Nov 112011

I’m a gigantic wrestling fan. I have been ever since I was about 7 years old. A lot of kids idolized their favorite football or basketball players, whereas I championed a different man: “Macho Man” Randy Savage. I’ve grown up with wrestling (I often joke about how I was born to be a wrestling fan, since I’m the same age as Wrestlemania and it always happens right around my birthday), and as such, I make sure to get every new WWE game that hits the shelves.

With last year’s offering, Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011, came a new mode that was a major hit: Universe Mode. For everybody who ever wanted to run the WWE the way they wanted to, this mode provided them with that opportunity. However, it did have its flaws, and there were areas in which it sometimes seemed a bit limited or repetitive. This year, with WWE ’12, the developers are looking to address and rectify the complaints that the fanbase has given them, and from the looks of it, they’ve done a mighty fine job. Check out a video highlighting some of the changes to the mode, which they are now calling “Universe Mode 2.0,” after the jump.

From the looks of it, the storylines built by the Universe Mode seem to have been upgraded a bit, in order to actually flow better. One of my primary complaints about the mode in the last game was that feuds would come out of nowhere, and one would often start while the wrestlers involved were already involved in other feuds. From the looks of things, this year’s version seems to be taking care of that. I’m also pretty impressed by how some cutscenes seem to have been individualized to wrestlers rather than remain generic. The scene with Randy Orton attacking Brock Lesnar post-match is clearly meant for Orton, as seen by the stunning RKO he delivered to the Next Big Thing. I’m excited to see how many more of these individualized cutscenes are in the game. Will we see a Zack Ryder-specific scene, in which he wrecks his opponent with the Rough Ryder? I don’t know. Should we see it? You know it, bro.

I’m also really excited about the Draft being added in. I would often simulate that kind of thing myself, and I’m glad to see that it’s a legitimate feature in the game now. What really excites me the most, though, is the “Create A Show” feature. I love customization in my games, and with the ability to rename your shows, create arenas for them, make logos, choose the belts used on the show and so forth, this is my dream mode. The developers have been making a big deal about how the Universe Mode really is “your universe,” and with all the ways that you can customize it to your liking, it’s clear to see that they put real effort into making sure that was the case.

WWE ’12 drops on Nov. 22 for the XBox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. This is looking to be a must-buy for wrestling fans, so if you consider yourself one, get out and pick this game up.

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