WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 Updated Hands-On

SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 adds Universe, Better Hell in a Cell, and a New Physics Engine.

Last weekend, GameSpot descended three stories under downtown Los Angeles to get a glimpse of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011. As we sat and listened to the presentation by THQ, a Rey Mysterio mask complete with cross and double tears, presumably for all the foes he submitted, sat propped in front of us just begging to be given away on Today on the Spot.

Now with breaking tables.

The presentation started with the reveal of the full title of the game, SmackDown vs. Raw 2011: "This is your moment." The 2011 version of SmackDown will focus more on the notorious life of a wrestler, including a free roaming backstage area in which to train, form alliances, and pick fights.

In the ring itself, SmackDown features a more extensive object interaction system and a more robust physics engine. During the demonstration, we saw superstars pick up various ladders, mallets, chairs, and even the ringside steps to throw, bash, or toss at one another. When a superstar or object collided, they appropriately transferred their momentum; in other words, tables smashed into bits and chairs skidded across the ring. In one clip, a wrestler leapt off a ladder and slammed another wrestler through a set of stacked tables all the way to the ring floor. The most creative use of object interaction we witnessed was the ability to lay ladders down on the ropes and use them as launching pads for aerial attacks. The game features the ability to flick one of the analog sticks toward an object while grappling an opponent for easy object interaction. We had the opportunity to get in a couple of rounds with the X360, PS3 and Wii versions. We found the Wii controls to be the most responsive and were slamming wrestlers through tables in no time.

The next addition to SmackDown is the expansion of the Hell in a Cell cage to encompass a much larger area. The expansion allows for weapons to be used outside the ring, as well as cage-specific slams and finishing moves in which superstars are thrown through the sides or top of the cage.

Make a name for yourself.

For new modes, there is the addition of WWE Universe in which the game automatically generates an events calendar for players and dynamically adjusts the fight ticket and venue based on in-game performance and story decisions. The Universe main menu includes a ticker displaying upcoming matches and rankings with red down arrows and green up arrows denoting a players current standing. The ultimate goal of Universe is to win enough matches to set up pay-per-view title fights and increase a wrestler's standing.

All of Universe is customizable and allows players to change matches on their calendar and set up teams manually. It also allows players to choose villains and heroes or allies and enemies. Allies will help during gameplay by interceding in matches on your behalf, while villains will do the opposite. In Universe, player actions also affect end match cutscenes, which are generated in engine based on alliances and enemies. Ultimately, Universe is essentially exhibition and career mode tied together.

The new story mode in 2011 is called Road to WrestleMania. This new mode involves an extensive free-roaming backstage area that affects the narrative as much as events in the ring. Players can visit a variety of locations including locker rooms, the manager's office, and a training room that can be used to boost stats. While walking around, players will encounter a living wrestling world; in the demonstration, a player wandered into a room where Randy Orton was cutting a promo and another room where The Miz was getting shaken down for sushi coupons by Hornswaggle. While backstage, players can navigate using a cell phone, which is also used to receive calls to make allies and enemies. Speaking of enemies, while backstage fights can break out at any time, we witnessed a number of brawls, including some car crashes. There was one in which a superstar smashed the front window of a car with a sledge hammer and pulled a wrestler through the broken window. A player's decision to fight or not to fight backstage affects alliances and enemies in the ring. Special features in Road to WrestleMania include an unlockable Bill and Ted-style time machine that can be used to go back in the story and relive or change a narrative's history.

After the story features were shown, the demonstration moved into a new character creator. The design process has been streamlined with more prebuilt options. Outfits can be saved as templates, so a character can change out of his or her space helmet, Dracula cape, shower towel, or monster feet and into a suit before heading backstage for the post-match interview. We saw a wide variety of options, such as gorilla suits, death metal red beards, and sombreros. Each item had customizable textures and colors. Characters generated in the creation tool can be imported into all modes.

Customize your finishers.

The presentation came to a close with Create a Finisher mode. Up until 2010, SmackDown added front and top rope finishers; this year, the game includes strings of up to 10 animations for finishing moves from the corner position. There are 500-plus combos; for example, we witnessed a punch midsection-code breaker-moonsault slam. For each move, players can control a number of parameters, including speed, rotation, and range. Some move favorites included the huevos rancheros and the Manhattan project. Last year, there were 30 moves; this year, there are 130.

SmackDown vs. Raw will be released on October 26, and purchased copies will come with downloadable content that includes WWE Chris Masters, a Rey Mysterio day of the dead costume, and a smokin' outfit for Kelly Kelly.

Aaron Sampson on Google+

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Gaming while dad.

