WWE 12 tries to reinvent the series. While it doesn't quite do that, its definitely an improvement over last years product. The biggest issue with the series to date with the gameplay is that none of the characters you choose feel different from the other beyond looks and finishers; a lot of them even have similar moves in the basic area of things. The replay value of this game is much better than the reverse-fest of last years, however the matches definitely have that by the numbers feel as a result of said character similarities. The joystick grapples have been removed almost pointlessly; i don't feel the change adds or breaks anything. Another huge problem that has been plaguing the series for years is the unimportance of the stats. Damage is basically unaccounted for, and it basically comes down to who can mess up the new pin system first. The new pin system works wonders for the carpal tunnel and broken controller crowd, however I miss the old tap fest. The submission system is similar to the good old days, but is kind of a joke as it basically lets the attacker win at a certain point; the struggle is nonexistent. The roster is a good reflection of the current roster; a whole lot of people you don't care about. The legends are the savior of the game, with greats like Booker T and Eddie coming to the party once again, along with surprises like Brock Lesnar. A lot of the good wrestlers like HBK and Batista you have to pay for via DLC in a cheap cash out by the developers. Bret Hart and Jericho are nowhere to be seen unfortunately, however these additions make the group quite formidable if you are willing to front the cash. The storyline is worse than the 5 from last years. You are forced to play as Sheamus and Triple H in story lines that are about as boring as they sound along with a creative superstar in an odd WCW invasion angle. The crime here is that you basically have to fight the same people...in the same situations, the whole way through, along with having to play them in order. Popular stars like CM Punk are oddly nowhere to be seen throughout all three. At least the atrocious backstage walking is largely absent. Create modes are tremendous as always,however the parts have barely changed over the last 5 years. WWE Universe is fun as always, however I think its time to spice things up by adding story lines to it and making the rankings make sense. The glitches are really out of control at this point(I once had undertaker run through the arena endlessly, stretching the arena into a tiny dot in a world of blackness...yeah), and the graphics are serviceable at best. THQ needs to take time off and seriously put work into this series. They can rival the legitimacy and fun of other fighting games if they wanted to, but not with this year to year structure.
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