I'd really like to see a return to the days when video games based on the world of sports entertainment didn't have to emulate the television experience. By that, I mean I'm still wondering why they have to make the violence look as staged as it does on television. Why don't they actually make the hits visibly connect with extreme force -- you know, like we're supposed to believe? There's no personal health at risk with video game characters, so the games shouldn't concern themselves with presenting optical illusions. That minor gripe out of the way, WWE '12 is a fine-looking fighter. Things don't really look great until you examine the painstaking detail in the animation work, and really, that's where your attention should be all the time. If your eyes wander to the crowd to look for clones (which you will find), you're doing it wrong. There are some quirks, such as the rocky transitions between grapples and resulting actions. However, the reversals look absolutely natural. THQ and Yukes have been going on about this "Predator Technology" animation system, and it's actually quite cool; now, reversals can be performed at more than one moment during an attack cycle, and they can even stop an opponent's signature move. Finally, as with previous games in the series, the camera is there to deliver that classic television feel, switching angles for effect at just the right times.
WWE '12 might not sound as viscerally nasty as UFC 2010: Undisputed, but the dull thud of flesh on flesh is unmistakable here. The loud bangs that emanate from the ring every time someone gets up close and personal with the canvas is corny, but faithful. Even cornier is the voice acting, but that's no surprise. The hammy performances are so bad they are good; that's the way it's always been, and that's the way it should stay.