WWE Day of Reckoning 2 is a video game released on the Nintendo GameCube console by THQ. The sequel to WWE Day of Reckoning, it became a "Player's Choice" game on July 5, 2006. The soundtrack features music by industrial metal group A Dark Halo, who performed two songs in the game including its theme song "Burn It All."
Day of Reckoning 2 features improved graphics over its predecessor, a new strategy-based submission system, and a storyline that allows the player to choose paths. This game was the last wrestling game to ever be released for the GameCube.
The story continues from where the original Day of Reckoning left off. The player's character has finally reached the top of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) food chain. It occurs just prior to WrestleMania 21 and follows the events of the Raw brand's storyline, regardless of whether the player chose Raw or SmackDown in the previous game.
Eleven months earlier, your player defeated Triple H to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XX. Eventually, you lost the title back to Triple H. It is not mentioned exactly when you lost the title, though. Since then, your player has fallen into mid-card status, and hadn't seen another chance to hold any other title since. Evolution has disbanded and the player's character has gained a love interest in WWE Diva Stacy Keibler. Your player sees Stacy as the only high point of his present career.
Triple H, however, had retained the World Heavyweight Championship ever since his re-match against you. But one month before WrestleMania 21, he lost it in a controversial match with Chris Jericho and the title is now up for grabs. In an attempt to increase the show's ratings, General Manager Eric Bischoff decides to host a mini-tournament for the World Heavyweight Championship and the finals will be held at WrestleMania 21. As a gimmick, Bischoff allows you to compete in the tournament. You make good on this opportunity by making it to the final round, having beat Chris Jericho in the semi-finals. The player's character and Triple H prepare for the finals match before Bischoff reports that the belt was stolen. The player advances in the story by gathering information on the whereabouts of the World Title. Eventually, the player gets framed for stealing the belt, dumped by Stacy, fired and banned from Raw. However, SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long signs the player to a lifetime SmackDown! contract. The player eventually wins the WWE Championship and later finds out that it was Edge who stole the World Heavyweight Championship. During the final chapters of the story, Triple H asks the player's wrestler for a title match at WrestleMania in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship. Once the player's character wins, the character retains title, Stacy becomes the wrestler's girlfriend again and the wrestler reforges a friendship with Triple H, who by this act of friendship takes possession of the newly-found World Heavyweight Championship, turning face in the process.
Day of Reckoning 2 involves more strategy elements than previous WWE games. The Stamina feature has been made central to gameplay, meaning that during the match wrestlers will lose stamina, reducing the effectiveness of moves and counter accuracy. If all of a wrestler's stamina is drained, the wrestler will be temporarily unresponsive to controller commands and open to attack until the wrestler regains stamina. The higher a wrestler's durability rating, the faster they can regain their stamina.
The submission system was greatly changed from the game's predecessors. Players can perform one of four different submission moves that all come with different consequences. You cannot win a match via a submission unless you choose the Physical submission. The Taunt submission drains the opponent's spirit. The Rest Hold submission causes little damage, but the player can regain stamina until the opponent escapes. And the Drain submission drains the opponent of stamina.
Blood has also seen an improvement. There are three stages of blood ranging from a small cut on the forehead, to a "crimson mask" (a faceful of blood), which includes blood on the chest. Each time a wrestler reaches a stage of blood, a considerable amount of stamina is lost, and the wrestler is not able to regain stamina. Blood also drips onto, and temporarily stains, the mat. However, female characters cannot bleed.
Momentum shift and momentum lift return from WWE Day of Reckoning. Only after having low spirit meter for some time will the wrestler enter "Danger" state and be allowed to use a momentum shift. A momentum shift is a last-ditch effort to turn the tables on the opponent and win the match. A momentum shift can only be used once per match.
Momentum lift is used to create a realistic weight difference between light and heavy wrestlers. If a light wrestler tries to lift a heavy wrestler, a meter will appear which the player must fill by button tapping. The overall success of momentum lifts depend on the attacker's strength rating, size of the opponent, size of the attacker, and the attacker's current state of his/her spirit meter.
The player can have between 1 and 9 finishing moves. One finishing move must be the 'Momentum Shift', which is performed from a standing position. A further 8 finishers can be selected, but only one from each position (e.g. If the player chooses a 'Running' attack as a finisher, they cannot have a second 'Running' attack). However, all standing grapple moves can be performed as a finishing hold from the front or behind positions.
The developers greatly advanced the game engine, improving the graphics, models and cinematic sequences, while making the engine more efficient. The negative to this, however, was that the loading times increased for matches and the create a wrestler mode. Day of Reckoning 2 is also a pioneer in featuring 3D, albeit highly primitive, audience members.
The Last Man Standing match was also introduced in Day of Reckoning 2.
The Create-a-Wrestler (CAW) returns in this installment. However, players cannot transfer their created wrestlers from Day of Reckoning into this game. In storyline mode, the player must use a CAW. CAWs can also be used for exhibition play. Female CAWs cannot be used for the storyline mode, but can participate in specialty matches (i.e., cage matches, Hell in a Cell, tables, ladders).
The game received generally positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes currently rates DoR2 at a 83%, a "fresh" rating, and IGN gives the game a 8/10. The reviews were higher than the original DoR. Most high points were given to the exceptional storyline mode, and the variety of wrestlers to select. GameSpot gives DoR2 a 8.4/10, and Metacritic gave the game 85 positive reviews out of 100.
- WWE Day of Reckoning 2 at THQ.com