WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2011 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2011 box art
System: PS3, X360, Wii, PS3, PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Yuke's Co. 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: THQ 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 26, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-16 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The biggest new element of the Road to Wrestlemania mode is a free-roaming element that allows you to run around the backstage area of your venue before each match. This free-roaming aspect is pretty limited, as the backstage area only consists of a few rooms, but it gives you the opportunity to interact with other superstars, advance the plot in a deeper way (if you choose), and participate in extra stat-building side missions. This extra element also created some branching elements that impacted the storyline of the game, and depending on the way you interact with other superstars (generally you can either push or talk to wrestlers backstage) you will gain extra allies or enemies over the course of the story.

WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2011 screenshot

Aside from the new elements, your favorite modes from last year are back, including the deep character creation system and the story creation modes. While some new elements have been added to the character creation mode, the most improvement has been made to the story creator mode, which now supports branching storylines. Creators who want a pivot point in their stories can set the conditions of the branch and then map out both the different and common elements between the multiple paths of their stories. While this feature takes a little bit of work, it is a great new tool for the dedicated story creators out there to create the exact story they want.

The visuals in SmackDown vs. Raw have also received a facelift, which is a good thing considering the game's visuals have looked about the same since the 2008 iteration of the game. The superstar models have been improved greatly and have a new muscle tone texture system and dynamic skin elements that give the wrestlers a more human look (the former models tended to look a bit like action figures on occasion). The game also makes use of a brand-new physics system that makes everything look a lot more realistic (and brutal)!

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SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 definitely doesn't overhaul the formula like 2010 did, but I think the format of the game is in a good place right now. The additions made to the Road to Wrestlemania mode as well as the totally immersive WWE Universe mode are ample incentive for wrestling fans to pick this one up. And of course, add that to the improved creation modes, suped-up visuals, and of course online modes (which now support more Royal Rumble players), and you've got another solid title in a franchise that has made a habit of not disappointing fans. And with plenty of DLC coming for this title in the next few months, you can bet that you'll get some lasting value from WWE SmackDown vs. Raw, even after you've unlocked every wrestler, completed all the Road to Wrestlemania storylines and created your perfect career in the WWE Universe mode.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
New dynamic wrestler models look great, and the new physics engine works extremely well.
3.6
Control
Controls are largely the same, save for a few tweaks.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Although the voiceover is weak in places, the overall audio scheme sounds good.
4.3
Play Value
Between the endless WWE Universe mode, the five Road to Wrestlemania stories, and the user-created content, fans won't be able to put this one down for a long time.
4.1
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • WWE UNIVERSE MODE – This brand new addition to the franchise will empower players more than ever to define their ultimate gameplay experiences in a dynamic and ever-changing WWE. Along the way, gameplay scenarios will change based on player decisions, allowing for new rivalries, alliances, championship matches, and more spontaneous WWE action in and out of the ring.
  • ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA – The popular story-driven mode returns with significant updates and new storylines, including the ability to freely roam through backstage areas, select opponents, break into impromptu matches, and fulfill destinies based on player choices.
  • NEW PHYSICS SYSTEM – An extensive variety of technical upgrades to the gameplay experience will ensure all matches and object interactions look and feel unique, dynamic, and unpredictable to capture the full essence and authenticity of WWE.
  • BEST-IN-CLASS CREATION TOOLS – The franchise’s renowned creation interface will include more options than ever to customize created Superstars, finishing moves, story designs, paint tool creations, and more. Searching and sharing content will be greatly simplified through improvements to the highly regarded WWE Community Creations feature, which generated nearly 10 million downloads in its franchise debut.
  • UNPARALLELED ROSTER AND PRESENTATION – Players will explore one of the largest rosters in franchise history with more than seventy of today’s prominent WWE Superstars and WWE Divas. Each in-game model will feature new skin textures and movement technology, delivering the most authentic looking and moving WWE Superstars and WWE Divas ever seen in a WWE videogame. In addition, players will round out their virtual WWE experience with more than 100 match types and an extensive number of new playable arenas.


  • Screenshots / Images
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