E3 2008: WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 Impressions
Last year's WWE SmackDOwn vs Raw 2008 wasn't a game that I was terribly fond of. It had done away with the things that made previous iterations so enjoyable to play - such as speed. I complained about how slow and clunky the game was, but I'm thankful to report that THQ has listened and corrected what was wrong.
The new WWE game moves a lot faster and controls a lot smoother. The controls are very responsive, as I had no trouble winning a few matches. Unlike last year's game, I didn't find myself struggling with the 2009 iteration, everything felt intuitive and fluid. Wrestlers will now run properly, the impacts feel powerful, and the collision detection has been improved too.
Utilizing the right analog stick as the grapple button proved to be more user friendly, again, thanks to the improved speed and response. For the most part, the visuals look identical to that of the previous game, but that's not a bad thing. This means you still have very detailed wrestlers who look practically identical to their real-life counterparts.
The picture is silky smooth, and the image quality isn't marred by poor image issues such as aliasing or flickering. Additionally, the frame rate kept everything moving along well. What I didn't like was the crowd past the fourth row, they were just blotchy pixels - and there's no excuse for that in a next-gen game.
So far, so very good for WWE fans. SmackDown vs. RAW 2009 is shaping up extremely well, and is bound to be much better than last year's game. Hopefully the crowd in the background is sharpened for the final game, though.
Related Game(s): WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2009
7/16/2008 Arnold Katayev