Away from the ring in another sense, this series' acclaimed season mode returns. After all, wrestling with a reason is much more satisfying. All 60 superstars lend voices to the detailed storylines, which are more varied than before. It's likely too late to have the recently returned ECW incorporated into the plot, but that's the price you pay for a long development cycle. WWE's answer to fantasy football, GM Mode, is back for a second tour as well.
Those modes are for the lonely losers without buddies to beat down; multiplayer is more important to socially-minded gamers. Online is bound to take a big bump this year, especially on the online-centric Xbox 360. Defend belts you've created, or engage in battle royals with friends and foes alike.
While THQ is being more guarded than usual when it comes to the game's roster and match types, we've seen more than enough of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 to know it's packed with potential. And that's regardless of platform, though of course the next-gen iterations are drawing the most excitement. When this game hits retail, expect stores to be slammed with wrestling wannabes clamoring for a piece.