WWE '12 Preview

I just got back from an, as The Miz would say, AWESOME weekend with THQ and the WWE. If you read my impressions from the previous community event, then you know I’ve been very impressed at an early stage with WWE 12. That being said, the updates that have been made in the last two months are quite staggering.

The New Reveals

WWE 12 hype train is full steam ahead. The roster was revealed at Fan Axxess on Saturday. There are still 14 DLC spots to be announced as well, and personally, I feel it’s the best roster in a wrestling game to date.

This will be the first time Demolition has been in a game since Wrestlefest in the arcades in the early 90s. I got to play as them, and they are pretty much perfect in the game. Correct entrance (with music), and their finisher is spot on. Another fantastic addition is Sin Cara. Before you ask, yes he has the blue light during his matches. His finisher is the top rope C4 as well. I also know the next question you are going to ask, and the answer is that he does not botch moves in the game. For those asking, CM Punk has Cult of Personality as his entrance theme, and R-Truth has no music and talks to himself. (Of course, Truth was given music last night on Raw, but it would be next to impossible for a developer to keep up with this stuff.)

The mix of legends (especially some of the WCW greats) gives this game a grander scale to it than in years past. You have the WWE guys who should be there, but guys like Arn Anderson, Booker T, Kevin Nash (especially now) and The Road Warriors just give it that big-time legend feel to it. Mix in the create-a-wrestler elements (and ability to download guys from the web), and it really means you can create a giant roster in your game.

Create an Arena was also introduced this weekend. I can’t properly convey my excitement for this mode, but it’s been one of my favorite additions since we first heard about it. Want a TNA ring, ROH ring or even say an AWA ring? Sure, go ahead and make it. Edit the railings, ring rope colors, turnbuckle pads, announce booth, even the animation wrap around the sides of the arena. The only thing that can't be edited is the stage. The community folks at the event all expressed our desire to have this be in next year’s iteration, so hopefully it makes the cut.

The arenas are then fully sharable on WWE 12’s servers like the CAWs, create a story and so on. So within no time after the release of the game, you’ll have your pick of rings to choose from, which will just deepen the experience.


So how does it play? Well, the short answer is it feels very good. Two months of additional gameplay tuning have given the game a more polished feel (considering we’re still three months out from release). The game already feels better than last year’s game, and the game just flows this year. I’ve said it before, but it has to be restated, the game plays like a wrestling game rather than a fighting game.

Will there be instances where you have to hit two or three finishers to pin someone? Sure, and I know some in the community will hate that, but have you not seen matches on TV that have the same outcome? There will also be plenty of matches where you only need one finisher, and depending on how you play, most of your matches will probably end after a single finisher.

To explain further, I play, I guess you would say, sim style. I build up my moves, hit my signature, go into my wake up taunt, and then I hit my finisher. Most of my matches end there. If you go into match guns blazing, taunt, taunt, taunt and then get a finisher, most of the time that won’t end the match. It goes like this for me: Will you play WWE 12 as the sim guys play Madden, or will you play it where you are dropping back 20 yards with Michael Vick and running around every play.

A new addition to the gameplay includes a meter for certain guys who are resilient (John Cena, Undertaker, etc.). So if you are hit with a finisher and pinned, you can tap LB (on 360) and your pin meter window grows bigger, allowing for a kickout even after a big-time finisher has been used on you. This can only be used once a match, so be careful when you use it -- no reason to use it on an early pin attempt. The pin meter is still one of my favorite additions as it’s not a button mash, holding down A to release in the sweet spot feels right. It almost looks like a swing meter from Tiger or the field-goal meter from Madden. Another addition is tapping LB when near the ropes to quickly sneak out as a heel. You can only do this three times a match now, so they must be used wisely.

A targeting meter has been added for the head, limb and leg strikes, which makes it easier to decide where to attack during those grapples. It seemed like every match was booked in a way to be a good match. Some may not like that, but I did. It felt like the matches were telling a story. The out of the box difficulty was pretty good, not overbearing and not easy as pie like last year. The AI seemed smarter and would go towards your weaknesses. I won most of my matches I played, but felt all of them were good matches and a blast to play.

There’s also the comeback feature for someone like Cena. If you’re Cena and getting beat down, near the end you have one shot to perform a comeback. Pressing a corresponding random button initiates it, and then you follow the on-screen prompts to complete it. If you do, you earn a finisher and basically come back from the dead, as we’ve seen Cena do before. Not everyone has these additions, as you’re not going to see Drew McIntyre pulling it off, but the ones who do make sense.

Final Thoughts

One other announcement from the event was that a collector’s edition of the game is coming out, featuring either The Rock or John Cena. Voting is underway at the Facebook page for WWE 12, and the winner’s version will be released along with the non-collector’s edition on 11/22. Details of what the CE will contain, as well as pricing, will be announced after the winning version is decided.

There are still a bunch of other features, modes and so forth that have yet to be announced, but they will be in the coming months before the release of the game. WWE, and wrestling gaming fans in general, have a big reason to be excited this November. WWE video games are back, and WWE 12 is making that happen with a vengeance.

