WWE Day of Reckoning (GameCube) Preview

By Nick Cheesman 12.09.2005 2

After THQ's rather shoddy attempts at the wrestling genre on the GameCube so far, Day of Reckoning looks to make up for theirs past mistakes with all new game modes, found on Smackdown on the PS2, and superb new graphics that not only improve on THQ's past wrestlers but also on their wrestling games on rival consoles.

After an appalling start THQ looks to now deliver the goods with Day of Reckoning. What was missing from their past games have all been added here and then some, in XIX there was no proper Season mode, a lack of obtainable belts and graphics that were far too shallow and very unrealistic. Day of Reckoning mitigates all these mistakes.

The first very encouraging and eagerly sought after addition to Day of Reckoning is the "School of Hard Knocks," an all new single player mode which allows players to make a wrestler in the Create a Superstar mode and then take your wrestler up the WWE superstar ranks from being a new rookie to WWE World Champion, first fighting the lesser wrestlers, then taking on the real Superstars like The Rock and HHH. Of course along the way you will pick up the various WWE belts and will also build up your different attributes and skills, but before all this you will have to earn the WWE contract, which will be your first task.

Screenshot for WWE Day of Reckoning on GameCube

When in the WWE you will choose to side with either RAW or Smackdown and go through the year playing at least 50 matches, all over the 12 Pay-Per-View events that are scattered throughout the year. Full interaction with the other WWE Superstars is provided and making alliances and tag teams as well as grudges and rivals, and even back stabbing, will all be a major asset in this mode. The single player game also allows you to train mid-season to increase the new six attributes; stamina, submission, charisma, countering, speed and of course strength. You can also level up by either performing specific moves or simply winning matches. Either way its make the whole experience a whole lot more in-depth.

However this is not the only new match present, what has been a fan favorite mode on the PS2, the new Bra and Panties match, in which two WWE Divas strip each other, and the one who is stripped to their bra and panties first, looses. Obviously loved due to its athletic nature. This match is executed using "tug of war" like gameplay, which is also used for the submission maneuvers. When a diva has been beaten to the mat, and the other diva standing tries to rip her clothes off, both will have to press the A-button rapidly, to either break out or complete the move. But this is all depends on how worn out your wrestler is.

Screenshot for WWE Day of Reckoning on GameCube

The submission moves have also been updated with location-specific damage, for instance, lock in an ankle lock or focus on an opponent's leg and they will start limping around the ring and be unable to perform moves as easily, all initially wearing down the opponent's stamina. In the bottom left hand corner of the screen is a body picture that flashes and changes colour in the area of damage signaling damage is being applied.

In-depth gameplay of old has now been reinstalled with strong and weak grapples and the execution of moves dependant on how strong your wrestler is to counter or escape them. Grapples are now done on a basis of either tapping A wildly to escape or counter the move. The stronger grapples are easier to escape from, but do more damage if successful while weak grapples do less damage, but are harder to counter. The outcome of tapping A is all decided on the Submission meter that appears at the bottom, while the other gauges are Special and Momentum. Momentum can be lost after mass beatings but also stolen off opponents through Momentum Shifts, while Specials are earned by filling up the meter through performing successful moves and then pressing A and B together to deliver the finisher. Of course these can be countered or stopped, but if done successfully several specials can be pulled off through one run.

Screenshot for WWE Day of Reckoning on GameCube

The use of weapons has also been taken further as they all now damage a specific part of an opponents body, and instead of breaking after two hits, you can use a weapon a few times till it breaks and then use the broken off part to fight with.

But the most obvious improvement in Day of Reckoning has to be the graphics. Each of the 40 superstars, as well as the new Legends, never to be in a THQ game as of yet, are redone, with new textures, models and animations, complete with shine-mapping that makes the wrestlers even more sweaty and greasy. If that's a good thing, but the realism is certainly there. The wrestler's muscles and facial features are now even more toned and detailed and their animations are far more fluid and impressive, such the pain shown from the wrestlers in a submission. Small effects but very realistic. The entrances have also been upped a notch using new camera angles and the game engine, as well as a 3D crowd. Overall the whole display is far more than impressive.

Screenshot for WWE Day of Reckoning on GameCube

Final Thoughts

With everything in Day of Reckoning appearing more real. in-depth and detailed it looks as if this game will almost certainly please fans, who felt hard done by the other offerings. Whether this game will be THQ's best wrestler so far remains to be seen, but graphically it seems as if it could be.

Developer

Yuke's

Publisher

THQ

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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