PSLS On Location: WWE ’12 Community Event

To say that I am just a guy who watches wrestling would be a huge lie. The fact is that I have been a huge fan for as long as I can remember. I still get goosebumps at times when I hear Stone Cold’s classic glass shattering entrance, along with the iconic Rock’s entrance music. I’ve been watching since I was about 7-8 years old, so needless to say when THQ offered to fly me out to Los Angeles this past weekend for a Community Event that included both playing the upcoming WWE ’12 and attending SummerSlam I jumped at the chance. I mean who would pass up being treated like “The King of Kings” (like the Triple H reference?) by a gaming company? I have been playing the Smackdown series since it was first released on the original PlayStation, and I buy it every year. My personal favorite in the series is Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain, though that may change this coming year from what I got to play, just like the series title did.

After already having a little bit of hands-on with the game at this past E3 I couldn’t wait to dive into the game to see what they had improved upon, and I definitely was not disappointed. Upon arrival in L.A., I got to meet up with around twenty other people, all of which were huge wrestling fans. It was great discussing our favorite matches and what we thought about with what was currently going on in wrestling today. After dinner that night we went back to the hotel and had a WWE All-Stars tournament, in which yours truly did not win, but I did hold my own.

The next morning we met in the same room and got some hands on time with the game, as well as information in general about the upcoming WWE ’12. Some of the details that were told to us were brand new, and others were originally revealed at E3 but expanded upon.

First and foremost, the game’s title is not the only thing that has changed, the entire game feels different, but in a good way. THQ revamped much of what we have become accustomed to in past Smackdown vs. Raw titles. Everything is faster, smoother, and just a better experience overall. There is a completely new animation engine that allows for many things that will be completely new this year, including the ability to even interrupt moves at any given moment. This made the tag team matches extremely exciting.

One thing that veterans of the series will notice immediately is that the game has a much better presentation with plenty of spectacle. It accurately represents what fans see on the television on a weekly basis. Matches go back and forth, and are consistently exciting. In past years they just seemed too easy at times, but not this year. It does a great job of alternating the pace between wrestlers, and even allows you to put together huge comebacks that change the entire momentum of a match. Between the several matches that I had played and watched I felt like I was enjoying it as if it were on live television, but instead it was playable. Everything from the new dynamic camera system to the championship belts finally being the correct size, shows that pretty much all aspects of the game have been improved upon. Tie that in with the initial E3 Impressions I did and we easily have a championship contender on our hands this year.

It is great to see that this year’s title includes the new feature called adrenaline. This governs the superstars ability to run. As the match goes on bigger guys such as Mark Henry or Big Show are gonna move a lot slower than a Evan Bourne or Rey Mysterio. The smaller guys are able to move around the ring a lot faster, allowing for evasive tactics to be used when going up against someone much larger than you.

Within the game all moves can be countered, and even interrupted, and this definitely makes for a lot of fun during tag-team matches. On top of that the pacing of the matches accurately represent real life matches, no longer are you waiting for your opponent to get up. Simply use a “Wake Up Taunt” and they will groggily get themselves on their feet. This is your moment to strike with a devastating RKO or GTS. But be aware that you can be countered at any moment, and with how the momentum in matches can easily go either way you must calculate your moves carefully.

In this year’s installment there is a new “Breaking Point” system for users to battle it out to either tap out or escape the hold/counter it. This tug of war style submission system involves you mashing the buttons to fill up the meter that will appear on the bottom of the screen. If you are able to fill it up then your opponent will tap out, if they are able to deplete the meter they will counter your move, resulting in them having the opportunity to attack you even further. So be sure to know how hurt that particular area of their body is.

Speaking of injuring specific areas of the body, another addition is the targeting system. You can now target specific limbs before you initiate a specific attack. Simply pushing a button will bring up the interface allowing you to choose which part of the body you would like to target. Those worried that it would interfere with the flow of the match shouldn’t, it didn’t detract from the game at all, in fact the addition was great considering what you chose resulted in different moves being implemented on that specific area of the body.

A huge addition, and quite possibly one of the most impressive features in this year’s title is the Create-An-Arena mode. You can literally create any wrestling arena that you can think of, whether it be from the past or the present. This includes the default logos that are included in the game, or if you are artistic enough you can attempt to make your own logo with the WWE Paint Tool. Below is what is able to be edited within the Create-An-Arena mode:

  • Ring Mat
  • Ring Ropes
  • Ring Posts
  • Ring Apron
  • Turnbuckles
  • Outside Mats
  • Barricade
  • Name Plates
  • Broadcast Table

If you want to create a DX Arena, that is possible. If you would like to keep it authentic and create any of the WrestleMania or WCW arenas you can as well. The sky is the limit with what you can create.

Below is what superstars have been revealed for the in game roster, there will still be DLC and an unknown superstar that will be revealed in September:

  • Alberto Del Rio
  • Alex Riley
  • Arn Anderson
  • Beth Phoenix
  • Big Show
  • Booker T
  • Chavo Guerrero
  • Christian
  • CM Punk
  • Cody Rhodes
  • Daniel Bryan
  • David Otunga
  • Demolition Ax
  • Demolition Smash
  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Edge
  • Evan Bourne
  • Eve
  • Ezekiel Jackson
  • Goldust
  • Heath Slater
  • Husky Harris
  • Jack Swagger
  • Jerry Lawler (DLC)
  • John Cena
  • John Morrison
  • Justin Gabriel
  • Kane
  • Kelly Kelly
  • Kevin Nash
  • Kofi Kingston
  • Layla
  • Mark Henry
  • Maryse
  • Mason Ryan
  • Michael McGillicutty
  • Michelle McCool
  • Miz
  • Mr. McMahon
  • Natalya
  • Rey Mysterio
  • Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
  • Road Warrior Animal
  • Road Warrior Hawk
  • The Rock (Pre Order DLC Bonus)
  • R-Truth
  • Santino Marella
  • Sheamus
  • Sin Cara
  • “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
  • Ted Dibiase
  • Triple H
  • The Undertaker
  • Tyson Kidd
  • Vader
  • Vladimir Koslov
  • Wade Barrett
  • William Regal
  • Yoshi Tatsu
  • Zack Ryder

After the hands on session, the attendants of the event were treated by receiving access to both SummerSlam Axxess and the SummerSlam event (which had a hell of an ending). Getting to meet Randy Orton, Zack Ryder, and Alex Riley was something I never thought I would get to do. All I have to say is it was amazing to see all of that in person, and shout out to THQ for making it happen. It was great not only meeting the people behind the game, but also other huge fans of the game, shout out to the other “Broskis” that attended the event with me.

WWE ’12 has said that it is going for a “Bigger, Badder, Better” (this year’s slogan) feel, and from the looks of it when it is released in November it will not disappoint. So do yourself a favor and first head over to Facebook and vote for The Rock so we can get “The People’s Edition”or John Cena for “The Champ’s Edition”. The winner will determine which collector’s edition is released, as well as contents of the edition. Upon casting your vote feel free to go ahead and pre-order the game, which comes with The Rock as a pre-order bonus, you won’t regret it. Also those looking for more pics of the game be sure to head over to our forums where I will be posting more pictures from the event.

Those interested in screenshots of the game, they can be found below.