Review by chemicalinxs
"Great on paper but may stumble and fall on some expectations"
SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 is the latest entry in the yearly series of WWE games. Similar to the previous game this entry looks amazing on paper but it's not quite perfect.
The biggest addition to this game is WWE Universe a mode in which you control the WWE to an extent. There is a ranking system and it doesn't always work the way you want it to. You must keep the main titles and none can be vacated and replaced with another, you can add more titles but they won't have the same ranking system. You can only title matches on pay per views (at least for the titles the game seems to randomly select) but you can exploit a glitch to have them at any time. Universe also features cut scenes even if they are sporadic at best. However, WWE Universe is omnipresent in Exhibition mode but it also takes priority as even if it's off you cannot have title matches. If you can look past this a lot of fun can be found in this mode.
Not much has been added to this game at this writing the roster is already drastically outdated but Community Creations and the second DLC pack (and the upcoming third pack) helps but it seems like even that is outdated. (Legends and alternate HBK attire not withstanding) The Road to WrestleMania mode features 5 average stories and it seems like only Mysterio's and Christian's feature a worthwhile story but that may be because it wasn't already rehashed. Vs. Undertaker was interesting on paper but simply underwhelming.
Gameplay features one drastic change the grapples. Strong grapples can only be applied when facing a groggy opponent. It's a nice for an effort to make the game more realistic but it only serves to be more of a nuisance. The Hell in a Cell match is larger and now features weapons and the Divas can compete in more matches like the Hell in a Cell but can't compete in a six person tag match for some weird reason.
Online is what you would expect from a WWE game: the online is still laggy but you will occasionally find a playable match. Overall not much has changed from 2010 but the new Universe offers much potential re-playability that I believe it warrants the extra point since the mode in theory offers a never ending mode that is a living breathing WWE machine.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/11
Game Release: WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 (US, 10/26/10)
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