A UNIVERSE OF OPTIONS

You’ll find most of the fun in the WWE Universe mode. It’s here that Yukes gets just about everything right, letting you play commissioner and opening up a wealth of creative options.

The WWE has always been about change and reinvention, about “what ifs” and “why nots” and any kind of drama you can think of, and WWE Universe mode allows you to create all this to your heart’s content. You can build tag teams and shift personnel with ease, even create your own brands in a matter of seconds. Unlocking and inserting legends into brands is fun, just to see how they’d handle or what matches they would fight.

You can then play out an entire wrestling campaign, playing every match on the schedule, if you so choose. This mode pulls back on the story to allow you to focus on simple in-ring action, and it works like a charm. There are still occasional interruptions, but for the most part, you’ll simply fight match after match, and it feels great.

And that’s only the tip of the creation iceberg. You can create everything from wrestlers to finishing moves to move sets. Heck, you can even create a ring. At first, this last feature may seem disappointing, but toy around with it a little more, and you’ll see that you can replicate plenty of classic rings, and come up with some interesting ring themes of your own as well.

In general, a few modes, such as the create-a-story function, take a while to learn, but in general, everything is pretty user-friendly.

Granted, none of this is new; Yukes has been jamming creation functions into its WWE games for years. But it’s still great knowing that the thriving online community – which has already created Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Mr. Perfect, and a downloadable (and free) version of The Rock – will keep providing you with game content until, oh, say, WWE ’13.

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