WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 Hands-On Preview

Undertaker chokeslams Randy Orton off a ladder and through some tables.

Another year, another series of beat-downs, flashy moves, and broken weapons for World Wrestling Entertainment’s main videogame franchise’s latest edition, WWE Smackdown! vs. RAW 2011. The newest installment in the long-running wrestling series has kept everything that has made it great while adding some new maneuvers to its arsenal.

The HUD and controls are exactly the same as 2010. Each superstar’s momentum will appear underneath them, with the "S" popping up underneath for a special move and "F" for a finishing move. The rest remains clear so players can enjoy the action unhindered. The game will also see the return of its great and intricate grappling system.

Weapons will now no longer just fade away after being used. Tables will lay in the ring shattered, ladders will be bent, and chairs dented as the game looks to bring more realism to the franchise. Destroyed weapons will eventually fade away, but while present they will still be considered solid objects and will move around when walked into.

Ladders can also now be placed along the ring ropes or on the outside of the ring and balconies, adding even more options to put some hurt on your opponent. They can even be leaned against another for use as ramps and more. Tables will be stackable for even more carnage, while chairs can be tossed at your opponents for some long-range damage.

One of the biggest and possibly most welcome changes to the game will be the ability to control where players will drop their opponents on slams. This new feature allows players to change the direction they will drop their foe in mid-move without it pausing. There will still be control grapples where players can hold opponents in set-up holds for slams and walk around the ring with them, so this will only add to the game’s offensive variety.

Chris Jericho double-stomps Randy Orton from off the turnbuckle.

This new feature will remove the hindrance previous games in the series had when moves would slam opponents in a direction players did not intend to. A good example was when I played the game, I tried to suplex my foe onto a ladder that was set up on the ropes. The suplex started to drop him right beyond the edge of the ladder, but with a little movement of one of the analog sticks, I was able to turn the slam enough to put him into my weapon of choice and break the ladder.

The roster for Smackdown! vs. RAW 2011 will be huge. Over 70 superstars from the two shows will appear in this year’s installment. The demo has confirmed Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, and The Miz. Unfortunately, the game will not feature any of the rookies from WWE’s latest show, NXT.

With some solid and more dynamic means of using weapons and increased control over just what kind of pain you can inflict on your opponent, WWE Smackdown! vs. RAW 2011 is looking only to improve upon what is already a great wrestling game franchise. Wrestling fans should be anxiously looking forward to this title when it releases on October 26 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, and PSP.


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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