Boots to rather dull asses.

When The Rock isn’t playing the role of part-time WWE Champion on Monday Night Raw, he can often be found playing other parts on various movie sets. But something strange is happening in Studio 51, and it seems everyone around has either gone missing or wants The Rock dead (or at least beaten severely). Are they rabid John Cena fans? Movie critics who think five Fast & Furious movies was enough?

Actually, there is apparently something in the air, as a mysterious pathogen is turning people into “violent, angry beats” (we think they mean “beasts”). So The Rock is going to get to the bottom of this mystery the only way The Rock knows how — by laying the smackdown on some roody poo candy asses!

WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse

The Rock is a strong, independent fighter– that’s why we like him. Unfortunately, he seems a little too independent in this Infinity Blade-styled game, as The Rock doesn’t respond well at all– that, or the controls are just plain unresponsive. It’s probably the latter, as even the menu buttons will acknowledge you tapped them without actually doing anything, but it’s in the middle of a fight that you’ll be screaming at The Rock, rather than for him.

You can upgrade The Rock in a variety of ways, from his clothes and their respective stats to the type of weapon he’s carrying to his own personal stats, including stamina, attack, health, and so forth. Unfortunately, it doesn’t amount to much as you progress and even as you improve them, as the timing ranges from workable all the way down to “what in the blue hell?” 

Naturally, the enemies have less of a problem, as they’re constantly parrying or blocking. As a result, your best strategy for checking them into the Smackdown Hotel comes to just dodging (or trying) until they wear themselves out, and then it’s open season (though sometimes your opponents forget to drop their hands indicating as much). Or it would be, if even dodging would work right. Besides the awkward timing that has The Rock hurting himself from moving back into place after an opponent’s punch has been thrown, it became increasingly frequent that The Rock wouldn’t move at all — at least, not until after he took a hit — and end up dodging nothing.

WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse

In addition, you have no way of knowing whether you’ve successfully tapped on special “slam” spots or not, further complicating matters. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and you never really know until it does or doesn’t happen, by which point it’s too late to make a difference. Throw in some odd cutaways in mid-fight, and the result is dull combat that doesn’t really flow very well.

In all honesty, there might be something decent here, but the controls wreck it. The ideas are sound, and early on they work well enough to be passable– pretty good, even– but as you progress, it’s like it all goes out the window. And there isn’t really much else to save the game– the graphics are pretty good as you fight across various vacant movie lots (you can even scan around the field in full 3D to find items before fighting), which don’t really have a lot going on for them as you take on thugs with no real personality to them, either.

WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse

Naturally, the lion’s share of the developers’ attention seemed to be on making sure they got The Rock just right. And to their credit, he looks just like he should. They even included a number of sound bytes with his various catchphrases, which will no doubt bring a smile to the faces of The People’s Champion’s millions (and millions) of fans. Unfortunately, even the biggest fan of the most electrifying catchphrases in sports entertainment are bound to tire of them before too long, as The Rock cycles through them frequently, and there is no dialogue from his opposition.

In the end, Rockpocalypse is okay for a short while before it becomes tiresome, and not even the jabroni beating, pie eating, trail blazing, eye brow-raising People’s Champ can save it by himself without some improvements elsewhere. They need to take this game, shine it up real nice, turn it sideways, and… maybe resubmit it for approval.

If you smell… what Gamezebo… is cooking.