The game is the ninth edition of the long-running SmackDown vs RAW (later renamed to simply WWE) video game series based on the professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It is the sequel to 2006's WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, succeeded by WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 and is the first WWE game to include the promotion's ECW brand. It is also the first WWE game to be available for all 7th generation game consoles.
Each wrestler now has two fighting style categories, one primary and one secondary. Each fighting style has its advantages and disadvantages in each particular match type. There are eight styles altogether: high flyer, hardcore, submission artist, powerhouse, showman, brawler, dirty and technical. In addition, creative manager of THQ Cory Ledesma stated early in production that he planned on having numerous wrestler animations redone.
A new "struggle submission system" has been introduced, incorparting more analog control into the game. The player executing the submission can now decide how much pressure is applied by moving the analog stick in a particular direction. Similarly, the player locked in a submission hold will have to power out also by using the analog stick.
The game features the revived ECW brand, and it takes its place alongside the established Raw and SmackDown! brands. The official box art features the ECW logo prominently. The game's ECW branding has expanded the number of weapons available under the ring during gameplay. New weapons such as guitars are available and tables and barbed wire bats can be set on fire. Despite the inclusion of the brand, the video game franchise will keep its SmackDown! vs. Raw name, although an early logo included "ECW Invasion" in the title. It has been changed, however, to "Featuring ECW".
The game features several arenas that WWE held events at in 2006 and 2007. There are also arenas based on each WWE TV show.
ModesEditThe game allows several different game modes to be played, each with different goals and options. The Season and General Manager Modes of previous games have been merged into the new "WWE 24/7" mode, which takes its name from WWE's video on demand service. Players can choose to play one of the game's included superstars or create a superstar, or as a general manager of one of the brand. Playing as a wrestler, the goal is to take that wrestler and achieve "legend" status. In order to do so, the player has to win matches, team with and feud with other wrestlers, and gain popularity. At the same time, they must choose whether to train, exercise, relax, or take part in other activities when not wrestling, all with their own positive and negative effects.(The player could only choose to be either on the Smackdown brand or the Raw brand, as the ECW brand was excluded).
Playing as a general manager is similar to the previous General Manager modes in the series, in which one has to choose a brand and act as its General Manager (Jonathan Coachman for Raw, Theodore Long for SmackDown!, Tommy Dreamer for ECW), draft a roster and make decisions to make it the most popular brand of the three. The General Manager is allowed to make staffing decisions, schedule workouts and events. This was also the last game in the Smackdown vs Raw series to have a General Manager mode. There is also an all-new Tournament Mode, which allows the player to control a superstar through the various stages of the WWE tournament, such as Beat The Clock Sprint and King of the Ring, as well as Money in the Bank tournament. The game also allows you to create your own tournament. (This is featured only on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the Wii.) Like previous games in the series, the game also allows players to challenge for and defend championships. The game includes championships used by the WWE in 2007, bringing back the branded championships from the previous game and for the first time, the ECW Championship.
Fighting Style SystemEdit
The game featured the Fighting Style System which would not appear in later games. With each style, the character would adopt a series of preset abilities. And, depending on primary ability, they would also be able to perform a unique move that can only be activated if the player has a stored finisher icon.
The fighting styles were Powerhouse, Showman, Hardcore, Dirty, Brawler, High-Flyer, Submission and Technical. This system was highly criticised as these pre-setting gave some wrestlers abilities which they cannot actually use, or stopped them from using common moves. For example, Carlito and Chavo Guerrero did not have the ability to perform any of their springboard attacks, and Mr. McMahon was as strong as some of the larger characters in the game. Also, the choice of fighting styles limited the variety of moves available in create-a-moveset.
Wrestlers with the powerhouse fighting style could break out of a pin attempt with just one button press, unless they had sustained a large amount of arm damage. They could also do a powerful Irish Whip (later named a 'Hammer Throw'), which could cause damage if the opponent hit the corner turnbuckles. A player (regardless of weight) could be sent reeling over the top rope with the force of this move. Their special ability was called 'Rampage', a temporary adrenaline rush in which their grapple moves could not be reversed or blocked.
Technical wrestlers automatically reversed all quick grapple moves until they had taken a good deal of arm damage. They also had the ability to perform diving attacks onto opponents outside of the ring. Their special ability was an adrenaline rush that allowed them to counter every attack for a limited time.
