We took an in-depth look at Anchor's upcoming wrestling game, a few months ago. We can finally report on it.
WWF Raw Is War is being developed for the Xbox by Anchor, the group that put together Ultimate Fighting Championship for the Sega Dreamcast. Bringing its experience with UFC to the table, Anchor has undertaken a lofty goal: creating a next-generation wrestling title that will appeal to gamers because of the attractive WWF license and its solid gameplay. In an interview with GameSpot held at this year's Tokyo Game Show, THQ and Anchor's head developers made clear their intentions with Raw Is War for the Xbox. Bells and whistles came in second; the focus on Raw Is War is to create an enjoyable fighting game experience.
Graphically, we've been extremely impressed by what we've seen so far. Character models look ultrarealistic, and the level of facial detail is on par with some of the best work created by CG artists industrywide. The WWF Superstars' visages are re-created masterfully and are each easily recognizable, both in terms of accuracy in structure as well as animation. The Xbox, creating a brilliant array of effects that flood the screen at all times, handles some of the preliminary lighting effects we've witnessed superbly. Many sports games can lay claim to attractive graphics, yet offer meager and unattractive crowds. The crowds in Raw Is War are alive with movement, and they cheer and wave frantically. Further, Anchor currently plans to implement choreographed crowd reactions, like the wave. The crowds will have a more direct influence on the action when fights break out in the audience. The action can take place in the stands as well as backstage, and the crowds will maneuver around the wrestlers accordingly, giving them room to fight while cheering their favorites on and while getting a close-up look at the action. Those fans not directly in the wrestlers' midst can also watch what's going on at all times on the Titantron, which constantly televises the action from a number of angles.
During the interview, we got a chance to play a very early version of the game and get a look at how the fighting system was shaping up. The number of moves available in the demo build we played was extremely limited--your wrestler was able to only punch, kick, grab and taunt, and each of these moves was mapped to one of the Xbox controller's face buttons. Grapple moves are executed in a manner more akin to WWF No Mercy than to Smackdown 2 in that they are more deliberate, focusing on simulation-type gameplay rather than arcade-style gameplay. While this is true, we also noticed how fast the action zipped along, similar to the frantic action found in Smackdown! 2, and we were informed that the final version will play at a smooth 60fps, even with all the impressive effects going on during the match. While motion capture is responsible for about 10 percent of the total animation--mostly used to render wrestlers' unique taunts and poses--movement animations in general will be slightly exaggerated to increase the amount of fun for players. For example, body-slammed opponents will bounce a little more than they would naturally.
- Release Date: Feb 11, 2002 (US)
- ESRB: TTitles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older.
- Release Date: 1995 (US)
- ESRB: K-A
- Release Date: December 1994 (US)
- Release Date: 1994 (US)
- ESRB: K-A
- Release Date: November 1994 (US)
- ESRB: K-A