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WWE '12 dated and detailed

SmackDown vs Raw title ditched.

WWE '12, this year's entry in THQ's long-running wrestling franchise, enters the ring on 25th November for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360, publisher THQ has announced.

Developer Yuke's has instituted a number of big changes to its annual series, not least ditching the traditional SmackDown vs Raw suffix.

"I've just felt for a couple of years now that the franchise has been getting stale and in need of a reboot. Not just with the name but also with the game experience," explained creative director Cory Ledesma in a Q&A on the game's official site.

"The name of the franchise evolved a couple of times over the years, and it has gotten to the point where the name doesn't really mean anything. WWE currently doesn't have brand wars, and the shows themselves are rarely competing against each other, so SmackDown vs. Raw as a name doesn't really have a meaning."

According to IGN's reveal, among the headline additions is a new animation system that lets you interrupt opponents' moves mid-flow. The camera angle has been pulled back, the speed of gameplay ratcheted up and a new taunt system brought in for a more TV-like experience.

Analogue stick grapples will be replaced by traditional face button attacks. Limb-targeting has been added, as has a new 'Breaking Point' submission mini-game.

Game-changing Dynamic Comebacks will give you a shot at coming back from the brink of defeat to clear the ring, and there's improved AI that should be able to detect if you're spamming moves.

"We aren't changing the game entirely or completely ripping everything out to start over. That wasn't the goal," insisted Ledesma.

"What we are doing is taking the basic essence of what is good in the past games and making a new experience that feels fresh, fun, responsive, faster, smoother and is of higher quality.

"If you're played the SmackDown vs. Raw games in the past, I have zero doubt you will notice the difference as soon as you pick up this year's game."

WWE '12 will be THQ's second grappling sim of the year, following the more arcadey, OTT action of WWE All-Stars, which launched to measured acclaim back in March.

There's a teaser trailer below, though it's light on actual gameplay and heavy on Randy Orton's sweaty pecs. Enjoy.

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About the Author
Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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