WWE Universe 2.0: Last year's introduction of WWE Universe was huge. Finally, gamers had the proverbial keys to the toy store, and could customize the entire WWE storyline universe they way they see fit. If you didn't like a wrestler on one show, you could switch him to the other, or write him off altogether. While this was a great start, there were a few complaints. Firstly, it was too hard to set up title shots. There was a fairly complex logarithm that only listened to certain rules, where only certain title contenders could get shots at certain times. This has been amended for you to set up shots whenever you want. Not only that, but if you're sick of WWE's sets, you can import your arenas and have your own Universe with whichever shows you feel like - WCW Nitro, Thunder, ECW - anything you can think of can be put into the Universe. You can even defend and issue your choice of 22 different title belts, and have the ability to interfere yourself in all AI matches where you could not before. Forget the keys to the toy store. THQ has given you keys to the entire mall in Universe 2.0.

Fighters now carry momentum meters, and their attributes rise and fall depending on the momentum (or lack thereof) they possess. This is not a new feature to sports games, as this has been in other franchises as far back as 1995. However, this will allow you to pull up the attributes of the Superstars you choose to have compete for your titles. Zack Ryder, for example, has recently taken his career from near-obscurity into the top 10 of popularity and merchandise sales. Ryder's fans unhappy with his in-game ratings can push him toward the top, and see huge increases to his attributes with severely increased momentum.

With dozens of huge changes made, and hundreds of little tweaks made, THQ's attempt to continue improving the WWE universe, and bringing the experience closer to an interactive program (rather than a video game) is sure to be nothing short of amazing. Gamers wary of the fact that this is a yearly franchise should come in with an open mind, as there are many twists, turns and surprised yet to be revealed, and that only you can experience. Be ready in understanding that this is going to be a different game than last year. This game aims to prove that THQ is constantly thinking forward, and I can say with certainty that the changes will not be for naught.

For gamers seeking the extra bragging rights of being "The" WWE gamer, THQ is taking pre-orders for a "People's Edition" with the Rock on the cover available only through their website, and in limited quantities. Otherwise, the game drops November 22nd for Region 1, November 24th in Australia (where it's sure to cost twice US retail since that's the way Australian gaming rolls), and the 25th everywhere else. With so much in store for gamers this November, THQ is sure to send the gaming holiday season into a frenzy. Check back here at XBox Addict for our review of the next installment of the WWE Universe.

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