Shut Your Mouth is slated for a November/December release currently. Though we recently updated a extensive preview on how the game is coming along thus far, we've been lucky enough to score some more information on Yukes' upcoming wrestler.
In the last preview, it was stated that Shut Your Mouth would play virtually the same as previous installments. There have been a few things, however, that have been refined and tweaked in Shut Your Mouths play' mechanics, and this will play into the liking of many people's interest. The grapple system in earlier installments of the series was quite easy to execute and made the game a fast-paced, offensive-driven game, which many people complained about. Yukes has listened to their fans and tweaked the grapple-system so that grappling is much harder to execute because the wrestlers do not reach out as far. In addition, counterattacks can be made once an opponent fails in an attempt to grapple you. This facet of play makes the game a much slower, strategy-oriented game that depicts the matches on TV much more accurate and should be a pleasing announcement for most gamers.
On another note, the animations for each wrestler are incredibly accurate and are intricately detailed towards their real-life counterparts' persona. Rob Van Dam, for example, possesses all his cat-like maneuvers and also sports subtle moves that may normally go unnoticed, such as his bounce-like stance when in an immobile position, just as he is on TV. Likewise, other wrestlers boast a lot of accurate movements and moves that, when seen, can be recognized right away by a fan of the sport. Other examples of this include the wide variation of moves, such as choke- and body-slams, which are performed accordingly by the various wrestlers.
A nice new feature has been implemented, and it makes the use of weapons even more deadly, but more importantly, they now work more realistically. What this means is that when a superstar has a weapon in his hand and grapples, there will be a specific animation according to which weapon that wrestler is holding. A table, for example, will make your wrestler set it down, put the opponent on top, and then proceed to an offensive move all in one smooth animation. A chair will set up a DDT wherein the opponent is driven into the chair on the mat. This weapon usage is always taken advantage of on TV, but never before has it really taken full effect in a video game, until now.
Create-A-Wrestler has always been one of the integral features in the Smackdown series. Not only is it back, but it's back with tons of refining. The layering-model is not more accurate and allows for better looking layers of clothing for the created wrestlers. Moreover, tons of renowned clothing articles, masks, and moves will also be in the cut to assist players in building their favorite superstars that don't make the roster -- Mankind, Shawn Michaels, and the like. Also, wrestlers that don't make the final cut, due to time restraints, will also presumably have their gear, move-sets and repertoire included.
As you can see from the screens, Shut Your Mouth is unbelievably gorgeous, and the superstars' faces have been intricately detailed to make for a jaw-dropping appearance. Booker T looks so much like his counterpart it's almost scary. And Hulk Hogan sports all of his features in real-life, right down to every little wrinkle. By the way, while not heavily detailed, the crowd ringside is finally rendered in 3D, so taking the action into the crowd will no longer seem so strange.
This, folks, is turning into one hell of a good looking game. Another interesting addition is that you can now throw other wrestlers off the top of the cell. And if we're lucky, maybe Yukes will add even more match-type stipulations. An inferno match would be interesting, and a buried alive match would be just as awesome. Over-the-top-off-with-the-top wouldn't gain any complaints either. Well, we can only hope. Don't think this is the last time we'll be updating; we're far from done. In the mean time, check out further screens as the game progresses in development.
5/29/2002 Joseph Comunale