Wrestling fans all around Europe who own a XBOX will have been waiting for ages to get their hands on this title. The screenshots have been all over the Internet for quite some time now and with the absence of a good wrestling title on the XBOX, the wait has been unbearable. Released as WWF RAW in the US the screenshots reveal that we Euro gamers were waiting for what was the best looking wrestling game of all time. However looks are only a small part of a game and everything else has to be upto scratch. Let's see if it is.
RAW offers the following gameplay features:
As you can see RAW isn't short on the amount of features and gameplay modes it offers. If there is one thing that RAW does have, it is longevity which is always good when you're paying around £45 for a game.
Of course options are nothing if the gameplay isn't up to much. Whilst RAW's gameplay isn't the greatest wrestling game ever in terms of playability it certainly is a lot better than most of the recent wrestling titles. For me the main complaint with the gameplay is that if feels laboured. You get the feeling that the wrestlers are suffering with a bad back as they move rather awkwardly and slowly around the ring. In terms of moves though, the game does not disappoint and grapples, turnbuckle attacks etc., are all very satisfying to perform and look great.
One look at the screenshots confirms that this is the greatest looking wrestling game on any format. While the wrestlers generally look great the crowd graphics look very poor. The animation of the wrestlers is also suspect at times and they look more like action figures than actual human beings. Lighting effects are generally spectacular and from time to time it is actually plausible to think that you are watching the real thing. Effects such as motion blur have also been used to good effect and this increases the drama a little. There's also Picture-in-Picture replays of particularly good moves which further adds to the illusion of watching the real thing on TV.
There isn't any subtitles as such in RAW but on the whole they are not needed. Countdowns and decisions are shown in text as well as given verbally so there isn't any significant problems for deaf gamers.
Visually spectacular, for the most part, RAW doesn't really offer anything gobsmacking in other departments but this isn't really a problem as what we have here is a solid game that wrestling fans will no doubt appreciate. The biggest disappointment for me is that it feels sluggish and not as fluid as it should do being on the XBOX.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10 Spectacular visuals but only decent gameplay.
Deaf Gamers comment: No real concerns for deaf gamers.