WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 Preview: Roster, DLC, Features. Best one yet?
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 Preview
THQ recently announced most of the roster for WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011. With over 70 stars, it’s one of the largest rosters to date in a wrestling game.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 Roster by brand:
The game’s official website lists seven open slots for names that have not yet been announced, presumably Daniel Bryan or other last-minute additions. Three legends have been confirmed:
- Bret Hart (Best Buy pre-order)
- Allied Powers: Lex Luger & British Bulldog (downloadable)
Seven slots in the legends section remain open as well, so let the speculation begin.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 Downloadable Content (DLC)
Downloadable content packs were announced, and it is speculated they will be around 800 MS points or $9.99 on the PlayStation Network. Pack 1 will be free for first-time buyers as part of the current effort of the gaming industry to combat the sales of used games. Buyers of pre-owned copies will have the option of purchasing pack 1.
- Online access
- Chris Masters
- Rey Mysterio & Kelly Kelly Halloween-themed costumes
- Lex Luger
- Davey Boy Smith
- Wade Barrett
- David Otunga
- Justin Gabriel
- NXT Arena
- Alternate attire for Shad Gaspard, Shawn Michaels
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 DLC Pack 3 has not yet been announced. It’s possible that pack 3 may include come combination of the following. If I remember correctly, Stone Cold was a pre-order bonus last year, but was made available as a $1 download. Tidbit from the future: It was a WCW Nitro Arena & more.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 Pre-Order Bonuses:
* Best Buy pre-orders of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will come with Bret Hart as a playable character.
* Toys R Us pre-orders of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will have The Undertaker’s alternate Ministry of Darkness attire.
* Amazon pre-orders of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will have three alternate attires for Randy Orton.
* Wal-Mart pre-orders of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will come with a Tribute to the Troops arena.
* GameStop pre-orders of WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will receive $20 off WWE’s Survivor Series pay-per-view or the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view.
I can’t imagine not having the option to obtain all of these add-ons, and the Troops arena would be a nice addition to have, so I’d expect it to be downloadable content later in some form. Some sites are reporting Batista as a member of the roster but this seems to be a false rumor.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 Features
Perhaps the biggest feature is “WWE Universe.” Career mode is gone, and merged into exhibition mode. It will make more sense when we have the chance to play it ourselves, but it sounds like THQ is taking a page from 2K Sports’ book by offering fans generated events to play. The difference, however, is 2K Sports games let you play along with a currently happening season. The WWE world is far too complex to ‘play along’ with in a video game, so a new set of unique ‘programming’ is generated on-the-fly for you based on your stables, rivalries, and rankings settings. You don’t have to play these and you can tweak them any way you want, but it’s nice that you have the option of retelling the stories of WWE yourself. You can sim through events and the game will generate allies and enemies, winners and losers, and loads relevant cut scenes. You can play as one superstar or multiple, and guide them through their rise (or decline) through the rankings.
If you don’t like this concept, you can turn it off and have the traditional exhibition options back. Or, you can play the pre-set storylines in Road to WrestleMania, including a ‘versus Undertaker’ storyline that lets you attempt to pin the undefeated Dead Man on the grand stage. Road to WrestleMania has free-roam, allowing you to run into other wrestlers backstage for interactions relevant to the storyline. Your actions affect the direction of your story, but if you make a mistake, it’s OK. There is a new ‘time machine’ feature that allows you to roll back the game.
There are a ton of minor enhancements and features that won’t make or break the game, but will add a little to the overall experience:
- BLOOD. WWE may be PG-friendly, but this game will have blood! It’s just turned off by default. So before you start a brutal Hell in a Cell match, you may want to check the match settings first!
- Item retrieval (briefcase, belt) system revamped
- Finishers from ladders
- All moves can be performed through nearby weapons (ladders, tables)
- Tree of woe position
- Hell in a Cell revamped: break-through cage wall, weapons under the ring, finishing maneuvers from the top of the cage
- Tie-up mini-games
- Key moments are automatically recorded during matches for ‘highlight reel’ viewing post-match
- Community creations can be edited, if the author allows it, meaning you can add entrance music to your downloads.
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011: The best one yet?
I’m not going to say yes, because I haven’t played it yet. It’s looking to be a serious contender, however. I’m still playing Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain for Playstation 2 and have had every game since that. I’ve gotten rid of every game since that, too, however. Nothing has had the staying power like Here Comes the Pain, but this game might. The feature I hope to see most is a history of wins and losses for each wrestler throughout the WWE Universe mode, including computer generated match-ups. Surprisingly, Smackdown vs Raw looks to be a must-buy for once.