4 Ways SmackDown! 09 destroys competitors

Brand new Road to Wrestlemania, Inferno matches and more

2) Inferno Match

One of WWE’s silliest gimmick matches, in which you win by setting the opponent on fire, is finally playable. Knowing we were up against the elements, we chose the Undertaker to send Shelton Benjamin to the grave (*sigh).

The match starts with a temperature of 385 degrees and flames licking each side of the ring. As the heat grows more intense, the screen gets blurry with heat waves and there’s a reddish filter that intensifies. Your goal is to get the heat to 500 degrees - the temperature at which the flames are highest. Only then can you throw your opponent into the fire.

Each strike and grapple move causes the heat to rise. Creative Manager Bryan Williams was giving us the business, even reversing our Finisher attempt, thereby granting him a full Momentum meter - a first for the series. We also noticed a new Guard move, which enables a wrestler to block attacks when coming up from the ground by holding both triggers. Williams noted that gamers complained of the offensive players having too much of an advantage against downed wrestlers - something that was a big deal online.

Back to the match, once we were finished schooling Williams at his own game, we picked up Benjamin in a strong Grapple and dragged him towards the ropes. At this point, the opponent can jam on face buttons to keep them from the inevitable. No dice - we sent Benjamin over the ropes, where he writhed rather painfully on the ground until some EMTs doused him with fire extinguishers.

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