E3 2002: THQ announces WWE Smackdown! Shut Your Mouth

Check out the first screenshots of THQ's next wrestling game for the PlayStation 2.

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Check out the first screenshots of THQ's next wrestling game for the PlayStation 2.

THQ has released the first screenshots of and details from WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth for the PlayStation 2. The game will reportedly feature a wealth of improvements upon the last installment of the SmackDown! franchise and will again be developed by Yuke's, which has also been working on WrestleMania X8 for the GameCube.

The roster will include WWE notables such as Rob Van Dam, The Rock, Triple H, and Vince McMahon, while also being updated with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, DDP, Stacy Keibler, the nWo, and many more. The game will include an in-depth story mode with multiple character paths and gameplay that can take place at various locations, including interview locations, offices, and other backstage areas modeled after Madison Square Garden. There will also be the option to enter wrestlers into a draft pool to simulate the Raw and SmackDown! drafts that recently took place.

There will be an abundance of new cutaway scenes in SmackDown 4, depicting such situations as backstage assaults, conspiring wrestlers, microphone interviews, and even spankings. SmackDown 4's play-by-play commentary will be performed by a number of different WWE personalities, including Jim Ross, Jerry the King Lawler, Tazz, and Michael Cole.

SmackDown! 4 Shut Your Mouth's gameplay should remain predominantly intact in this fourth game, giving players a wealth of options in and outside the ring, including strikes, grapples, counters, taunts, and finishers. There are thousands of animations in the game, including double- and triple-team moves, outrageous ring behavior, and each superstar's full complement of signature moves. The gameplay will also make use of several new match types, such as elimination tag, captain fall, tornado, six-man tag, and slobber knocker.

The create-a-wrestler will also be given a boost with a dynamic layering system and more CAW options. The partner system is being expanded so that you can control your tag-team partner, and multiplayer mode will be included for up to six players. There will also be handicap and triple-threat match variations.

The graphics have been improved to include full facial animation during the cinemas, along with streaming dialogue. There will be more than 14 pay-per-view arenas, including backlash, vengeance, and unforgiven. As expected, the game will also include authentic ring entrances with dynamic lighting effects and full TitanTron videos.

WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth is scheduled for release at the end of this year. Look for our hands-on impressions from the E3 show floor shortly.

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