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Discussion

86 comments
Syntheotic
Syntheotic

is it TRUE that there is a physics system for the wii version some one plz REPLY gamespot ro a truthfull user

Touchmybanana56
Touchmybanana56

awesome game but the 7.0 no is so so less it woulb 9

pigboy564
pigboy564

is it true that the physics system is in WII?!?! YAAAYYYY!!!!

robx360
robx360

@ibgreat I have been waiting for this feature for 13 years.

moe3000
moe3000

ONLY GAMES FROM THQ WORTH BUYIN ARE( RED FACTION,FRONTLINE or HOMEFRONT AS IT`S KNOWN NOW) 4GET THE REST

cslikeswwf1
cslikeswwf1

I will enjoy it, I have liked everyone ever since the very first WWF Smackdown on the PS and I'm really pumped to get this one when it comes out.

olkingcoal
olkingcoal

Some important questions still need answering, such as, can I fight the women?

lbgreat
lbgreat

I want to purchase this game but it will not hold my attention for long until they add a mode where you can create your own Federation online like Madden and NCAA with dynasties and franchises. We need a fully customizable online federation mode.

wendinmikey
wendinmikey

besides ppl who do their own leagues/federations, I don't really know why you'd buy, or even preorder, this game. I guess if your gunna buy it might as well preorder so you get the new stuff, and it lets you play it and finish it early enough to get decent money for the trade-in. But these games get so redundant, so I only rent it (gamefly!) and play all the fun and achievements outta it and be done within a month. As much creativity that goes into these games I'm surprised there's really nothing for the long haul or non-hardcore wrestling fan. :\

wiiboy37
wiiboy37

pre-ordered today!! so pumped for this game!!!

addictedtochaos
addictedtochaos

As much as I want to get this I'm sure the CAW feature will still be just as bad as it has been since the first Smackdown vs Raw.

Jswiss
Jswiss

And another thing...THQ / Yukes should bring back the "C" & "D" (No Mercy-Like) controller scheme. I love that setting & still believe that it was by far the best configuration for any wrestling game, period.

Jswiss
Jswiss

I don't care if they throw in a thousand different gimmicks to the game...All my crew and I want is to be able to pit 2-4 different CAW rosters/saves and go against one another offline for our monthly PPVs.

xbox360555
xbox360555

pre orderd last years game and it was on my editors choice list, chances are im pre odering this too

mrperson1
mrperson1

SvR 2010 was an improvement on the franchise. I hope this trend continues into this next installment. Things look good so far but then again we all been let down before. Hopefully DLC won't be idle to wrestlers alone.

hockeydude29
hockeydude29

BEST GAME EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

cayman129
cayman129

The hype for these games are so high and then when you open you disk drive and pop it in its a mediocre game at best. Dont get me wrong I'm somewhat excited for this game to come out, but if you don't deliver a strong product this year, count yourself out of a customer.

pure_impact
pure_impact

Same comments every year..' this is gonna be the best ever!" or "can't wait to get this one!" Yet No damn GM Mode AGAIN! This is inexscusable, THQ. Nexus better be in the wii version or you and WWE can go somewhere else because you won't get my money!

gaogamon123456
gaogamon123456

This game's gonna be freakin awesome!!! May preorder.

The-Apostle
The-Apostle

This game is looking awesome. I can't wait and may even preorder. :D

chainsawisfamly
chainsawisfamly

This looks very very tempting it looks like they've done it again.. as long as we get the same number of open slots for CAW's and everything this is gonna be damn good! BROTHER!...

FiveBanga
FiveBanga

good game always well thats why nobody else even wonts to make a game like this u know wrestling games truly owned by thq for years and for many more trust me

JMcN76
JMcN76

About time they fixed the physics engine! I always loved these games but couldn't stand how my guys seem to slide across the ring instead of feeling like they were walking. The videos I have seen so far of this game make it look like you will actually feel like you are in the game instead of having your guys moonwalk everywhere.

vintu2
vintu2

i can't wait to get it

vintu2
vintu2

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

psyche15
psyche15

This game is absolutely splendid from the looks of it. Definetly looking forward for this.

godof2
godof2

I think this game will be Better !

ShoryuKeith
ShoryuKeith

I wish THQ would make a TNA game. Douchey Comment Below v

deathcon4
deathcon4

Well obviously you have never played the older games before the WWF name change. The likes of Smackdown 2 and Smackdown Just Bring It. What new features are you getting in this which hasn't been in any of the other smackdowns? None... it's just another upgrade on previous flaws. I'd rather see the game be based of its twilight moments i.e when the best wrestlers were there like Rock, Austin, Hogan, Big Boss Man, Dudley Brothers... Wrestling is dead now and and the wrestlers are wimps with the exception of Taker and HHH. ------------ beatdown200 Posted Aug 19, 2010 2:32 pm GMT this is gonna be the most avesome wwe game ever

Quinzark
Quinzark

hope its as good as it should be.

Torvar72
Torvar72

This game will be a rehash with pretty graphacs and a few tweaks like breaking tables. I bet this will have a lack luster CAW system with the same garbage creat a finisher. THQ will keep putting out crapy wrestling games cause the WWE and John Cena loving fanboys anything just because it's a Smackdown game

juliusIII
juliusIII

I wonder if they did anything to the Elimination Chamber match? And they didn't say anything about creating a running or behind the back finisher. that would be dope

Morbidmassacre
Morbidmassacre

I can't wait for this one! It's gonna be great...

DCSchark
DCSchark

70 superstars and divas?! Awesome! :)

aaron324
aaron324

I hope they have more divas in this years game, say like 16.

aaron324
aaron324

All I can say, is this will be the best edition of Smackdowm vs Raw. It has much improved graphics compared to last years outing, new features, more custimizations options and a better physics engine.

beatdown200
beatdown200

this is gonna be the most avesome wwe game ever

TheFacebreaker
TheFacebreaker

for everyone that things it's from the ps2 section it's from all sections,right now I am seeing it from the ps3 section