WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2009 Updated Look: Road to WrestleMania

The road to WrestleMania begins here, with our look at the new story mode in THQ's wrestling game.

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Though the WWE's premier pay-per-view event, WrestleMania, is the ultimate goal for any superstar on the roster, every path to that goal is different. That's the premise behind the Road to WrestleMania, the latest announced mode in THQ's upcoming wrestling game WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2009. We got a chance to see the mode in action for the first time last week, during a visit by THQ reps.

Every WWE Superstar has their own road to WrestleMania.

Road to WrestleMania is essentially the story mode in SvR 2009, but there are some crucial distinctions between this year's game and the story modes of SmackDown's past. For one thing, there are six stories to choose from: five single-player stories and, in keeping with 2009's focus on tag-team wrestling, a cooperative story mode. The wrestlers featured in the mode are Chris Jericho, John Cena, Undertaker, CM Punk, Triple H, and for the co-op story, Batista and Rey Mysterio Jr. Each of the stories features a unique plot and is told through a mixture of cinematics and gameplay.

We had a chance to get a taste of a few of the storylines in the game, and it's fair to say that some of the outlandish storylines that make their way onto the real WWE programming will be a part of the game as well. For example, take the Undertaker's storyline. After taking apart Santino in a televised match, The Phenom next has to take on Finlay. As the storyline progresses, the Undertaker will eventually possess Santino and Finlay, turning them into henchmen of sorts.

Other storylines of note include John Cena's, whose (currently unannounced) opponent will declare his loathing for the United States and proceed to establish his own country in the middle of the squared circle. In "Better Than Youtopia," as this newly formed 20-by-20-foot sovereign nation is called, only the laws set by its ruler apply. As a result, when fighting in Youtopia, Cena will have to win by a five-count, whereas his opponent can pin with a standard three-count. Yes, storylines such as Cena's and the Undertaker's sound silly on paper, but as any wrestling fan will tell you, you don't have to search that hard to find crazy in the WWE.

As mentioned earlier, you can expect a mixture of cutscenes and gameplay to tell the stories in Road to WrestleMania mode. From a gameplay standpoint, this can involve anything from backstage brawls with other wrestlers whom you're looking to squeeze information out of (such as in the Chris Jericho storyline), to special rules matches, as in the Cena scenario described above. Another example: After beating Santino in the Undertaker's story, you open up a challenge for the next match against Finlay that requires you to beat Finlay in less time than it took you to beat Santino. These challenges will be strewn throughout Road to WrestleMania mode, and beating them will unlock a host of content: everything from new arenas, to new characters and costumes.

Although we didn't get a chance to get our hands on the game itself, we did learn about some new in-ring improvements to gameplay, including a new guard stance that will help you avoid being attacked when trying to get up off of the mat. In past games, this has been a particularly tough aspect of gameplay, which made it all too easy for your opponent to continue kicking your butt once you were on the mat. With the guard stance enabled by pressing the right and left triggers simultaneously, your character will automatically dodge any strikes, giving you a few extra moments to get to your feet and get on the offensive.

Producers told us that each of the storylines in Road to WrestleMania mode will have about six hours of gameplay packed in, which makes all six storylines round out to a hefty 30 hours of WWE gameplay alone--and that's separate from the various other modes that will be found in SvR 2009. Though it might be the latest mode announced by the crew at THQ, it's definitely not the last surprise on the list for the game. We got a sneak peek at some of these as-yet-unannounced features--details of which we can't divulge just yet--and we can say that we like what we saw and think wrestling fans will too. Check back for more on WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2009 in the coming weeks, as we lead up to its release on November 9.

