WWF Raw Review

Developer: Anchor Publisher: THQ
Release Date: February 12, 2002 Also On: None

Over the years, WWF fans, (now WWE Fans) have come to expect a certain standard from their games, both game play and feature wise. However, based on its initial specs, WWF Raw wasn’t going to meet the standard, it was going to set a new one. In the end however, all we got was simply raw… with a lower case “r.”

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Visually, the game presents a mixed offering. On the one hand, the wrestler models are the best seen on any game so far, but on the other, most of their faces just don’t look right. There are also times (especially during entrances) where their motion looks extremely stilted and downright goofy. Seeing them prance around with a chair in hand is particularly groan-inducing. The sole Raw arena, while boasting some nice lighting effects, also seems overly sterile. Given the power of Xbox, we’re still confused why the crowd members still look like cardboard statues and ones whose signs often block the camera at that. It is just not what you would expect from a game that had even more hype than Halo did.

The sound is somewhat of a question itself. Every wrestler has an oddly similar set of grunts and groans. The crowd doesn’t sound like it was rendered from a real audience at all. The ring announcer is a nice touch to the game though. The entrance music is okay, but you can’t use your own music for any of your created characters, unlike in the Legends of Wrestling titles. It would be nice to see, since the Xbox is capable of this, but it’s just something we have to deal with.

It’s not all bad news though; the control scheme for instance is something that should be replicated in future titles. There’s nothing that feels better than having full platform-game-style freedom in the ring. There is no awkward run button here. The lock-on system, which, unlike previous wrestling titles, helps you to follow who you’re tracking in tag and four way matches. Being able to interfere during an opponent’s entrance is nice, if not ground-breaking. This has to be the best part about WWF Raw.

There are many different WWF titles out there that stand out and this is not one of them. It has a lack of features which many of the other wrestling games have. Raw has the great look of the actual arena, but doesn’t have the necessities needed for people to want to buy it.

Diehard fans will notice something right off the get-go. Specifically, there is no Career Mode, no Royal Rumble, no Cage Match, no Table Match, no Ladder Match, no storylines of character interaction, no Tag Team moves, no backstage areas, and no other arenas. About the only thing this has that stands out, is the create-a-wrestler feature, which is one of the best around. You can tweak almost everything and make it look almost exactly the way you want it to or the way you wish you looked. Even though there are many unlockables, that alone won’t keep you in this game very long. With barely any features at all, this could be maybe completed in only an afternoon if you tried to unlock every item.

Graphics: 6.5
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 5
Replay Value/Game Length: 2
Final: 5.7
Written by Shawn Review Guide

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