WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 – Almost there
Like the FIFA series, THQ have decided on their IP in the previous year’s incarnations, with only minor improvements each year, as well as the necessary roster updates/omissions, being apparent. After all, these are game for the fans only. Bearing that in mind, the game did indeed use a new game engine for the first time: the Havok game engine. This led to better use of collision detection. So, in that tradition, lo and behold the ‘amazing’ updates to SVR 2010; create an aerial finisher, which is amusing, for around the first 3 moves you make. Story designer mode, where in you can create your own stories for any wrestler, and more content for create a wrestler and create an entrance modes.
The most fun improvements, in my opinion, include the training facility, which appears directly after the title screen, in the form of a wrestling ring in an empty arena, and works as a practice mode, and is a nice little achievement/trophy to earn, once all the moves are performed. Any 2 wrestlers of your choice can be used, and 2 players can go at it as well, for as long as is desired. The second improvement is to the Royal Rumble match mode. Instead of having a power bar to defend once against the ropes, button-bashing commands now appear on screen to either eliminate, or survive an opponent on the quest to throw all other wrestlers over the top rope. Using a finisher however, is an instant elimination for the receiver.
One significant match addition is the Championship Scramble match, after its creation on WWE TV. A time limit is used (5, 10 or 20 minutes), 2 opponents start the match in the ring, and when a fifth of the time is up, the next opponent enters the match. The main difference to all other matches is that anyone can be pinned at any time, it’s only who performed the last pin when the timer reaches zero that gets the belt. Exceptional fun on multiplayer, horrendous for the solo player on expert difficulty.
But still, in spite of these ‘progressive’ changes, some of the fundamentals of wrestling are not captured. Opponents, unless in a handicap situation, are pathetically easy to beat, even on legend difficulty. Couple of counters, then a finisher, no problem. Just not competitive.
If only the weapons were of more use too, then it could be a right hoot…….