Most helpful critical review
40 of 55 people found the following review helpful
No Steps Foward... 10 Steps Back
on November 24, 2011
Am I impressed with it? Well.... let's go through 10 points of the game, at a maximum of 10 points apiece and find out.
THE AI - 4
It sucks. There is no real improvement on it. Basically, on top of reversing everything you do the higher up you go in difficulty... NOW all they do on top of that, is try to spam running grapples. It's ALL THEY DO. You simply cannot have an intelligent, well-paced match against the AI. Multiple person matches are ridiculous to try, as the AI will break up most moves you try to do. I did a 6 man battle royale, and ended up hanging back, because I couldn't do anything. Every single move I did, another AI would walk over and break it up. Some improvement, Yukes!
ENGINE - 5
Now come on... Yukes and THQ spent the last several months hyping this up as a revamp... a "do over" of sorts with the WWE video game franchise, and this... the basic set up of the game... a decade old engine that cannot POSSIBLY be screwed up... was indeed screwed up. How you may ask? I have no idea. 2011 was probably the best showing they made with the engine ever, and they managed to take that good coding, and make it worse. Firstly, the new weapon physics from last year are just about worthless now. Wrestlers bounce off weapons like they're being thrown into a wall, instead of simply landing on them. Several times already, I have dropped people on chairs, only for them to stop before hitting the weapon, and bounce like they were thrown into a wall at 30mph. Winning Table Matches are borderline impossible now, as now the moves are harder to turn with. I spent over half an hour in a Tables Mtch as Jack Swagger last night, not able to EVER turn the gutwrench powerbomb towards a table... the engine just would not let me do it. The new rope physics? The ropes now act like taffy... moving where ever, and when ever they please, and it's looks very unrealistic. I do not know how they managed to mess all this up!
CHARACTER MODELS - 7
Most of the roster looks relly well done. How ever, you still have your normal issues. Natalya looks about 100 pounds soaking wet... Mark henry is nowhere near his real size... Brock Lesnar has an added 100 pounds of muscle mass than he really has... Triple H sports a 6 pack he could only wish to EVER claim to have owned... Nash's hair looks matted to his head... Demolition look like the early 90's figures that were 1 solid piece of plastic... and Rock has no hair on his head or face at all. The models as always, are mostly well done, as Yukes only ever seems to be interested in making them look good, as opposed to playing well. I have not yet gotten all the wrestlers unlocked, and I do not have any DLC though... so I cannot comment on the DLC, or LOD, Vader, Booker T, or Vince McMahon
MOVES AND MOVEMENTS - 5
Even more backwards than 2011. As I already mentioned, an almost perfected method from 2011 was bastardized and ruined this year. You can rarely get what you want out of a move, unless it's a slow set-up, such as the Tombstone Piledriver. Hit detection is beyond horrible as well. As The Rock, I tried to throw his trademark punch after dazing my opponent, but it missed 5 out of 6 times. Top rope moves... which were fixed in 2011, to hit no matter if the wrestler was looking at you or not... gone. It is back to the old routine of "if you're not lined up perfectly, it will not hit." Even running attacks have taken a step back, because if you're not lined up, you will miss entirely. How does a company like Yukes praise their game before release, when playing it is this difficult? Taunts look better, as when I performed a taunt with Kevin Nash, he had a full facial expression including eye movements... how ever, THIS is the biggest compliment I can give for this portion.
AUDIO & VIDEO - 3
Wow. I cannot begin to tell you how bad this is. This is another thing Yukes hyped up for months... saying they spent hours reviewing WWE footage to make it a "real experience." Let me tell you, the whole 3 points I gave this section are JUST because the camera angles are realistic. Entrances? Turn 'em off... they're unbearable to watch. Everything sounds like it's playing down a 400 foot hallway with you on the other end from the speaker. I guess this is part of the "realism," but half the time I can't even tell if the music is playing for several seconds. The echo just makes this whole experience terrible, as even the ring announcers can barely be heard sometimes, IF they even speak, because there is a bug where they randomly do not intrroduce the wrestlers. The other major "hype" by Yukes was where in Universe, the opening of the show would play while the first match was loading. This is probably the worst thing I have ever seen. First, the opening video for the show is less than standard definition, and it skips and freezes every 2 seconds! While this would not be so bad... in Road to Wrestlemania, you HAVE to see this EVERY single show! To me, this is an unforgivable thing from Yukes... there's no way this should have gotten so bad!
NEW FEATURES - 6
The "all new Breaking Point Submission" system... is crap. I won't even try to insult your intelligence on this one. All they did, was remove the system from 2011, and replace it with the button-mashing crap the fans begged to be removed from the previous versions. There's no skill involved in forcing someone to tap. You wear them down, lock 'em in... and button mash. Absolute crap! The grappling looks better this year, though after about 50 matches... you do get frustrated with it, as there are only about 20 animations altogether for it, with most being previous animations just looped into a new system. The belts are indeed fixed, and most look incredible... though if the belt was always ugly... it still does, you can't fix it with a video game. Community Creations is said to be a little different, but I would not know, as it has been down since I bought the game. I have dabbled a little bit in Create An Arena, and it's about what I expected... a little hype for something that will need a LOT of future work. For what it is... I guess it's ok. Until the community starts getting into really detailed custom logos, we won't see anything unique, though making Starrcade for use in Universe is a go for me. Finally... being able to break up moves, has ups and downs. You can be trying like hell to hit a finisher, but the AI will STILL walk over and throw random punches, even if it's your own team-mate! Backstage brawls are SLIGHTLY improved, though your moves are weakly limited still, but there are actually environmental grapples this year, unlike last year. But... only having the ONE backstage area does not make it fun once you've done it once.