Discussion

59 comments
hakdrengen
hakdrengen

Oh yeah, almost forgot... SvsR09 is compatible with the upcoming Legends of Wrestlemania, which allows you to import the modern WWE superstars and pit them against the legends. Perhaps the CAWs can be imported as well?

hakdrengen
hakdrengen

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hakdrengen
hakdrengen

I think the game is great!! I have 07 and 08 as well, and I am very pleased with the 09 version. I didn't like some of the new features in 08 very much, but this one feels right. The only thing I can think of that would make this game better is a downloadable character pack with new wrestlers like Kozlov, Maryse and Ted Dibiase jr etc. But I have already made them in CAW mode, so it's no biggie. The CAW mode is really great btw if you know how to use it. You can import music in this one which I really like. An update with more Road to Wrestlemania storylines would be really awesome, the ones in the game are really great though, but more is better :-)

Gamelova08
Gamelova08

Don't you all see! After seeing what they could do with 06, there making more and more games with different features so you'll expect more improvement for the next one and buy more! Even when you ARE checking, researching, and examining you're throwing cash in da trash! :( hey, I'm just supporting both sides of the "svr sux" team and the "svr rulez!" team , cuz both sides are true, keep fighting guys arguement is still strong! 8) (since i'm bored altogether)

Gamelova08
Gamelova08

wow...30 hours just on story mode...I might actually think about getting this

Eastcoast93
Eastcoast93

oh and yeah the road to wrestlemania storylines are awesome. so sweet. each different well thoughtout. exciting and interesting fun to play as well. not at all like the normal season mode where cutscenes repeat themselves every few weeks. thisgame rocks got it yesterday

Eastcoast93
Eastcoast93

wtf are you guys talking about!get informed before you write. first of all there is a season mode where you can take any wrestler and a road to wrestlemania mode where you are restricted to 6 which therefore have a much better sotryline with each having their own twists. one is playable multiplayer (batista and rey mysterio). so you can still take any wrestler inthe normal season mode. there is a tournament mode and create a finisher new. also uploading videos is new. the only thing removed is the gm mode which most people disliked anway

no_cultureicons
no_cultureicons

I'll be interested to see the review... the new tag team feature is very appealing and similarly the Create-a-Finisher is a great idea but they've taken away the legends. Limiting the season mode to six wrestlers is a bad idea also, although at least giving them unique story lines may make it more realistic. They should have had those six and then some generic ones for everyone else... I might just hold out for Legends of Wrestlemania.

bahamut_au
bahamut_au

The SDvR games just keep getting more restrictive. Only being able to use six wrestlers in Season Mode? People have been begging for more freedom in these games for five years, and they respond by taking more freedom away. Last year's was trash, and this looks like it'll be worse. Screw this franchise.

Jehovahswitless
Jehovahswitless

for god's sake! bought tna impact, and that was the only good thing about it, the impacts looked like they genuinely connected, personally i love the depth the smackdown series has to offer, sure its annoying when they ditch cool features like going backstage, u bloggers need to stop b****ing and look at the plus points! the create modes are a joy, best part bout most games i feel, especially in this genre! fact of the matter is although they only touch up every year, what more do u want? no mercy was by far the best game of the time, but times change! if u don't like it don't f'in buy it or complain about it! i'm off to poison me lungs, good day! who are u to question me? your not my real dog!

thegamespot
thegamespot

the big diffrents between no mercy and svr 07,08 is movment their are not smooth like in dor1 and 2 yes they may use the up.down,left right but it's robotic not smooth, they need to smooth it out. and the way that they worded the storymode,it does sound like you can't use caw

robx360
robx360

The TNA game is a complete piece of crap. I rented it and returned it a few hours later. The SvR franchise is superior. But I will admit it needs work. I had hoped that the TNA game would have been better. I would have rather played wCw Nitro again. I miss the N64 AKI wrestling games.

