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Still Kicking and Punching

Friday, May 12, 2006, 11:57AM EST

 Once the king of the gaming hill, the beat ‘em up has had to evolve - everything from extreme gratification to artistic edge - in order to survive. So check out what fighting styles will be blooding your knuckles on the showfloor...

 

WWE - badder than ever

It’s no surprise THQ has a new version of WWE SmackDown vs. RAW in development but the 2007 edition promises to be much more than just another wrestling game. For one thing, this is first time the franchise will be available on nextgen hardware with versions for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Expect plenty of eyecandy as cinematic effects such as motion blur, heat shimmer and depth of field focus are included to emphasis the action-packed bouts. The resolution of the superstar wrestlers is upped as well with each clocking in at 20,000 polygons, and details will include scars, bulging muscles and eye-popping veins.

 

But hey, WWE games aren’t just about looking pretty/ugly. There are plenty of enhancements when it comes to piledriving opponents into the canvas too. One is the ability to take the fight outside the ring and use the environment as an offensive weapon, such as using scaffolding for mad diving attacks, throwing opponents into the TV crew’s electrical equipment. Crowd members will get involved as they’ll hand over weapons such as crutches and chairs for you to whop sweet mercy out of the opposition. More control comes with the new analog grapple moves, where players can choose to hold for maximum damage or perform taunting motions while an opponent is in their clutches. (For more details check out A New Way To Grapple.)

 

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