WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007 Preview
When you talk about wrestling games for the Xbox… well you don’t talk about them. They have all been laughable with titles such as Wrestlemania and RAW strangling the system. That’s all about to change with a Playstation exclusive now moving over to the Xbox 360.
Smackdown VS RAW 2007 at first seems to bring nothing new to the franchise. It puts the gamer in control of a WWE superstar and let’s them reek havoc on the opponent. So if it’s still the same gameplay wise, what’s the point in buying it? Let’s have a look at the new features for the 360 version.
Both analogue sticks now come into play, with the left stick controlling your character’s movement and the right stick controlling the grappling system. This is so you can control where you pickup your opponent and where you want them when they are suspended in the air. There are over 40 different actions you can perform with the grappling system and all you need to do is flick the analogue stick.
Graphics are something which is a must when it comes to a next gen console and Smackdown VS RAW 2007 doesn’t disappoint. Everything has been given a face lift. No, I take that back. Not only a face lift but a boob job, tummy tuck, and another boob job just to be safe, and I haven’t even started on the superstar divas yet. Every bit of detail has been put into the game. The wrestlers look excellent with realistic skin tones and facial expressions. When a wrestler is hurt you can see the pain on there face, if there is a steel poll heading towards them you can see fear in their eyes. PVC costumes shine like they have just come straight out of an S&M shop and the sweat trickles down their skin as the fluorescent lights heat up their plastic trousers. (Sounds…hot…Ed)
So there’s a new grappling system and the graphics have had a revamp but there’s something else which is missing. Ah yes, “Environment Hotspots”. These hotspots will allow you to interact with the scenery when you most need it. For instance, let’s use the cage as an example. So you are you opponent are trapped inside a big sweaty cage, you have your opponents head in your hands. The best way to destroy his pretty boy face would be to slide his head against the steel cage. This can now be done thanks to over 20 hotspots dotted around the arenas. This may not seem like anything new but it all adds to the gameplay and facial destruction.
The crowd are now 3D and interactive, with over 1000 members of the crowd, they are there to cheer you on, pat you on the back, and hand you a weapon such as a sign or an umbrella. This is showing just what the Xbox 360 can give to us if it is put to the test. I remember seeing crowds do absolutely nothing and looking like cardboard cut outs. (ahhh…memories. Ed)
So what’s not new? What can we find that was in Smackdown VS RAW 2006? As always you can find the career mode fun and entertaining with the ability to unlock new characters and bonus features. General Manager Mode will let you manage everything that is manageable, making decisions that will alter the rest of the line-up. This is something the more hardcore fans will appreciate.
There are new features and there are old features but are there any groundbreaking new features? Is there anything that will make you want to buy this game as soon as it hits the shelves? Well, what about the ability to play with 5 other people in one match from all over the world? With Xbox Live 6 people will gather together to battle it out in whatever modes they like. From your basic 3 v 3 fight to an all out battle royal, you are sure to hear some screaming down the headset during every pile-driver.
THQ are the god’s when it comes to wrestling games as no one does wrestling better than they do. With the Smackdown series being a very popular title on the Playstation 2, I am quietly confident that the game will be successful on the Xbox 360. The 360 can bring a great Live service and headset support which is something the Playstation cannot do as well as Live. The 360 has it all and as I try to think of something new to add into Smackdown VS RAW 2007 nothing seems to spring to mind. This can only mean one thing, Smackdown VS RAW 2007 has it all. What a perfect combination.
Originally Written By: Toby Bodman