iMAC21
iMAC21

I've been playing most of the WWE games for years but even i can admit where it has lost its way, I recently bought TNA and although its a first run out for the game/engine i think it can do things that Smackdown has avoided, It is just the same over and over, Suprise us and come up with something new

hunter_44
hunter_44

I'm not excited at all about this story mode. Every single one since HCTP has just been absolutely atrocious. Every year it seems the series just sort of does the same thing. After '05s version of the game was poor, I just stopped buying them. In HCTP you could wrestle continually for forever and there were a TON of feuds and programs that sure, they'd regenerate, but it made it fun. You had to get 'over' with the crowd to get to a level where you could get shots at certain titles. You could switch up the brands to make things fun. You could brawl in the back, had all the matches, pay per view stages... Just awesome stuff. These last few games are like a super bare bones version of that. A totally linear if not altogether uninteresting storyline. Horrendously glitchy computer opponents... I played Day of Reckoning a while ago and that four way cage match was just more annoying than challenging... I'm not a very versed gamer. I have like seven to ten games that i'll invest my time and money into. I love the Resident Evil Series. Love Civilization. Love Madden and most shoot em ups, especially Call of Duty.. All those games have had their ups and downs but never to a point where I felt like I'd ditch 'em.. and honestly, I haven't picked up a SD v. Raw game since '05. Just the same game with the same crappy storyline with a consistently scaled down CAW and story mode. Unless there's a non-linear storyline and I can play with the brands and what not to increase replay value for me, I won't bother. I feel like I read this exact same article every year. This'll get a 7.5-8 in rating and be a dud. Especially if you're a wrestling nerd like me.

REMLOC
REMLOC

I THINK THAT ALL OF YOU N64 FANS OF NO MERCY NEED TO REALIZE THAT , THAT GAME IS DATED, SLOW AND BORING, ITS THE SAME GAME AS WCW WORLD TOUR AND REVENGE, SO HOW CAN YOU KNOCK THE FACT THAT SMACKDOWN UTILIZES THE SAME BASIC ENGINE OVER AGAIN!

PhoenixVenom
PhoenixVenom

the best console game to date is No Mercy for N64. i wish they would still use that thq game engine and just update the rosters and modes. that games rules i still play it alot.

pooya_villa
pooya_villa

i loves here comes in the pain on ps2 that was awful

pooya_villa
pooya_villa

too boring because of teen range age and in the last generation the rate wasb Mature and the looking cool

Joriss
Joriss

I don't think this story mode is gonna be any better then the ones in '07 and those weren't really great either. An old school season mode from the earlier games is what this needs. Wouldn't suprise me either that there won't be a story mode for a created wrestler or created tag team...

s-wut
s-wut

I wish they would bring back the N64 style games. Those had the most moves, best animations, and easy to learn controls. Also, they crammed more into those cartriges than i have seen on any of these discs. Over 40 wrestlers. 10 arena's. Create a wrestler. Story mode, backstage brawling. Over 200 moves per wrestler. I liked those games. They are still better.

Valineer
Valineer

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Valineer
Valineer

I wish the story mode would go back to the early Smackdown game on PS1 were you could select several players and it would generate random matches that included the selected players and random backstage events.

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

2008 Sucked so bad. I hope they go back to 2007.

Labouskie
Labouskie

The Smackdown franchise is ok but I see very little that is new. It was an awsome franchise a long time ago but it seems now-a-days each eddition is an updated verson of the same old thing. With the exception of the create a wrestler, that feature seems to get worse with each rendition. This is only a opinion but I still miss what AKI did with the wrestling genera. AKI had a solid fighting engine that they still use in the Def Jam franchise and they had the most unbelievable create a wrestler I have seen (Raw 2 came the closest in CAW but the game itself sucked the big one). The last wrestling game AKI made was No Mercy and with that game you could create 30 different C.A.W's, choose who their enemies were, choose who their allies were, create stables for the wrestlers and also choose which stables were allied with which. In No Mercey you could have anywhere from 2 to 10 wrestlers in a stable. Anyway I do hope that someday soon EA allows AKI to make another wrestling game. I wouldnt care if it was a lisenced wrestling organization or not if AKI were to put their coding skills back into the squared circle, Id be sold on that idea alone.

