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WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2007

Tuesday 26 September 2006
Though it's been cancelled for PS3, the good news is that SmackDown's forging ahead on every other format like an angry Viking - as shown when publisher THQ dropped by our office to demo the WWE SmackDown! vs Raw 2007's new features.

With only one new match type - the six-man Money in the Bank ladder match that's stolen the show at the last two WrestleManias - the focus this time has shifted firmly towards SmackDown's control system.

For a start, all the grappling moves have shifted to the right analogue stick - flicking the stick in any direction performs a quick grapple, while holding down R1 prompts wrestlers to 'lock up' in a submission, technical, power or signature move. Once your opponent's aloft - in a fireman's carry, say - on-screen prompts allow for slams, backbreakers, or even throwing an opponent clear over the ropes.

Above: Get your opponent up in the air to perform a slam, backbreaker or to just toss them over the ropes

It's an interesting system, and a helpful side-effect is that there's no more fiddling about with awkward button combinations - X now works as a universal 'interact' button, prompting wrestlers to pick things up, climb in and out of the ring, or interact with scenery.