Showman is one of the more common kinds. Performing taunts or dives from higher positions caused a faster rise in momentum. They also had 2 special abilities. One allowed them to perform one of their opponent's taunts, and if uninterrupted, the opponent would be unable to gain any momentum for a limited time. They could alternatively copy their opponent's finishing move if in the correct position to do so. However, the copied move would be weaker than the original.
The most common kind is the Brawler. Brawlers can sit on a downed opponent and punch their opponent's head repeatedly. They also had a special combination of 3 to 5 strikes. If the first strike connects, the defending wrestler would not be able to block, avoid or counter the remainder of the strikes in the combination. Their special ability was called 'Wreck Shop', a limited adrenaline rush in which all opponent strikes would be countered and all strikes became unblockable.
High-flyers could perform springboard diving attacks to opponents inside or outside of the ring. Instead of countering or side-stepping attacks, they would perform an evasive roll. Their special ability was a possum pin. After recovering from being knocked down, a high-flyer can remain on the ground. If the attacker attempts a grapple move, the defending wrestler will go for a pin attempt which is difficult to break out of. However, if the opponent attempts a strike, then the pin attempt is lost.
Submission wrestlers can break out of Struggle Submissions with ease. They can also force an opponent to submit to any Struggle Submission, even if it is not a finisher or signature move.
Dirty wrestlers could perform dirty moves, which boosted their momentum faster. They could also remove turnbuckle covers and use weapons to build momentum. They could also use the referee as a human shield, making themselves immune to all attacks. When they release the referee, they shove him into the opponent. This is difficult to avoid and momentarily stuns the opponent and the referee. Their special move involves an eye-poke and a low blow which causes a lot of damage to the head and torso.
Hardcore wrestlers get momentum bonuses for using weapons. They could also perform grapple moves while holding a weapon. If they try to use a steel chair with full momentum, they automatically perform the Steel Chair DDT. If they are caused to bleed, they instantly get full momentum. Their special move can only be performed with a steel chair in hand. They strike themselves in the face repeated until they bleed. While this causes full momentum, it also causes critical head damage.
ECW made its first appearance in the series, as its superstars Tommy Dreamer, CM Punk, Elijah Burke and Kelly Kelly made their debuts. Cryme Tyme, MVP and Ashley made their first appearance as playable superstars and diva. Kenny Dykstra, Marcus Cor Von, Sandman and Sabu also made their first and only WWE game appearances. This is also Michelle McCool's first WWE game appearance since WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw 2006. This is also Bobby Lashley, Gregory Helms, Mick Foley and Torrie Wilson's last WWE game, although Gregory Helms' alternative ego, "The Hurricane" is an unplayable character on the Road To WrestleMania storylines for Christian & Rey Mysterio in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011. Mick Foley is also a playable character in WWE '12 available as DLC in Early 2012. It was also the last regular SmackDown! vs. Raw game for Ric Flair; he appears in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2009 as an unlockable player. This was also the first time that Jeff Hardy was a playable character since WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, the last time John Hennigan appeared as Johnny Nitro, he appears in games after this one as John Morrison. This is the last game to feature Randy Orton with his Legend Killer gimmick. This also the first game to feature John Cena without his rapping character. This is also the last game to feature the trapizoid Raw Titantron Stage, the SmackDown! Fist Stage and the old ECW stage but now named as ECW One Night Stand in this game.
This is the only game in the series to feature the 'ECW Legends' roster. By default, there are only three members of this roster: Sabu, Terry Funk, and Tommy Dreamer. Sandman, however, is on the RAW roster.
|Bobby Lashley||Marcus Cor Von|
|Chavo Guerrero||Matt Hardy|
|Chris Masters||Mr. Kennedy|
|Elijah Burke||Rey Mysterio|
|The Great Khali||The Sandman|
|Jeff Hardy||Shawn Michaels|
|Johnny Nitro||Triple H|
|Kenny Dykstra||William Regal|
|Kelly Kelly||Torrie Wilson|
|Bret "Hitman" Hart||Sabu|
|Mick Foley||"Stone Cold" Steve Austin|
|"Ravishing" Rick Rude||Terry Funk|
|The Rock||Vince McMahon|
|"Rowdy" Roddy Piper|
This would be the last game to feature the Buried Alive Match, as it would not appear in its sequel SmackDown vs. Raw 2009, or any other games to follow. It was also the last edition in the series to feature the Parking Lot Brawl, until its return in the WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 game.