox wins thq your plane fails lol lol lol.

S_DOT_X
S_DOT_X

That's true about the guide button to play a song during ur entrance, i mean cmon though who should have to go through all that, after wasting all of our time on xbox 1 with raw 1 and 2, and that abomination wm22, you would think that thq would try harder to to sell us another lack-luster steaming pile of sh**.Especially now that they have smackdown for the first year on an xbox console the should go out of theyre way to make every lost fan of xbox wrestling games back, and even going out the way to make this game the BEST EVER being canceled on ps3 we should have custom soundtracks. PERIOD!, i mean we spend over $50.00 for a game that doesnt meet all the standards it should, they always take the cheapest way out, i mean HOW MANY YEARS ARE THEY GOIN TO REHASH THE SAME BS COMMENTARY????. I keep telling myself "they're gonna change it next year, and still they dont" even if they kept the old stuff and add jbl and joey styles to the mix it would be a little better but its like they dont try. For god's sake they dont even talk about the match, i'd love to hear jr say WHAT A HELLATIOS BACKBREAKER or just cream his classic line OHHH MYYY GOODDD!!! instead of hearing king and jr, have the same meaningless arguements not everymatch but ever match FOR 3 YEARS!!!....i dont know things could be a little better but im not complaining, i hope its still a great game, even though i wouldnt mind a date push back to make it really worth my money

S_DOT_X
S_DOT_X

the one thing that really bothers me is backstage brawls and stuff i mean i loved the old smackdown games where that stuff was all on one match, why should you be confined to ringside in a hardcore match i loved smackdown 5's hardcore matches, climing on top of wwe now york, and riding the undertakers motorcycle, they should make more backstage areas and put them all in the hardcore match, why should we have to pick one place and stay there, i swear i love the series but they need to change some things, its was much more fun to run from place to place laying wast to my opponent in a hardcore match i miss the fun aspects of the game my favorite one was climing on top of the fist lol anyone remember that? even as good as this game looks there are going to always be things left undone or not done correctly so you gotta take the bad with the good i guess, the game may shine in the graphics, controlls and and create modes but only to cover-up the rehashed feeling the commentary and match types give the game

Warp-9
Warp-9

Raw vs SD on X-Box.......... About freakin time!!!!

davidboggs2005
davidboggs2005

i have already complaned to thq about no custume sound traks any body eles should do it to who knows if they get a nofe complants theyll make it as downloadable content so complain as much as u can!!!!!!!!!!

davidboggs2005
davidboggs2005

i have had it with thq they obvisly dont know any hting about a wresiling game.i mean look all teh smackdown games are teh SAME!!!!iv had anofe the n64 games had more fetures i mean come on load during entraces u can simply go back stage this game is goign to suck and then no custum soundtraks.........they have lost their mind what is wrong with thq please some one tell them to stop making wwe games......let a god company like bioware do it i mean we should by now be able to freakin have our own place CUSTUME SOUDTRAKS fight in the crowdALL THE WAY go back stage from ring its stupid i cant stand thq i wishthey would stop ripping poele off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with the same content but little matches added hear and thier.

zeroninetyseven
zeroninetyseven

Yeah, I cannot believe they didn't include custom theme music. Something so basic that would've made the game alot better, they failed to do. I'm still very looking forward to this game, but the lack of custom music is very disappointing!

thekey
thekey

Though the Demo's graphics I was impressed with, I did not like the controls. But it looks very good and very promising. I might still pick it up.

gta11
gta11

Who Cares The Game Is Gonna Rule Anyways.

death_burnout
death_burnout

actually the N64 games are actually ace games

GohanIdz
GohanIdz

"The only worthwhile wrestling games in the US are on the N64." Ahahahahahahahhaha... hahahaha... hahahahahahaha... z0mgroflmfao11!!!11!!!!!ONE ONE!!1111!!!#%#$%!!! Sorry you just made my evening with that one... It reminded me of this kid in my freshman class in highschool, he said the same thing to me in gym class one day - you may actually be him - *sniff* brillant...

fkholmes
fkholmes

No custom soundtracks that sucks real bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

demonik_360
demonik_360

swee......short loading times!!!:D happy custamor

ruiz2k5
ruiz2k5

finally short loading on smackdown.....this is the true wrestling game now!!!!!

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

when i get a xbox 360, and this game, i hope i like it, and that's after i get the ps2 version.

