Review by Sax

"Simply put, the best wrestling game I've played in ages!"

I've been a huge supporter of the Xbox since February of 2001 when I saw a huge article about it in EGM. Throughout the months leading up to its release, I sat there and soaked up every bit of information about it that I could find, only to eventually find out about the upcoming WWF RAW. The graphics were simply unreal from the screenshots. And the features that were announced got me all the more excited, blood and clothes-grabbing -- we haven't really seen much blood since the Acclaim era. Unfortunately these features were dropped but I still knew that I'd have to get my hands on this game when it was released. Well I finally got it several days after its release and since I signed up for a Contributor's account recently, I figured I'd give you my opinion on the game.

Gameplay: 9/10

A brand new engine was developed for this game. It took me a while to get used to after playing countless other WWE games but once I got a grip on it, I found it quite fun. You have to pace yourself and there's a higher level of challenge as any move can now be broken up. Also, every weapon you pick up gets listed in the Museum on the main menu. There you can view the list or you can check out the superstar bios with the full TitanTron videos. Some wrestlers wear items to the ring that you can knock off of them and use against them as weapons, but watch out as they can do the same to you! Too bad you can't snatch Raven's shopping cart full of weapons off of him. ;)

The Create a Superstar feature is pretty good too. You can of course change your clothes, music, moves, statistics, and all of that fun stuff, but there's also a feature that I've missed since Acclaim's WWF Attitude - you can now change the lighting effects and fog for your entrance. I've had a lot of fun with this.

There's only two things that I can really complain about. The first is the definite lack of match types. You only have the very basic matches here, nothing fancy like Hell In a Cell and Ladder Matches. The other complaint I have is the lack of a story mode, instead you have a title mode in which you have to face a certain amount of wrestlers - once you've beaten them all, you've won the belt. It works just like Acclaim's title mode in WWF WarZone and leaves some to be desired.

Graphics: 10/10

Wow, am I impressed. The graphics are probably the best I've seen in mostly any game that I've played. The superstars are highly detailed, from head to toe, although a couple of them don't look like their real life counterparts (but there always seems to be a few of those in any wrestling game). I can't wait for RAW 2, not much needs to be improved but I'm dying to see a SmackDown! set with some nice reflections. Imagine that!

Sound: 10/10

Finally... full (for the most part), authentic entrance music! That's a first! And in complete CD quality to boot! All I've got to say is that it's about time! This disc doubles as the game and a disc for you to rip these songs off of. I finally have Chris Jericho & Austin's Alliance theme in full, and Big Show & Rikishi's real songs, not the garbage they released on the WWF Volumes 4 & 5 that had extra instruments added to them. All of the background songs are cool too, they don't get old after playing the game as much as I do.

Rent or Buy?

I'd say that you definitely should buy this game if you have an Xbox, that is if you're a fan of the WWF. This is all you could want from a wrestling game, despite the noted lack of gimmick matches. You'll spend plenty of time trying to unlock all of the weapons and the hidden characters in the title mode. And when you're tired of playing solo, you can plug in another controller or two (or three... fun!) and out-wrestle your friends. It's always fun to beat them senseless with their gold medals and water bottles.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/16/02, Updated 06/16/02

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