7.5

While not revolutionary as promised, WWE '12 still provides hours of entertainment for any fan.

When I first THQ was actually going to be revamping the gameplay for the latest edition of their "Smackdown" series (now just simply renamed WWE '12), I was excited. I felt that despite all the updates and all the additions, it still felt like the same ol' game to me. It's pretty obvious that the Smackdown series has come a long, long way and it was really time for a change to the system.

I went through a couple of matches first and felt that THQ didn't back up on their promises. However, through time, I did discover that WWE '12 was in fact a brand new game, just not what I fully expected. The core engine remains the same, but in terms of pacing and match speed, I did notice it felt a lot smoother then previous WWE games. While it may not be N64's WWF No Mercy, WWE '12 does have a fresh feel to it that both longtime SD vs. Raw fans and newcomers can enjoy.

Just like with the previous entries in WWE games, WWE '12 offers tons and tons of modes to play through that will definitely give you hours worth of replay value. Whether it be a standard one-on-one match or a six-man war in the Elimination Chamber, there's plenty to do to keep you occupied for awhile.

This year's WWE Universe mode does make some slight improvements over last year's edition, but it's a little bit more streamlined in terms of going from match to match. Also, the WWE Universe mode now includes an "injury" feature that spices things up.

This year's roster has to be the strongest yet. Not only you have the most up-to-date roster, but also a handful of legends and classic wrestlers make the roster much more fulfilling. It's nice to have longtime favorites like Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Stone Cold, and Legion of Doom tangle up with today's stars like CM Punk, Randy Orton, and John Cena. I did also like the inclusion of a WCW stable that includes Nash, Booker T, and Arn Anderson. I'm quite hopeful upon hearing a few more surprises like Mick Foley and Randy Savage promised for future DLCs.

As for the new Create-an-Arena mode, it's a whole lot of fun being creative with your arena designs as you can either redesign classic PPV arenas or create whole new ones. However, all of the other creation modes are literally just the same as last year. No tweaks, no upgrades, no changes. They're all just the same as SD vs. Raw 2011's creation modes except for a different interface. I'm hoping that THQ will revamp the create-a-superstar mode for WWE '13 because it's somewhat tedious to create new superstars and individual movesets for them.

One major problem I did encounter with WWE '12 is a few nasty bugs and glitches. For example, while competing in a 40-Man Royal Rumble match, the entire screen went black in the middle of the match and I ultimately had to restart the match. Another one is during a Hell In A Cell match where I whipped my opponent against the cage, but instead he just kept running through the crowd and kept going for eternity. I'm hoping THQ addresses these bugs by releasing a patch. As for the other bugs related to the online modes, THQ did guarantee a quick fix soon for them, so hopefully it shouldn't be a long term problem. So I wouldn't necessarily hit the panic button just yet.

Overall, WWE '12 should be a part of your collection if you're a WWE fan or enjoy playing multiplayer with friends. Otherwise, this one doesn't blow anything out of the water. I really hoped for a completely new and revolutionary WWE game, but for now, I suppose this will do.

Discussion