WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 Review for PS2

On: PS2Xbox 360PS3PSP

WWE is a strange form of entertainment, acting as a kind of action movie soap opera for people bored of the events in Eastenders and Emerdale. Quite how a load of beefed up men (and women), performing orchestrated moves on one another and talking smack is entertainment, I don't know, but it is. Forget the fact that it's all fake, and that your family will probably label you an idiot for watching it, and it becomes good fun. Some of the storylines are over the top in the extreme, but it's hard not to be taken in by all the feuds and general happenings inside the WWE.

SmackDown! vs. RAW 2007 then is the sports entertainment industry in video game form, and the latest in what is one of the longest running series in modern video games. This history is also the game's biggest problem though. As a series which debuted on the PlayStation (sans the vs. Raw part) the cracks are certainly starting to become more and more obvious, and while changes have been made to keep the game feeling fresh, a new engine surely can't be far off.

This year marks the series' debut on a non-PlayStation platform (Xbox owners had to make do with some pretty average WWE games in the past), with the Xbox 360 being the platform to get the honour. Differences between it and the PlayStation 2 version are largely cosmetic though, as the engine underneath it all is the same. You still get the fairly clunky feeling gameplay, stiff animation transfers and some spotty collision detection. It's certainly a game that isn't easy to get to grips with if you're new to the series, but a little practice and you'll have most of the moves down pat.

New to everyone this year, though, is a new grapple system. Grapples are now controlled entirely by using the right analogue stick, with a push up, down, left or right starting a simple grapple move on your opponent, while the same actions on a downed opponent perform a different set of moves. By holding the Right Bumper on the 360 controller or R1 on the Dual Shock and moving the right analogue stick, you'll start a strong grapple; moving the stick again will then perform a powerful move.

'Special finishing moves can be saved for use when you see fit, and these are often shown in glorious overly dramatic WWE fashion.'

But that's not all. Clicking in the right stick while in a strong grapple will give you a number of options as to what move you perform, and if you're near an environment hot spot (such as the steel steps or an announcers' table) you can use the environment to cause damage. Elsewhere the gameplay is largely the same as before, with a heavy emphasis on reversals for both standard and grapple attacks. Special finishing moves can be saved for use when you see fit, and these are often shown in glorious overly dramatic WWE fashion.

There's a lot of depth to the control scheme here, but it's by no means the best it could be. You can grow to appreciate what it is, but at times you feel almost helpless as opponents continuously pummel you, and the AI of tag-team partners is ludicrously poor - which is strange considering opponent AI partners seem to do their job just fine. A rethink to the core gameplay is definitely needed, but it's by no means awful as it is, just rather dated.

Yuke's and THQ certainly don't disappoint WWE fans when it comes to content. As ever, there's a ton of match types (although the Money in the Bank match seems to be the only new match type), a lengthy Season mode, a load of Create modes, a General Manager mode, and online play. Season mode is of course where the bulk of gameplay is found, and this year it features more than 40 storylines. These largely depend on which wrestler you enter Season Mode with, and along the way you'll get to make various choices that send you down different paths. The locker room, where you're be thrown out to after each fight, lets you access emails, check out the fake WWE website, take phone messages, and, rather strangely, decorate.

The game captures the feel of the WWE really well

The game captures the feel of the WWE really well

The General Manager mode is improved slightly over last year's version, but not greatly, and it still feels like a mode that's been tacked on. You don't feel any connection to what you're doing (even though you can wrestle in the matches you create), and actually creating a good show, complete with feuds and rivalries is really hard, mainly due to the fact that you're limited to twenty wrestlers on your roster at any one time. The addition of writers is a nice touch, allowing you to create shows to appeal to different audiences, but the whole mode needs a serious re-think.

Online play is solid, once again letting you go online and put your belt on the line. Both versions of the game only support up to four players, which is a bit disappointing as larger online matches would have been enjoyable. The PlayStation 2 version features offline support for six players (should you own a multi-tap), but the Xbox 360 version is limited to four. Testing found lag to be minimal, making online play great fun, especially if you go to the effort to create your own character. The Xbox 360 game ties a number of achievement points to the online mode as well, so there's an extra incentive to enter the online arena.

I've already touched on the rather aged game engine, but that hasn't stopped the 360 game looking very sharp. It's clear that the game is still a port from the PlayStation 2, but wrestler models are far above the quality seen on the PlayStation 2. They really do look superb, and the next-gen favourite, sweat, makes a welcome appearance. It's only really the animation transitions and the rather last-gen hair that lets the game down visually. Audio is excellent on the whole, with plenty of voice work by the real WWE stars, although commentary outside of the Season mode soon becomes repetitive.

