WWE 2007 is a professional wrestling video game developed by Yuke’s and published by THQ. It is based on the professional wrestling promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and is the eighth installment of the WWE SmackDown vs Raw series and is the successor to 2005‘s WWE SmackDown! vs. Raw 2006 and was succeeded by WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008 in 2007. On 31 March 2006, THQ, Yuke’s and WWE officially confirmed the game. The game was released worldwide in November 2006 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 and a month later for PlayStation Portable.
The game introduced a few key new features including an analog control system, interactive hotspots, and fighting within the arena crowd. The game also included several improvements on the previous game’s existing match types and modes. The Xbox 360 version was the first game in the SmackDown series to be published on a seventh generation video game console and the first game in the series to be released outside the PlayStation consoles.
THQ said they would bring a more realistic fighting experience with a new analog control grappling system, enabling the player to throw their opponent anywhere they want, in contrast to previous preset animations. In the new system, grappling moves are now affected by analog control, in contrast to the button-based system from preceding games. Much like the previous game, one can also move around the ring by analog control instead of using the D-pad. An option to switch to the previous control layout is also possible. The chain reversal system has also been improved and now involves grapples as well as strikes.
The Category 1 and Category 2 movesets are determined by weight-class now, so lighter wrestlers have access to martial arts or luchador move-sets, while heavier wrestlers have access to more power moves. In addition, a wrestler can only lift up or hurt with certain strikes, wrestlers one weight class heavier than them or less.
A lot more interactivity in the arenas is also present such as fighting within the crowd. Signs and objects from the crowd can be used to beat down the opponent. One major feature is the inclusion of environmental “hotspots” such as the ring ropes, steel steps and scaffolding which players can interact with. The PlayStation 2 version however has a restriction on crowd fighting and interaction for specific match types.
The graphics have also improved with each superstar consisting of 20,000 polygons for the Xbox 360 compared to the total of 5,000 from the PlayStation 2 version of the previous game. Sweat from the wrestlers has now been included in the Xbox 360 version of the game. The game’s audio system has been overhauled and features new sound effects in Dolby 5.1 as well as the inclusion of new crowd chants and grunting from the wrestlers.
WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 marks the video game debuts of 16 superstars.
Cory Ledesma, creative manager of WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007, confirmed that the game has no new match types. However, there are improvements in existing match types. The Money in the Bank variant to the ladder match is now added and all ladder matches feature more flexibility in placing the ladders. The player now has to use the analog sticks as hands and arms to retrieve the match’s prize.
The tables match has also undergone a complete overhaul, requiring players to build up momentum for a finisher and damage their opponent enough before being able to put them through a table, and making one of an opponent’s limbs red.