WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008

Last year's ultimate control grappling assigned moves to the right stick, and allowed you to carry your victim around and choose how many times to administer pain. This same mechanic is now being utilized for submission moves: Determine how much pressure to exert in chinlocks or armbars through manipulating the right stick. Either wrench it in to try for the tap-out victory, or go more consistent to wear down your opponent's body parts.

Those trapped in submission maneuvers will have more options as well, by choosing how to attempt to escape the hold. This is just one aspect of 2008's goal of eliminating inactivity during matches, or times when you're purely button-mashing with little result. The time you'll just be staring at the screen has been cut down immensely - including load times. Meters will be all but eliminated, in favor of a cleaner HUD to show off the game's updated visual style and smoother animations. 

The two big single-player modes in the last few years have been Season and GM modes. In 2008, the pair have been combined into 24/7 mode. Expect even more in-depth storylines as you try to take your athlete on the path to sports-entertainment immortality. Of course, that will take longer for some created scrub than it will for someone the stature of the Undertaker. Working through a development league, a grocery list of goals and more RPG elements were hinted at, but THQ is being quite quiet about this new way to play.


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