With this year’s Smackdown vs Raw 08, developer Yukes is looking to add a little style. Though steroid-infused powerhouses are typically the first thing to spring to mind when thinking about wrestling, the sport is composed of a number of styles, including technical wrestlers and high-flying acrobats.
Smackdown vs Raw 08 breaks wrestlers down into eight different styles with each wrestler featuring two styles, one primary and one secondary. For example, Ric Flair is one of the dirtiest fighters in the game, but he is also a pretty good old school technical guy. Then there’s Jeff Hardy, who is a high flyer though he is also an accomplished hardcore wrestler. Each style will determine what types of moves each wrestler has access to. For example, powerhouse wrestlers will have moves that involve pounding other guys into submission, while someone with the showman style will probably have flashier moves.
Styles will also come with a set of special moves; high-flyers will be able to quickly get out of tight situations, while technical wrestlers have the chance to reverse moves. A wrestler’s primary style will determine which special moves they have access to. During a match, you can switch between primary and secondary styles, giving you a little more strategy when it comes to matches. If your brawler moves aren’t getting the job done, you can switch to your secondary dirty style and get a classic heel win.
Between matches, you can assign new styles to wrestlers, though some won’t be able to use certain styles. In other words, you probably won’t see Umaga pulling off high-flying moves.
Most moves will be assigned to the right analog stick, similar to pulling off moves in Fight Night or Madden. Flicking left or right will throw punches while throwing in up and down flicks will generate uppercuts or head butts. Submissions will also use the analog stick. Pressing the stick in one direction will add pressure to the move, though the added pressure will also loosen your grip – so you’ll have to find a balance between applying pressure and letting off.
In addition to wrestlers from the Smackdown and Raw brands, Smackdown vs Raw 08 will also include a set of wrestlers from the ECW brand. ECW matches will bring in a new set of match types, like the ECW Extreme Rules match, which turns the match into a weapons-filled brawl. You’ll even be able to interact with the audience since they’ll hand you weapons or even hold down your opponent.
Career mode returns and lets you take an already established wrestler or one you create through his career. You’ll have to compete in matches and compete for belts as well as keep in shape and make public appearances. Online options will also be included, though the exact options included in the mode as well as the final roster of playable wrestlers has yet to be announced. Look for more information in the coming months.