UNIVERSE MODE - 6
I would not call this year's a massive improvement. Basically... you can do what ever you want on a card, and it will now count towards rankings, unlike last year. Plus, you can put a Title on the line when ever you please. It's pretty straight-forward all around. How ever, I have noticed that while you can pick which belts you want on your brand, as well as customize RAW and Smackdown to something else... there are glaring issues. First, as you unlock Titles, you can vacate them in Exhibition, but you cannot in Universe. I have several unlocked, but I cannot pull them off the wrestlers in Universe Mode... why? Did no one think of this when they programmed it? Unreal. I am also seeing the same matches... over... and over... and over. Every week on RAW, the Main Event is Stone Cold vs. Randy Orton. EVERY WEEK. I have not come across the injury feature yet, though I have read complaints about it being too frequent, a complete 180 on what Yukes said it would be. Interfering in matches is not as easy as it sounds, either. Basically, you have 1 minute while the ref is down to do what you want to do. The issue? Good luck doing it! I interfered as Punk on Santino vs. Triple H, to help Marella win. But, I could not attack Triple H! Every time I picked up Hunter for the GTS, Santino would walk over and randomly take swings at Hunter, and I would lose the move. The match ended up getting thrown out because I couldn't even leave the ring due to the AI getting in the way every time I got near the ropes.
ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA - 4
It has it's own purpose. How ever, you have to repeatedly do the same things over and over, to the point of where you wonder why this mode isn't so much shorter. Basically, I am over 6 hours into it, and still not even through the Outsider Story. This mode has 3 parts, which are almost never-ending. There doesn't even seem to be any kind of a set schedule with it, either. One week you will just have a random match... another you do a backstage segment... then you do multiple backstage brawls. What kills this mode, aside from length, is that it's built around cut-scenes, which would not be so bad if done in a regular way. How ever, in this Road in WWE '12, almost every match concludes with the triangle button flashing over your opponent's head when they are beaten down enough. You hit the button... and we commence to a cut-scene, which most of the time, doesn't even make a whole lot of sense. Without giving much away, Triple H has been in 4 WWE Title Matches already... and every one of them ends in interference. The story takes so long to progress, that I keep getting bored with it, and do some Exhibition. At one point, I swear to you I went through 3 PPV's without the story EVER going anywhere. I still have a story and a half to go... and I'm running out of patience with it. If it weren't for several wrestlers needing to be unlocked in the Hero Story, I would not even bother with it. It's too long... too boring... and nothing ever happens that is note-worthy. Anyone who has this game will know the "beat him to the right of the vending machine" shows up every 3 to 4 shows... there's no creativity in the story, or in the programming.
CREATE A WRESTLER/FINISHER/ARENA - 8
The highest score out of this whole review... and to be honest, it's mostly because the Wrestler and Finisher modes were more or less completely untouched. I haven't made a wrestler yet, as I want to unlock everything first, but I looked through everything, and if there are things removed, I don't notice them... everything looks pretty much the same to me. As was my thought, and confirmed by people online, Create a Finisher was not touched at all. No new moves or animations at all... I can fully see this feature being removed... because to be honest, it serves no purpose other than kids creating painfully long finishers to spam online to laugh at. With Arena... it serves it's job, and as I said, hopefully good artists will come up with some neat designs down the road.
REPLAY VALUE - 6
I will be honest, playing as a lone person against the AI... you will only be able to stomach it for so long. With me, I have a few friends who love to sit around and play these games, and we make our own entertainment out of our matches, as, unlike the AI, we pace our matches to look decent, instead of spamming the same thing over and over. When it comes to Road to Wrestlemania and Universe... only die-hard WWE fans will continue playing through these modes up until the release of 2013. Road is basically a one-time deal... if you go through it twice, you either LOVE the WWE Kool-Aid... or you're a glutton for punishment. Hopefully with a patch, Yukes will at least fix the constant rematches un Universe Mode to make it more enjoyable, but I see myself sticking to Exhibition when playing alone... as the added headache of changing every other match can be done by me, outside the mode. Personally, if I hadn't gotten this for free, and paid full price for it... I would be very upset, and probably returning it within a couple weeks, and continuing to play 2011. It just.... doesnt feel improved, it feels like a rushed, broken-down lump of attempted fixes, that when broken, were never attempted to be corrected.
OVERALL SCORE: 54 out of 100
Seeing the videos online... seeing the hype for it... I knew not to expect a great game. How ever, I didn't expect it to be THIS bad. Yukes took about 5 steps forward with 2011, a leap they had never bothered to try and make in 12 years. This year how ever... seems to be the year they send out a broken down game in order to hype up WWE '13 as "all new and improved," where they will put back in the features they took out, and fix the issues they purposefully broke. No one can tell me they didn't do these things on purpose... as there was NO reason to remove the fixed top rope attacks... nor make colliding with a move, punch or kick so hard to do. Business is business... and Yukes knows how to play people. The selling is also faster, which means escaping the cage takes good timing, as the AI will always be up before you are halfway up the cage, no matter what you do to them... it's just horrible timing, horrible programming... and makes me shake my head at what the people at Yukes believe makes a great game.
Rent it first, folks. Whether it be from a video store or an online program... RENT IT. I am far from happy from this release, and cannot believe it was ever approved to be shipped in the shape it's in. Whether people agree with me or not... doesn't matter to me. I know what I like in a video game, and being frustrated about not winning due to difficulty should be my only problem... NOT getting frustrated because half of what I try to do... will not work.