WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 Hands-On PreviewBy Raymond Padilla - Posted Aug 24, 2009
Headliners, mid-carders, jobbers, smarts, smarks, and marks -- get ready for some more WWE excitement from THQ. WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 is coming on October 20 and the first details of the game have been revealed. To kick off its hype train (not to be confused with The Godfather’s Ho Train), the company is emphasizing four C’s: creation, customization, content, and community. The version of the game that I saw showed numerous improvements in the creation tools and some potentially cool online features.
As with any sequel, the developers are going with the “more and better” strategy with the game’s creation tools. In addition to having more features and being more versatile, the interface is much, much smoother. In the past, there would be a brief delay when shuffling through various costumes, animations, facial features, etc. You won’t see those annoying delays in SvR 2010, which makes the overall experience more enjoyable.
As for diversity, the character customization, create a finisher, and paint tool options have been extended. In the brief time I spent with the game, I made some pretty cool characters based off of some of my favorite indie wrestlers (note to WWE -- sign Claudio Castagnoli!). Another person playing the game made a few super exaggerated characters that looked straight out of The Tick, while another one made some eerie characters that could appear in a Neil Gaiman comic. If you have a fertile imagination and a modicum of art skills, you can make some truly amazing characters with the new creations tools.
In addition to making your own grapplers, you have customization options with actual WWE Superstars and Divas. You can save up to three alternate versions of sports entertainers with the customizations you choose. This comes in handy for wrestlers like Rey Mysterio, with his numerous masks; if you see a mask you like that’s not in the game, it’s easy enough to for you to create it yourself. To show that there are no holds barred, I was shown a version of the Undertaker wearing pastel colors. This prompted my friend Jose from Electric Playground to twist Taker’s catchphrase and say, “Rest…in…pink.”
Creating a finishing move -- one of SvR 2009’s coolest additions -- has been bolstered with 30 percent more content. Every area of last year’s mode has been added to and diving attacks have been included. The finishers can get really ridiculous (in a good way). I was shown a wrestler executing a 720-degree splash that got a preposterous amount of air. That’s cool and all, but I think I’ll stick to perfecting my Shin Kick of Doom.
Gamers that dream about being the general manager or Raw, SmackDown, or ECW should be pleased by the storyline creation tools. Up to two years of stories, containing matches and scenes, can be crafted. There’s just a ton you can do with scene creation. Characters, facial expressions, camera angles, animations, background videos, and more can be tweaked. I saw some scenes that recreated several famous WWE moments, including contract signings, car explosions, wrestlers getting hit by cars, limo entrances, run-ins, and more.
Best of all, any content you create can be uploaded so that other gamers can enjoy your works. Likewise, you can download your friend’s creations or storylines written by your favorite gaming writers. I vow to make an epic plot called “SmackDown vs. Ray 2010”. I will make myself a grappler along the lines of Chris Benoit. My arch nemesis will be X-Play’s Adam Sessler, who uses a vast array of high flying luchador moves. Every now and then, X-Play’s Blair “The Man of Three Holds” Herter will try to insert himself into our feud, but Adam or I just bitch slap him out of the scene. This is going to be great stuff and you’ll be able to download it!
Moving away from the four C’s, THQ has added “The Training Facility,” an interactive tutorial. It’s full of pop-ups and context-sensitive menus that help you learn the game’s moves. There are more than 100 tips that pop up, which should help novices and veterans alike. Fans of the WWE’s developmental territory, FCW, should notice a familiar backdrop in the training facility.
Details on the popular Road to Wrestlemania mode are sparse. THQ revealed that there will be six storylines in SvR 2010, including a Diva plot. There will be more branching and interactive cutscenes. More on this mode will be revealed in the coming weeks. (Full disclosure: I wrote two of the mode’s storylines before coming to G4).
Although THQ has only shown some aspects of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010, I’m totally hyped for the game. The creation tools look tight and should provide hours of entertainment on their own. Check back with G4tv.com for more information on the game’s story mode, online modes, match types, and more. The gang has huge plans for this game, and you better be here to see all the excellent coverage. If you smeeelllllllllllll…what The Ray…is cooking.