previews\ Aug 26, 2009 at 8:00 pm

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 - PS3 - Preview

As expected, THQ is readying their annual release of their popular franchise – and not to mention ever so important license – WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. After a weekend spent in downtown Los Angeles visiting THQ for their press event to properly unveil the title to the press, alongside WWE’s own Summerslam festivities nonetheless, it’s fairly certain that WWE fans are in for a great surprise when WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 hits store shelves.

What can fans expect from this year’s release? First off, the online features are being heavily focused on with the addition to download user-generated content. Secondly, there’s a new tutorial mode to utilize. Among other things, there’s a new editing function titled Superstar Threads, a change in the HUD, a reduction in loading times, a story editor and much more.

The most talked about feature for WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 has been the addition of the WWE Story Creator. This mode is going to enhance the longevity of the title in droves. Players are eligible to put together up to two years of storylines for the WWE for all of the brands. From every PPV down to the television shows themselves, for the first time ever, the WWE is truly now in the hands of the gamers. Becoming the head booker of sorts, players will determine how the matches play out and the angles (scenes) that go along with them. If gamers want a player injured before a match, they could set up a backstage attack angle and then alter the body injuries in the options menu before it takes place. The angles themselves have customizable text, cameras, emotes of the characters, and lengths. If players want The Undertaker smiling while Randy Orton yells at him, then it’s as easy as a few clicks of a button. If they’d rather have the camera zoomed far out while an intruder interferes on the scene, then by all means, the players have the ability to do so.

On top of creating stories, players are able to download them via their online connection. This isn’t the only thing downloadable; players have the chance to download their favorite created wrestlers, highlight reels, finishes and much more. The biggest drawback about downloading created wrestlers is that many move sets of popular wrestlers most likely won’t have their featured finishers from their career. Still, the fact remains, online sharing is going to be a huge asset in luring back fans who may have left the series a long time ago.

Also new this year is a new tutorial mode. As gamers have experienced in the past with the NBA Live or NBA 2k series, they’ll have the eligibility to pick up and wrestle without ever having to click on a menu. This training center allows for players to learn the basics of all match types and the controls. Players can adjust the AI difficulty, turn on or off the training tips, change the ability to use finishers and signature maneuvers. It’s not the most innovative feature, but it surely was a long time coming due to many sports titles already following the same path.

In other news, customization of a gamer’s personal wrestler has received a new feature that is making its return in the form of Superstar Threads. This option will allow for players to edit the color of different sections of a wrestler’s attires such as The Undertaker having his outfit turned to pink. While it’s not the most unique feature, players should enjoy tinkering with their favorite wrestler’s attire to their own preferences. Before moving on, THQ has also included the chance to customize their own logos and emblems to be applied to their own created superstars with a Microsoft Paint-type tool. These two customization options should help put WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 among the better fighting games in recent memory.

The controls haven’t been modified to the point of being unrecognizable. Grappling, striking, aerial moves and the like aren’t anything out of the ordinary. What has changed is the momentum players have to build up to execute their signature and finishing moves. It’s a guarantee that players will be fighting longer matches due to how long it takes to build up the meter. Speaking of the meter, the HUD has been removed and is only applied to a circle underneath the wrestler. Players aren’t able to save signature moves for later use as they have to use them within the allotted time period or lose them forever. If players are able to pull off their signature move, they’ll then have the ability to perform their finisher move to hopefully end the match in high fashion.

Fans should be lining up around the corner of their favorite electronics store when WWE Raw vs. Smackdown 2010 finally releases due to all the new improvements and additions. Not only have the loading times have been diminished to less than four seconds, but there are little to no loading times within the create-a-wrestler mode. THQ has even added in a new damage type system where blood is shown and wrestlers show their pain by hunching over or favoring their new injury. If there’s one THQ title to put on a wish list, WWE Raw vs. Smackdown 2010 is it. Keep an eye out for more coverage in the coming months as we get more hands-on with this highly anticipated title.

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