|05-02-2007, 08:29 PM||#1|
One of the main areas of focus for the team behind the game has been to move away from the canned animations, outlandish HUD elements, and button mashing that defined so many of the earlier games in the series. The shift in focus will be realized in a number of different new features in SVR 2008, including new fighting styles and a new submission control system.
The fighting styles should have a dramatic effect on SVR 2008's gameplay. The game will include eight fighting styles, which both the WWE wrestlers and your created grapplers will be categorized into: hardcore, high flyer, submission artist, powerhouse, brawler, showman, dirty, and technical. While in previous SVR games you've always had the ability to assign different styles to your wrestlers, the game didn't always demonstrate a good sense of internal logic--consider the fact that you could easily have big man Kane pulling off high flyer moves normally reserved for the likes of Jeff Hardy or Rey Mysterio Jr. Now that won't be the case, as the new fighting styles will place wrestlers into the roles that better suit their real-life capabilities.
That isn't to say that the WWE superstars will be constrained, however. Indeed, each of the eight fighting styles in the game will have its own strengths, weaknesses, and special moves that no other fighting style will have. Consider the "dirty" wrestler, for example. In one gameplay clip THQ showed, a dirty Randy Orton used the referee as a human shield to prevent further attacks from Kane before shoving the referee into his opponent and knocking him down. As producers put it, using this special "referee shield" move will mean your opponent will not be able to attack you for a brief period of time.
A later clip showed some of the high flying moves, with Rey Mysterio pulling off his trademark aerial stunts against the much bigger Bobby Lashley. Speaking of Lashley, the WrestleMania 23 main eventer is a powerhouse in the game, both figuratively and literally. As a powerhouse, Lashley and fellow brutes like Kane and Batista will be able to power out of pinfalls, no matter how hurt they are (assuming they've got a finisher stored, that is).
Last year's SmackDown! vs. RAW introduced some new control elements to the game, stepping away from some of the button-mashing minigames and introducing things like the environmental hot spots and the analog stick-centric ultimate control moves. With SVR 2008, the submission control system takes one more step in the same direction with what producers are referring to as the struggle submission system. Now, locking up your opponent in a Boston crab, for example, will result in a sort of push-and-pull minigame between both players, one that is completely free of extraneous HUD elements and instead focuses on the animations of the two struggling grapplers themselves.
Once you've locked in your hold on your foe, you'll have a couple of options: Do you go for the ultimate power-submission move and try to get your opponent to tap out, or do you decrease the pressure, keep the hold on longer, and hope to wear down your opponent? You'll control these moves with the analog stick--the further you pull back on the stick, the more pressure you'll apply on the hold. No more timing minigames for the submissions, no more odd timing meters showing up onscreen; instead, you're focusing just on the wrestlers and their animations. During a clip showing off the new system, Randy Orton locked up Triple H in a painful-looking abdominal stretch; the clip demonstrated how as you apply pressure with the analog stick, your controlled wrestler's animation will wrench back to really put on the pressure.
The producers are also aiming to make sure that both players have control during these submissions, so that while the player initiating the hold is exerting pressure on his opponent, the "defending" player will be struggling to free him or herself from the hold. No word yet on how these struggles will actually play, as we haven't had a chance to try out the game for ourselves, but we're eager to see how it works.