WWE '12 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 eaterofworlds888 @ 08/16/11 06:17 PM
I've said it before this all sounds great. Looking forward to it.
# 2 da ThRONe @ 08/16/11 06:59 PM
This game may pull me out of my pro wrestling coma. I may even start watching it again to get familiar with the the guys who I'm not aware of its been probably two years since I've followed WWE.
# 3 CM Hooe @ 08/16/11 07:03 PM
The Madden playing styles comparison made me chuckle, given that this is a wrestling game, haha. Good write-up, though.
# 4 ExtremeGamer @ 08/16/11 07:18 PM
Originally Posted by CHooe
The Madden playing styles comparison made me chuckle, given that this is a wrestling game, haha. Good write-up, though.
I figured it worked for OS LOL

- Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
# 5 da ThRONe @ 08/16/11 09:14 PM
Originally Posted by JerseySuave4
da throne, my older brother got back into it with his wife, they even go to shows. So i started flipping it on every now and then. It's gotten a lot better. The whole CM Punk thing is pretty good and now with Kevin Nash coming back, possibly HBK or Xpac as well with Triple H being the COO he seems to be bringing back his buddies. Randy Orton is pretty good as well. And now even the lesser stars are entertaining like Kofi Kingston. Theres still a lot of guys with regular names and pretty basic looks to them but its starting to get good again.

They're bringing back managers and even "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart is coming back. They're also making a bigger push with the tag team division which has been lacking for a while now.
There was a period where some superstars were just leaving wrestling or going over to TNA. WWE just wasn't doing it for me, but these droughts have happen before and when it gets good I find my way back. A lot of people like the whole Nexus thing I was just more a less peeking back in and I thought those guys were lame.
# 6 da ThRONe @ 08/16/11 09:15 PM
I tried to watch Raw yesterday, but I didn't see it on. Usually the Monday show after a main PPV is the best that month.
# 7 scottyp180 @ 08/16/11 10:00 PM
Years ago i was a huge wresting fan ( from before the attitude era until the early 2000s) and i was an even bigger wrestling video game fan. I remember my brother and I would sit at a computer together reading every bit of information we could about the new games. I barely watch wrestling now and I haven't bought a wrestling game since Here Comes the Pain but this game makes me wish I was as big of a fan as I once was. My old self would be shaking from anticipation for this game.
# 8 C the Lyte @ 08/16/11 11:00 PM
I haven't loved a wrestling game since No Mercy on the N64. Played a few since then but nothing felt like No Mercy felt. How do these newer wrestling games compare?
# 9 threattonature @ 08/16/11 11:41 PM
Honestly this reads too much like it came from someone in the THQ marketing department. I'm definitely looking forward to the game but I will still be waiting a few extra weeks after it releases to read impressions. Not getting burned again.
# 10 BRxSKINSx @ 08/17/11 11:12 AM
Man, I can't wait til this comes out. I don't watch wrestling anymore, but i still play the games and from the sound of this ......I will not be disappointed....Demolition, the Road Warriors...OMG! They need Warlord and Barbarian.....and maybe give us Tully Blanchard to go with Arn Anderson.....
# 11 johnpreyes @ 08/17/11 12:51 PM
What, no love for Paul Roma?
# 12 SeerMagicX @ 08/17/11 02:06 PM
best things they've done to this series in a long while. Though I find it funny when they act like stuff is new, when all they did was take HCTP control scheme. For the first time ever you can crawl to the ropes during a submission! nope, that was in HCTP. Opponent will get up groggy into your finisher for the first time! nope, that was in HCTP.

THQ, don't treat us like we are dumb. I think it's great you've ripped HCTP controls. I hated the analog crap, it never felt right in a wrestling game. New engine doesn't look as good graphically, but if that's what was needed to get warping animations and moves out of the game, fine by me. Roster is also impressive. Can't wait to have hollywood rock in a game (first since HCTP). I hope we get mankind and not foley, but either is better than none. Rock N Sock back in action.
# 13 CarryTheWeight @ 08/17/11 05:49 PM
Create-An-Arena is just what the doctor ordered for a dude who runs an online CAW wrestling show. It makes every single event that much more unique and the insane amounts of detail really make the possbilities sky-high...that is, until the novelty wears off (as it tends to do with modes other than CAW proper in recent SVR/WWE titles).

I am still pretty much on the fence with the rest of the game, however. I'm not quite sure how this new gameplay will "feel", honestly. But if the "wrestling flow" is that much better than in years past, I guess that's something to look forward to. I'm going to wait to play the game before I really jump on the bandwagon....
# 14 WhiteMan22 @ 08/17/11 08:32 PM
Wow. This game was def. not on my radar of games to play, but this might just go right back into it.
# 15 DJ @ 08/18/11 12:45 AM
Scott, glad you had a good time at the event. Sounds like you really like the game, which is nice to hear. I'm still skeptical, only because these wrestling games feel very stale to me, and aside from Legends of Wrestlemania, it has been years since I've enjoyed a wrestling game.

I hope this is the game to bring me back, but I will have to play it first before committing.
# 16 ted23 @ 08/21/11 11:24 PM
I'm not going to get it until I KNOW they improved the AI (at least have SOME AI in it that makes it remotely challenging).

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