When Acclaim originally developed WWF Warzone and Attitude for PSOne, game critics were impressed by the level of detail that the game had featured. But soon both titles grew old and severely lacked one thing, speed! After handing down the WWF license down to THQ, many -including I- were skeptical at the quality of the future WWF games, but lo and behold THQ/Yukes delivered WWF Smackdown. Gracing itself exclusively on the Playstation console, WWF Smackdown! became the best wrestling game to date. With amazing gameplay and visuals to back it up, Smackdown was one hell of a package, despite its lack of commentary, although it just seemed like the vast majority didn't mind too much. Just 8 months later we saw a sequel to Smackdown, and it was even better than the first. Sharper visuals, and even more diverse gameplay overall, it became obvious why both Smackdown titles sold more than 1 million copies each. Appearing at E3 for the first time, WWF Smackdown 3 looked a bit rough, and I was instantly disappointed, but as time progressed Yukes was able to substantially make the game look better.
Comparing the original E3 screens to these most recent ones, Smackdown 3 has come a long way. The athletic detail has progressed beyond belief. Now the wrestlers look amazingly defined. Take a look at The Rock, notice how magnificently detailed he is, everything from his broad shoulders to the rest of his body. The facial detail is every bit as good, the faces look almost photo-realistic, but indeed are hand drawn. The Undertaker and Vince McMahon screenshot is a fine example of superb facial detail. The original Smackdown titles featured awesome background detail, but the third one takes the cake! Take a look at the Undertaker and Kain screenshot, and look at the banners of Stone Cold and HHH hanging, that whole arena setting is the exact same one from this past Wrestlemania, now that's attention to detail! Aside from that, the entrances will now be 100% authentic, no more video in the background while wrestler waves and takes two steps. This time, you will see the whole Titantron with the actual wrestler's video playing in the background, while the wrestler makes his grand appearance in person, walking down to the ring, entering it and doing whatever he does before the match. And at 60 frames per second, WWF Smackdown! Just Bring is looking very impressive.
Just Bring It will still play as the originals have, but this time Yukes is cramming the game with features. For starters there will be dozens upon dozens of arenas to fight in, including: SmackDown! Arena, Outside Lobby, Plaza, Raw Is War Arena, PPV Arenas (i.e. Summerslam, No Mercy, Wrestlemania), Parking Garage, Boiler Room, WWF New York (restaurant?), WWF Times Square (sweet!). The backstage meetings with other wrestlers or characters, will now feature more depth and possibly voice acting. The career mode will be deeper than ever, and will take your wrestler to new heights. Now by the looks of things, Yukes may not incorporate WCW wrestlers into the roster. Nothing on the matter has been said by THQ, and as it seems, it's possible that we may have to wait until the next Smackdown installment. Below is the full roster that will appear in Just Bring It:
The ladder match made its debut in Smackdown 2, but it will return better than ever. As you can see by the Chris Jericho pic, the ladder can now be used even more to your advantage than ever before. Here is a full list of the type of matches that you will be treated to:
1. Single Match - No Manager
Yup, 67 different variations of about 19 different matches. But some of the variations are good enough as stand alone math types. Frankly I'm impressed beyond belief. WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It is looking stupendous. On top of all that Yukes will incorporate over 1000 animated moves, and it's possible that the Dudley's 3D will make it. And on top of that, THQ/Yukes will include commentary for the game, which is a big plus! As for the Royal Rumble, or wrestlers in one ring simultaneously, that number is 9. Stay tuned for the release of Just Bring It, this Fall of 2001.
*Special thanks to PS2 IGN crew*