Latinbro1
Latinbro1

I've had all the Smackdown games since hey started coming out on the PSX. The franchise has come along way and now it seems beter than ever. However, as a wrestling fan I've always complained about how you cannot stay on the outside of the ring apron and do suplexes in or outside of the ring and how the ruster is always slightly outdated but those are small things that can be overlooked. Once upon a time NWO vs the world and Revenge were the best wrestling games but smackdown (or smackdown v raw now) has taken the ball and run with it.

krulon87
krulon87

will dx be in the game? or is just the taunt in the game?

playa42018
playa42018

"It only took an entire console generation to make it happen, but it looks like a Microsoft console will finally be getting a worthwhile wrestling game in SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007." The only worthwhile wrestling games in the US are on the N64.

bassam10
bassam10

verry verry good game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

spiderman2007
spiderman2007

this game looks great and im going to make sure that i get it the first day!

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Seems like a very intense game....I've played the WWE trash they spooned fed to us on the xbox and I was rather disappointed each time I played the newer vision they came out with. But this game looks like a much needed improvement on the already so far terrible crap they have made for us xbox owners. Seriously through does anyone besides me think not having the custom soundtrack option isn't a big deal...I thought it was a big waste of time...they should fixed the story mood or fixed the other nasty bugs each game had...

hellraiser6669
hellraiser6669

Is this game still a button mash fest? Or will it actually be like Def Jam and not suck?

staticxbox
staticxbox

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO No custom soundtracks!!! Why Why!!! I totally agree with S_DOT_X on his comments about raw 2 etc... I loved the multiplayer season on raw 2 (hell, you could become undisputed champ on and carry 2 titles round).. I think this will be yet another rehash in some aspects, instead of looking at whats good in other wrestling games... Im still going to buy it, but Im not too keen on the controls.. Custom C works well if you prefer old style controls... I say we riot!!! We send millions of emails to THQ to request custom entrances... Come on, if the two other developers can do it on the xbox, why not Yukes/THQ!!! Whos with me on the email riot?

xXKINGPINXx
xXKINGPINXx

man no custom tracks i thought there will be custom tracks....i thought i would put 50 cent songs and cool hip hop ..... but its still gona be the greatest wrestling game ever.....& iam gonna buy the 360 version sounds cooler!!!

S_DOT_X
S_DOT_X

the game look real damn good, i wish it had custom soundtracks, i mean i wish they would do more with the story , even though raw 2 wasnt really good the multiplayer storyline was real kool, i wish they would give you more contoll over your superstars actions, like being able to start a rivalry with whomever you want or picking your own manager to go after, i hope they give the female caws voices so you can put them in story mode and have them as your managers. and also the commentary has been soooo boring since the first one there barely upgraded it i hate hearing the same things every match i play, it cant be that much of a hassle to get them to do more commentary voiceovers....like jr says "if, if, if wishes were fishes the world would be an ocean king"...i mean wtf!!! if i hear that corny line one more time (^^^)[ -_- ](^^^)!!!they dont even really talk about the match id like to hear more of jr's classic style...OH MYYY GODDD!!! THAT S.O.B !!! you guys know what i mean, but all in all the game looks great so far cant wait 4 it

kierantoocool
kierantoocool

I can't wait for the new GM mode it looks really kool

zappa2001
zappa2001

You take the good with the bad... All of the other Xbox wrestling games were beyond horrible. They were barely playable. Now this game is great (I've been playing the Demo non-stop for days) yet you can't put your own music into your created wrestlers entrance. It should be corrected in the next years version (Please!!) Or maybe Yukes/THQ can quickly take care of the problem now? I mean it can't be that hard to let the harddrive play any song in place of their set songs on the dvd. Nothing to get that upset about, unless you're trolling around and not even played the game.

thumpeez
thumpeez

I agree with you Knight Rider 3K - i wish games would use custom soundtracks. The only game i have come across is Rumble Roses where you can choose a track for your wrestlers entrance. It's such a shame that the rest of the game is a pile of crap. I would say that Rumble Roses is easily the worst game i have played on the 360. It's a shame that the only thing it does correct is the customisable soundtracks!

death_burnout
death_burnout

nah yukes are ok, trust me THQ SUCK, for the most part, lol

death_burnout
death_burnout

yes and Knight Rider 3K is right, i have benn noticing this from the start, its not the same, it just takes over the whole game and makes it feel as if it was your stereo behind you, the 360 has major flaws

thumpeez
thumpeez

Maybe i should be blaming Yukes! Yukes suck!!!!

death_burnout
death_burnout

LOL THQ had nothing to do with rumble roses, it was konami and yukes that provided the engine