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WWE ’12′ — Game Review

WWE 12 Screenshot

Wrestling video games have always been fun enough, but usually because of the imagination wrestling fans brought to them, rather than what was actually available in gameplay. ‘WWE ‘12′ is out to change all that.

A reboot that does away with the Smackdown vs. Raw games heads in a bold new direction,that not only nails the in-ring action but also what goes on outside the ‘squared-circle.’

The game lets users spend hours creating and tinkering with a grappler — we took the opportunity to create a ogre who resembles your mom — then lets the character take part in an entire three-act season, alternating among segments with Triple H and Sheamus.

Leading into the matches, you play through the grandstanding histrionics and  one-upsmanship that makes you hate your opponent enough to bash his head into the turnbuckle. A superb graphical and animation overhaul often makes the action look more realistic than your fuzzy, drunken recollections of Summer Slam ‘02. Sometimes guys move around like robots, but you’re usually too busy pounding buttons in a furious attempt to get out of a pin to notice. The matches flow in a believable rhythm, and cheesy gimmicks are nearly non-existent.

With 60 wrestlers included, ranging from old-timers such as the original Undertaker to his current oiled-up image, the game is all about options. If you’re hardcore enough, you can even create your own storylines and share them with friends.

Finally, technology has achieved a product that makes it no longer necessary to make your little brother wait on the floor for you to deliver the People’s Elbow.

RATING: 8.5/10

WWE ‘12 ($60), was developed by Yuke’s, published by THQ and is available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Rated T. The publisher provided a copy of the game for review.

Read Phil Villarreal’s blog at and follow him on Twitter: @philvillarreal

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