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Aug. 8, 2001

GW Xbox > Xbox Previews > Preview Page


WWF Raw Is War




Red Hot

WWF Raw is War is the game, and we've got a full preview! Get your fix of men in tights here!

Update: Oct. 6, 2001

New screens of men in short pants beating the snot out of each other. How can you miss?

As Stuart Scott of ESPN once said; "call him butter 'cuz he's on a roll!". In this I refer to THQ Producer Sanders Keel, who's led the charge for previous smash hits such as WWF Smackdown and WWF No Mercy on the Playstation and Nintendo 64 game consoles.

Now we've got the Microsoft Xbox in town, and yet another chance to cook up a winner for Sanders and the THQ gang. And that they will, with the announcement of WWF Raw is War for the Xbox several months ago. For such a momontous occasion, THQ has enlisted the services of Anchor to create an all new game that will attempt to replicate this brutal sport as we know it in an all out simulation.

And hot dog, THQ couldn't have possibly picked a better partner to accomplish such. Anchor, as you should know, created the mind boggling Ultimate Fighting Championship for the Sega Dreamcast - which carbon copied the real thing to perfection. What does this mean for us Xbox gamers? It means we'll be getting nothing short of absolute realism in all facets of wrestling as well. Oh hell yeah.

WWF fans will be pleased to hear that several former ECW wrestlers such as Justin Credible, Jerry Lynn, and Rhyno will make an appearance in Raw is War alongside 30 other WWF superstars such as The Rock, Kurt Angle, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. These closet 'roid users will tear it up in many game modes such as exhibition, tag team, hardcore, royal rumble, and the survivor series. Other features will include a challenge mode similar to WCW/nWo Revenge, support for up to six wrestlers on screen at once, a very detailed create-a-wrestler feature, full length introductions, multiple costumes, and time providing, some form of an edit option for wrestlers.

WWF Raw is Wars gameplay will be highly intuitive as well thanks to its usage of a grappling system similar to WWF No Mercy. This established system is great because it provides incredible depth and playability for both newbies and perfectionists alike. You'll be able to use all of your standard WWF moves, taunts, and trademark finishers, as well as a cool new feature that lets you take hold of your opponents clothing, although it is not yet known as to what extent this can be used. Blood also makes an appearance - savagely beaten grapplers will let it flow, and it'll even stain the mat! Now is that kickass or what?

Perhaps the coolest thing about Raw is War will be its freedom given to the player in terms of where to fight. In the ring, around the ring, on the staging area, backstage, or in the crowd, Raw is War will let you do it all. Even better is the fact that there are no loading times between any of these areas, and backstage locales will be fully interactive in ways such as slamming opponents through walls or picking up one of the many breakable weapons and viciously planting it in the face of an enemy.

If you're going to talk about the best looking games on the Xbox, you damn right Raw is War will make its way into that conversation. To say the least, Anchor's work on this one is mind blowing. Wrestlers have been constructed from the ground up with realistic skin textures and muscle architecture, in addition subtle details such as the wrinkles in Triple H's forehead and the hair in Kane's armpit.

Everything moves as well as it looks too. Just watch the Undertaker choke-slam the Rock and say to yourself, "Am I sure this is just a game?" Greater detail has gone into the facial animations, of which have been programmed to elicit pain, fear, and the like. In equally impressive fashion, Raw is War's pyrotechnic effects are frighteningly real, and the arena itself provides a feeling of surreal immersion that you just don't see in other games. Graphically, Raw is War will be one of the best examples of Xbox-worthy power. Period.

On a final note, sadly, we won't be hearing "GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY, SOMEBODY STOP THE DAMN MATCH!! HE'S ONLY TWENTY-SIX YEARS OLD, HE'LL FIGHT AGAIN, JUST STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!!" out of good 'ol JR, as Raw is War will not have play-by-play commentary in this go 'round. Next year, perhaps?

This scorching title should release this fall right alongside the Xbox, and it's certainly a game worth keeping an eye on until then. The only question is, can the gameplay suffice for the lack of wrestlers, modes, and options? Stay tuned this November for the conclusion!

William Pulley
Stopped the damn match.

WWF Raw Is War Screenshots

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