WWE Day of Reckoning Updated Impressions

THQ shows off the final version of its upcoming GameCube brawler.

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At its recent press event, THQ took the opportunity to show off the final version of WWE Day of Reckoning, its Yuke's-developed wrestler for the GameCube. The game is THQ and Yuke's third GameCube wrestler, and it appears to have gotten the mix of gameplay modes, graphics, and control mechanics just right. Whereas the previous GC grapplers were all solid games, WWE Day of Reckoning appears to have that extra layer of polish that ties everything together into a cohesive package.

WWE Day of Reckoning is ready to hit store shelves next week. Click "Stream for Free" for higher resolution.

The final version on display at the press event appeared to be buttoned up nicely with solid visuals that represented a good improvement over its predecessors. The game features a nice chunk of modes to test your skills. Exhibition mode will offer several different match types, including single, tag team, triple threat, fatal four way, handicap, and royal rumble. Once you have selected the kind of match you want, you'll also be able to pick the match type. You'll find a wide array of types to choose from, including normal, hardcore, ladder, TLC, catch, hell in a cell, the infamous bra and panties, and ironman. You'll also be able to select an arena from locales that will be well known to fans, including Raw, No Mercy, SmackDown!, SummerSlam, Unforgiven, No Mercy, Survivor Series, Armageddon, Royal Rumble, No Way Out, Wrestlemania, House of Show, and Heat.

The gameplay itself is still rooted in the same weak and strong grapple-based system as last year, but the system has been refined quite a bit, pacing the action more methodically. A new "momentum shift" feature has been included to try to emulate the lighting-fast momentum swings seen in real WWE matches, in addition to the implementation of a new weight-based grapple meter that helps keep true size balances between seven-foot monsters and cruiserweights realistic--though without making it completely impossible for smaller grapplers to lift some of the behemoths.

In addition to the exhibition mode, WWE Day of Reckoning will also offer a story mode that will let you create your own superstar to take in to the world of the WWE. While you shouldn't expect to take the wrestling world by storm when you first start out, if you play your cards right and use your head, you'll find yourself on the WWE circuit in competition for the championship. More importantly, if you play your cards right and pay your dues, you may become the belt-holding champ of World Wrestling Entertainment. This mode definitely looks to be a huge improvement over last year's decidedly lackluster story mode, and it should prove to be a very nice treat for wrestling fans.

WWE Day of Reckoning is currently slated to ship next week for the GameCube. Look for a full review of the game shortly.

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