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A New Way To Grapple

Friday, May 12, 2006, 11:50AM EST

When it comes to WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2007, THQ creative director Cory Ledesma reckons the 16.5 million selling franchise remains fighting fit.

"It’s nice to be able to more than triple the amount of polygons per character but it’s the smaller details we’re really focusing on to add the greater sense of realism and polish," he says. These include the use of specular maps (aka shiny textures) which will slowly create the illusion of sweat building up on the superstar models as they wrestle.

Another element Ledesma is particularly proud of is the analogue grappling system. "It seems a small feature, but it’s going to have the biggest impact on the game," he reckons. "It presents a more institutive feel and makes it much easier to pick-up-and-play."

So now you’ll be able to execute grapple moves with just one flick of the analog stick instead of having to press the d-pad in one direction and simultaneously hit the circle button. "We haven’t lost any of the grapple system’s depth so players now have the choice of executing quick grapple attacks that are low power and low risk or attempting high power, high risk moves," Ledesma stresses. "This element of risk versus reward is something that’s never been seen in the franchise."

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