E3 2010: WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 gets a little TLC

Over the past several years, THQ's WWE SmackDown franchise has evolved into a real champion, most recently offering a thick pro wrestling package loaded with awesome community features, an impressive story designer, and a wide array of today's top wrestling personalities.

Based on what we saw at E3 this year, it looks like THQ is holding on to what's worked so well in recent iterations with WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, while adding on and refining when needed. While many of the new details and wrestler announcements are being held for later in the year, THQ used its E3 demo to debut the new TLC - that's tables, ladders, and chairs - matches in the game. As WWE fans well know, TLC matches are typically packed with intense slams and brutal falls (as well as comically slow ascents up the ladder) as wrestlers attempt to fight off their opponents in any way possible while claiming the belt suspended high above the ring.

Bringing this memorable match type to the series answers a lot of fans' requests, but what really seals the deal is the further addition of Havok physics to the game engine, which kills the canned animations of previous entries and gives players more control over how they execute moves. Havok physics also allow for better item placement, and one example in the TLC matches is the ability to arrange a ladder against the ropes outside the ring and use it as a ramp to jump back into the action.

Otherwise, THQ promises a variety of minor tweaks, including muscle flex textures and enhanced controls, but it'll be a bit longer before THQ spills the further details on this anticipated October release.

Jun 16, 2010

Andrew Hayward
Freelance writer for GamesRadar and several other gaming and tech publications, including Official Xbox Magazine, Nintendo Power, Mac|Life, @Gamer, and PlayStation: The Official Magazine. Visit my work blog at http://andrewhayward.org.