WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2011
WWE Smackdown VS RAW 2011 is the yearly installment of the series, and like pretty much all of the games in the series, it is one crazy ride. WWE games have been around for a really long time, and they've been known for being quite the creative type of games. Just like the real WWE events, it's not like your average "sport", and there's just as much show in the game as in the real events. These games used to come out yearly like most other sports games, so there wasn't much time to add mechanics and improve a lot. So let's see if there was enough time to make this game a great title.
About the game
WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2011 has all the basics you could ask from a WWE game covered up nicely enough. The list of unlockable characters is huge, as you can choose from over 70 different wrestlers. The characters range from all-time legends to new wrestlers, and of course, the player-created wrestlers too.
Overall there's little improvement in terms of new game modes, but one of the biggest and most important new mechanics here is the WWE Universe mode. Probably the most original mode, and also the one that will give you many hours of fun playing it. It's kinda like an open story mode, where there will be a generated calendar with many events to play. But the story will also auto-generate interactions, events, and even partnerships between your wrestler and other ones.
This doesn’t eliminate the basic story mode and career mode present in past entries in the franchise. So it’s an interesting addition, and the idea of new rivalries appearing so naturally, new events always appearing, and much more, it means that it’s virtually infinite.
Is it a fighting game?
These kinds of sports games are always in a thin line between being a sports simulation game and a fighting game. The same thing happens with UFC Undisputed 2011, another fighting-sport based game. But in that case, it is a little bit different, of course, since UFC is a much more serious sport.
In every way, WWE Smackdown VS RAW 2011 is a less serious game more intended to have some fun than to simulate a real sports event. After all, not even a real-life WWE live event looks like a real sport itself, so the game does great in this sense.
Graphics and Visuals: The game doesn't look too good, that's nothing really new. It does a great job of giving a semi-realistic portrayal of the wrestlers in the game, and there's a solid art style in there. It's enough to be enjoyable and not so bad to be annoying.
Gameplay: The new game modes add a lot to the game, and makes it a little less repetitive too. The characters do feel slow and awkward to control, and the movements are blocky and choppy. It’s overall ok gameplay though, but not above average.
Sound: The narration of the commenters are a little repetitive, but they add a real sense to the game. All the wrestlers have their theme music alright, and there's little music aside from that. So the sound is ok but could be much better.
There isn't much new in this entry for the series, but there are more general improvements overall. The new model works great for adding tons of replayability, but overall this is a great game to have fun with friends. It has a lot of downloadable content which is not great, but it's not necessary either so you can live without it