THQ has released a new video showing off a variety of new gameplay mechanics and system changes for WWE ’12. If you have been keeping up with wrestling games as of late you’ll definitely be impressed.
On the visual front, the action has a more presentation feel that’s closer to what you’d see on TV. The camera angles are more accurate and it just looks better overall. Character models have been improved, there’s a new depth of field system, and there’s a new engine for the ring and ropes. It actually reacts appropriately to what’s going on now.
The gameplay is where you’ll notice a major overhaul. Every move can now be interrupted by another player, which means you no longer have to wait for animations to finish to attack your opponent. Perhaps even more surprising is being able to combine moves together that were never before possible. THQ showed Rey Mysterio doing a moonsault off the top rope during John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle animation and everything connected as if it was an actual tag team move.
Animations have also been drastically improved. In previous games the transitions were absolutely horrendous. Sometimes characters would just warp to the middle of the ring for no reason. It seems like WWE ’12 rectifies this by actually adding smooth animations all throughout. Instead of a camera shifting automatically showing Randy Orton grabbing someone on the ropes, you see both characters setting up the move realistically.
Along with the “new” submission system, which just seems to be a variation of the button mashing sequence from Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, there’s a new comeback mechanic. The option only becomes available when you’re in critical danger of losing and it can only be used once. Momentum shifts are an important aspect in wrestling, so it’s great to see that there’s one in WWE ’12. THQ also brought back the ability to store finishers.
Perhaps the biggest addition is the new “wake up” taunt. You see this move done by Superstars all the time. Randy Orton falls to the floor and pounds his hands on the mat as his hopeless opponent wakes up dazed and confused. Then he hits the RKO and the match is over. Every wrestler now has a wake up taunt in WWE ’12. This means that you can now set up your finishers properly, seamlessly, and more accurately. I’ve been wanting a universal wake up move in a wrestling game for over a decade now. It doesn’t really make sense why it took THQ so long to add one.
The controls have also been fine tuned back to the face buttons. You don’t have to use the right analog stick to do moves anymore. It will be just like the good ‘ol days when wrestling games were easy to pick up and play. It’s surprising it took THQ this long to go back to its roots after copying EA’s control scheme.
Check out the Predator Tech featurette below to see everything in action.