It’s “WWE 12” time….man, I wish it wasn’t. Now, I am a wrestling fan, though not as much as I was when I was younger. Hell, I even went through a few years of not even watching it or knowing what was going on, but then one day I had the chance to go with a friend who is an indy wrestler and train, and I got interested again. So, having stepped foot in the squared circle even for a few fleeting moments and learning things, and also now knowing a handful of wrestlers, I decided to take on this review.
I am honestly so let down by this game I do not even know where to begin. I mean, I have played bad wrestling games but I knew they where going to be bad going in. Hell, I played “WCW/nWo Thunder.” Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. Now, I had hope going into this game, I really did. It promised an all new innovative grappling system, a limb targeting system, an in-depth creation mode and amazing graphics. It did deliver a new grappling system, limb targeting, a pretty good creation mode and good graphics, but none of them are amazing.
Entrances are as close to the real thing as possible. Everyone’s motions and entrance music are down pat. Even though CM Punk changed his shirt and ring music recently, it’s in the game, so hats off for that. However, the in-ring gameplay is okay at best. I honestly found the most effective way of getting anything done was spamming the game with running grapples, because that seemed to be the move they reversed the least. Yeah, I know spamming does not require skill, but, honestly, at certain points in the game it’s the only move that works. It seems no matter who you are playing as you will constantly be thrown around even if you’re playing as Big Show (7’1 400lbs) versus lower card Tyson Kid (5’7 195lbs). In older games, if there was such a vast weight and size difference and you were the smaller guy you couldn’t lift guys that much bigger then you. Now you can, but it just happens slower.
The grapple system is okay, but it’s nothing to write home about. It is now all simplified to one button, the A button on 360 and the X on PS3. The longer the match goes and the more damage you deal to your opponent, the more powerful the moves become. Which would be great if no matter how beat up the opponent is they didn’t reverse it 85% of the time. The consistency of the CPU reversing your moves is staggering. I found in one match about 75% of my attempted moves or strikes got reversed, while only about 4 of my reverse attempts succeeded.
Now, on top of crappy in-ring action the game modes suck. The new “Road To Wrestlemania” has been reworked, and this time you only have three attempts to choose from. You can play as Sheamus ,which is the “Villain” storyline, Triple H for the “Outsider” storyline, and Jacob Cass, a “Created Superstar,” who is voiced by Austin Aries in the “Hero” storyline. In this new “Road to Wrestlemania” you have no choice in which storyline you play because they all overlap. So, you start out playing the “Villain” storyline, move onto the “Outsider,” and finish with the “Hero” storyline. I have to say, I HATED THIS MODE. Yeah, I said it. I hated it, and not because the story was bad; it’s the standard wrestling stuff. There are two things bringing the mode down:
1)WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too many cut-scenes.
I know, you’re like, “Why too many cutscenes?” It’s because they happen during matches, and not just one or two or a run in here or there, but damn near every match and most times the game has you trigger them within the match objectives. Like, in a three-on-three tag it proceeds, “weaken this guy, then the next guy, then hit your finisher on that guy, oh, and by the way, your two partners won’t enter the ring to help you and you can’t tag out. kthx bye,” and it doesn’t even make sense. You will beat up a guy, hit your finisher, have him beat and set up the cut-scene when all of a sudden he is 100% and you’re just barely beating him. It’s stupid.
This is the reason I wanted to break my controller. Through the entire “RTWM” about 80% of your “matches” are backstage brawls, and no I am not lying. Every other second you’re backstage fighting two guys and knocking them out to the right of the vending machine, and, yeah, it says that in the game.
So, after all this crap, is the game worth it? No. If you like wrestling and have Gamefly or Blockbuster, rent it and give it a shot, but don’t buy it and don’t keep it too long. Wrestling matches are predetermined, scripted and fake. The in-ring stuff takes skill and does hurt, but overall it’s fake, but the torment and anguish this game causes is very, very real!