Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 Interview

Developed by Yuke’s Media Creations and published by THQ, Smackdown vs Raw is the best selling and longest running wrestling franchise of all time.

With the title set to release November 13, PSU thought it would be great to get an inside scoop from THQ to get all new details on the latest addition to the series, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008.

Our interview was conducted with Dan Ryan from THQ.

PSU: Will players find many of the same match types from Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 such as Money in the Bank and Hell in a Cell? And do you plan to incorporate any new ones?

Yes. Players can expect to find all of their favorite match types from past iterations of SmackDown vs. Raw. This year, with the return of ECW to WWE programming, we’re proud to introduce the ECW Extreme Rules Match. Under Extreme Rules, absolutely anything goes, as players now have the ability to select which weapons to take into battle, including Singapore canes, guitars and even flaming tables and 2x4s. In addition, Superstars can now taunt, grab weapons from and perform exclusive interactions with fans on all sides of the ring, as they battle it out for the first time ever in the land of extreme.

PSU: Which new feature in Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 are you most proud of and why?

This year, I think we’re all most proud of our all-new Superstar Fighting Styles feature. Fans of the series are going to have to forget how they’ve played SmackDown vs. Raw in the past, as each of the eight styles offers unique special abilities that will completely revolutionize how the game is played. This not only makes each Superstar play more like their real life counterparts but also adds a new element of strategy into each and every match. From performing the death-defying moves of the High-Flyer to the punishing maneuvers of the Powerhouse, learning the strengths and weaknesses of each fighting style will be the difference between winning and losing.

PSU: Will there be any differences in Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 across different platforms (PS3, Xbox 360)? If so, can you give any examples?

Yes. The Xbox 360 version of the game will allow players to use songs stored on their hard drive for entrance music, while the PlayStation 3 version will include the unique Interactive Entrance feature. By utilizing the technology of the SIAXIS controller, we’re now giving players the option of actually witnessing their favorite Superstar’s ring entrance – from the Superstar’s perspective. Players can tilt the controller up, down, left and right to turn a Superstar’s head as he or she heads to the ring, allowing players for the first time to see the action through the Superstar’s eyes.

PSU: Are there any plans to use PlayStation Home as a platform to hold tournaments and will players earn trophies in Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 to showcase in their public and private trophy rooms?

Expanding our online community has always been a focal point of the series, as players can currently battle it out with their Create-A-Superstars, as well as put their Create-A-Championships up for grabs in addition to competing in over 50 match types. It’s a safe bet that we’re definitely very interested the potential of the PlayStation Home feature and looking into ways to incorporate it into the SmackDown vs. Raw series.

PSU: What new features have been brought in with the addition of the ECW brand?

In addition to the aforementioned ECW Extreme Rules Match, players can expect a full on ECW invasion in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008. We’ve not only added a number of never-before-seen ECW Superstars and arenas to the series, but also ECW-specific storylines in 24/7 Mode. In fact, the tribe of extreme has even hijacked our Legends roster with the inclusion of Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk and my personal favorite, Sabu.

PSU: Will there be any new additions to create a character mode?

Definitely. We pride ourselves in offering the most robust and detailed creation tool available, as this year we’re offering nearly 1,400 unique Create-A-Superstar parts. In fact, fans can not only expect a slew of new parts to customize their Superstar with, but we’ve also overhauled the interface, making it easier than ever for players to quickly jump in and create any character they can imagine.

PSU: With Chris Benoit once playing a big part in SvR 2008 and now having to take him completely out of the game, how has this affected development and what are your thoughts on his removal from the video game?

Without getting into too many specifics, each year we work hand in hand with the WWE to deliver the most current roster possible. With the WWE television product always changing, it’s up to us to deliver the most accurate and entertaining roster for the fans play with, and this year, I feel we’ve succeeded once again in doing so.

PSU: What is the expected highest resolution for Smackdown vs. Raw 2008? Any plans for going 1080p?

The game this year will be running at 720p, and I can’t say yet whether or not we will be switching to 1080p resolution in future games.

PSU: Will there be a Xbox Live and PlayStation Network demo before the games release and if so when?

Yes. There will be a demo available for download on Xbox Live shortly before the game ships in November, so definitely keep an eye out for that and any further news on the subject.

We would like to thank Dan Ryan once again for interview.

Stay tuned for more coverage on THQ’s Smackdown vs. Raw 2008 here at PSU in the near future.