WWE SmackDown! vs RAW 2008

Format: Xbox 360

4 005209 097505
Age Restrictions: 16+
09 November 2007

WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2008 lets players bring the fight into their own living room with the debut of Superstar Fighting Styles. The game features eight unique styles, each having its own strategy and exclusive attributes. A brand new Struggle Submission System gives players intuitive and natural control over their WWE Superstars by using the analogue controls. Realism and strategy are at the forefront, as players now control the amount of pressure they apply to their opponents. In addition, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2008 features a significant Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) presence, including a variety of Superstars, arenas and weapons. The game is also packed with significant updates requested by fans, including new rosters, more environmental hotspots, a combined Season and General Manager Mode experience, improved out-of-ring action, enhanced online community support and much more...

Fans of the WWE SmackDown! vs Raw franchise might think they know it all when it comes to these games, but THQ has included quite a few additional variants to the game to make it necessary for fans to sit through a few short video tutorials in order to ensure that they can pull off the new functions with ease.

As fans have come to expect, the graphics are pretty impressive, with everyone's favourite WWE stars looking as realistic as is possible for a console game.

The load times are a bit of a pain. Before you can get into a match, you'll have to endure loads for each character's entrance and then again before the match starts proper. I found myself sitting there twiddling my thumbs as the game slowly loaded up the next match. Although, there are some superstar trivia and stats that pop up on the screen to make the waiting process a little less painful.

One of the things I moaned about with last year's offering was the poor commentary. While the new offering is far from perfect, it's a lot better than last year's and is actually quite amusing.

On the technical side many improvements have been made on the gameplay side of things, but in addition the animation have been overhauled and you can now run in any direction in and outside of the ring.

There's a new single player mode called 24/7. This is quite a lot more in depth than the previous year's Season and General Manager modes and allows you to play mini-game, invade other shows and attend autograph signings all in a bid to become a true superstar of the sport.

While this is another enjoyable offering from the WWE stable, I couldn't help think that unless you're really into wresting games in a big way, there probably isn't enough here to justify this if you already have the 2007 release. But if you are a hard-core fan you'll need to get hold of this.

Ray Thompson

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