WWE: Raw 2
Ruthless Aggression

Format: Xbox
4 005209 044431
Age Restrictions: 16+

Experience the most brutal wrestling action ever seen, backed by the power of more than 45 of the toughest World Wrestling Superstars including, the Rock, Hollywood Hulk Hogan, and the Undertaker. This game captures the look and feel of World Wrestling with highly detailed graphics and authentic TV-style presentation complete with Superstar entrances and theme music...

Raw 2, THQ's latest WWF slam buster provides everything you'd expect from a wrestling game and then some more... Make no mistake, this disc packs a punch, several drop kicks and a few other moves of bone-crunching intensity. But for a game to last it also needs to have staying power. So does Raw 2 deliver?

The game's basic structure offers various modes from single player up to four player bouts. There's a quick start match to get you into the action plus a tournament mode, an exhibition mode and a season mode which all four players can compete in. However, before you can get rumbling you'll need to design your character - and it's no simple task - you could spend all day building the perfect wrestling hero and then the same again designing you grand intro... right down to the banners waved by your fans.

Game play is generally pretty clean and responsive and it's easy to quickly get drawn into the action so that's a tick for intuitive - something important if a game like this is to work. And it's also handy as the instructions that come with the disc are limited to the point of being terse. THQ - must try harder next time.

On the downside, the computer-controlled players sometime react with an annoying repetition which can result in blood-boiling frustration but this is a minor drawback as is the 'by the numbers' rock music backing. And where are the commentators? A minor point, perhaps, but the game seems somehow lacking without an "Oh, that's gotta hurt!" commentary.

So is Raw 2 worth the bangs you get for your bucks? Yes, if you're a wrestling fan and maybe if you're not. The AI could be smarter and the game could sound better but it certainly looks great and when it's at its best there's real excitement and plenty of action.

Anthony Clark

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