Wrestler models are really good, but the animations are occasionally clunky.

Wrestler models are really good, but the animations are occasionally clunky.

What's also disappointing is the lack of custom soundtrack support in the 360 Create a Wrestler mode, numerous load screens before and after matches, a slightly outdated roster of wrestlers, and some rather atrocious looking Diva models. The Create a Wrestler soundtrack omission seems bizarre, as even the old WWE games on the Xbox allowed you to use your own entrance music, and the frequent loading jolts you out of the WWE experience.

In the end, WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2007 is a great game for WWE fans, whether you own a PlayStation 2 or an Xbox 360. The game engine is certainly in need of a makeover, and this might be the last year THQ can offer what is more or less a slight update, but it's a fun game and something that will get more than a few hours play with some mates.

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User Comments

Kevdog88's Avatar
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Kevdog88

I know for a fact that smeyulf is correct about about putting your own music into "WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007" through the X Box 360, but I've been wondering: Is it possible to take your MP3 music and put the songs into the PS2 version of the videogame?
Posted 06:26 on 10 February 2009
tyler's Avatar
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tyler

wats wrong with sd vs raw 07 online
Posted 18:39 on 05 February 2009
crazydude's Avatar
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crazydude

How Do u Put music on the game
Posted 15:12 on 02 July 2008
smeyulf's Avatar
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smeyulf

you can put music in entrance. put music you want for entrance on your ipod or on 360. Then just get into music play it either from on 360 or mp3/ipod (connected to 360) click play match get back into music and get ready to press play when ur ready. After you play it, press b and watch then just stop song after entrance it only works on 360 anyway hope that helps and to those who argue on these type of things GET A LIFE DONT BE A ****ER anyway peace
Posted 10:31 on 03 June 2008
smaelu's Avatar
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smaelu

wrestling not fake scripted and it can go wrong it happens all the time ie slip punches in land funny some of them just keep going plus we dont even care its entertainment so yea we just like all the ways they attack people
Posted 10:20 on 03 June 2008
Hello's Avatar
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Hello

another thing change the chokeslam they've changed the finishers in svr08 so why cant they change the chokeslam or give a few more choices to change it to like one where he lifts up with both hands and throws them down on an angle that one awesome they should put that one as an option on svr 09 or somfin
Posted 10:15 on 03 June 2008
hello's Avatar
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hello

i agree with victor inferno match, biker chain much all that stuff needs to be added may be something for smackdown vs raw 2009 to do so i got some advice for them
PUT IT IN for **** sake this game would of easily got a 9 if that stuff was in it
Posted 10:11 on 03 June 2008
LFC TORRES's Avatar
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LFC TORRES

Yeah Can U Put Ur music In Da Game
Posted 19:20 on 18 March 2008
CISCO's Avatar
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CISCO



THIS MESSAGE IS 4 TOM ORRY WRESTLING IS NOT FAKE AND THE MOVES R REAL NOT ORCHESTRATED U MUPPET
Posted 18:35 on 06 June 2007
Anonymous's Avatar
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Anonymous

THIS MESSAGE IS 4 TOM ORRY WRESTLING IS NOT FAKE AND THE MOVES R REAL NOT ORCHESTRATED U MUPPET
Posted 18:34 on 06 June 2007
jb93's Avatar

jb93

the thing that i think needs improving is the a.i being more realistic. i hit my finisher on kane i tried to move him away from the ropes. he reversed it then hit me with the chokeslam 123
Posted 20:55 on 10 March 2007
paul360's Avatar

paul360

General Manager mode needs improve hell yes
Posted 12:55 on 01 February 2007
recklessheart's Avatar
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recklessheart@ Callum

is there any way you can put your own music in the game for entrance of a created player?
Posted 07:53 on 02 January 2007
Victor's Avatar
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Victor@ Callum

You guys need to put more matches.Everything is still the same except for one match and thats the Money in the Bank.You guys have to put Inferno match or an I quit match
Posted 19:12 on 17 December 2006
Branewbie's Avatar
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Branewbie@ Callum

Oh yea if you didnt like the control system just move change it to Control D its sort of the same control of the last Smackdown game. Nice to see Mr Perfect in the game ive been wanting him in for ages
Posted 00:40 on 04 December 2006

Game Stats

Technical Specs
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007
7
Out of 10
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007
  • Great wrestler models
  • Great WWE presentation
  • Controls occasionally feel clunky
  • General Manager mode needs improvement
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 10/11/2006
Platforms: PS2 , Xbox 360 , PS3 , PSP
Developer: Yuke's
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Wrestling
No. Players: 1-6
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 3,363 1266
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