THQ's WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw franchise is a perennial big seller, but fans of the series and the genre have been clamoring for innovation for years. Sure, there are new tweaks to the formula every year, but since 2007, the game's core mechanics haven't changed much. While the in-ring action has been somewhat stagnant, THQ has done a great job adding and modifying new game modes, customization options, and online features. This year looks to be no different, as THQ has announced an entirely new gameplay mode for WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw 2011, WWE Universe mode.
As described in the above video, WWE Universe will turn normal exhibition matches into an ongoing, dynamically generated story mode. By keeping track of everything the player does, SVR 2011 will be able to generate new feuds, partnerships, and plot arcs that play out with each new game played. Of course, users can also make changes themselves, and shape their WWE Universe experience to their liking.
WWE Universe looks like a very cool mode, and one that will not only make each player's experience unique, but also help keep the game fresh throughout the year. I'm still hoping for a total overhaul of the game's mechanics, with more of a focus on proper collision detection and eliminating clipping, but for now, this will do.