nathace
nathace

i used to love wwe until every 1 left like kurt angel and all that bringin back ecw has changed wwe for the bad i think

kkluvgames
kkluvgames

i think SVR07 was better than SVR08 ,but I think that SVR09 will be the best of all SVR games

godzillab10
godzillab10

hopefully in the custom game where you can use a created character. you wont be feuding with Chris Jericho and be giving him high fives and stuff backstage like in the last story mode.

toosmoothforya
toosmoothforya

Stories should be more detail and allow them to branch base on decisions you make. If you attack someone backsatge should introduce a story with them. Game is too much like a robot. You feel dictated to do this or that. Also you chase after the belts but you don't defend them or have the chance to wield your championship around. Don't know about SvR09?? I'm still depress about SvR08. That game was a TRUE SHAME!

Jericho66
Jericho66

I was a loyal WWE Game fan until last years brutally glitched and un-innovative game. the story mode over the last few games has been brutal and unless they confirm a unique story mode for EVERY wrestler on the roster and DLC, I won't be purchasing.

Hawkeye747
Hawkeye747

How long will they be able to get away with the same garbage every year? I wish rasslin fans weren't so loyal and then they'd be forced to actually develop the game instead of just improving one thing each year.

crouger
crouger

Sounds utter rubbish. I didnt even bother with last years story cos everytime I started with a different wrestler I always ended up with Roddie Pipper as a tag partner. They need to make the stories more detailed but not as long.

bestbuy319
bestbuy319

Tregster totally hit the nail on the head same old stuff the only thing to change is the year

Tregster
Tregster

Oh boy.. more of the same crap. The same slow-ass simulation gameplay and inaccurate body models.. I swear even the fat guys have six packs.

cargane
cargane

nice I can cena, rey, or undertaker this so cool

ddlkll
ddlkll

Wow, GS spoiled the Undertaker story somewhat... I hope RTW is good though. Storyline seem dumb...even for WWE. 30 hours is good though. Here's hoping that the unannounced mode that IGN said is good as well.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

i just hope Eddie Guerrero is back as a legend last year sucked, ill wait for the demo and see gameplay also give me back my Crippler Crossface for my CAW

gamemaker08
gamemaker08

i enjoy shut your mouth the most. I can't believe we can only use those superstars. The only wrestlers there I like are Undertaker and Triple-H..

Bakurcho
Bakurcho

I wanna ask about the Road to Wrestlemanania mode , you can play with every superstar in the roster , or just Rey Mysterio Batista Jericho Cena TripleH ?

TheRoshow
TheRoshow

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

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

They claim that the story lines here are great and offer a hefty amount of hours to clock in to complete, i just hope that this version does not suck as a large majority of these games seems recycled!!

rubdanielrub
rubdanielrub

yea i agree with u Here comes the pain was the best one with tons of characters and great sound track.

rubdanielrub
rubdanielrub

yea i agree with u Here comes the pain was the best one with tons of characters and great sound track.

rubdanielrub
rubdanielrub

yea i agree with u Here comes the pain was the best one with tons of characters and great sound track.

rubdanielrub
rubdanielrub

yea i agree with u Here comes the pain was the best one with tons of characters and great sound track.

rubdanielrub
rubdanielrub

yea i agree with u Here comes the pain was the best one with tons of characters and great sound track.

PSP107
PSP107

here comes the pain was the last great smackdown game. the VS raw series are weak

snake2215449
snake2215449

Svr 08 sucked so bad I hope this is better.

jadefury27
jadefury27

i havent played in svr 07 and i didnt like the control scheme. i hope they've improved it.

neonfrax2
neonfrax2

Sounds fun, can't wait to hear a little more about the create-your-own wrestler mode and see how I can make his career progress. Last year's scenario was pretty cool.