WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (later WWE SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role) was the follow-up to Yuke's original WWF SmackDown! game. It introduced a number of new elements and features when it was originally released and published by THQ on November 21, 2000. It features quicker and looser gameplay than in the other WWF video game contemporary, WrestleMania 2000 on the N64.
While other wrestlers games of that time (and of the modern era) offered slower paced action and more simulation-style matches, SmackDown! 2 was a much faster and arcade-y experience. The grappling system is assigned to just one button and Superstars recover quite quickly from big moves. Matches are relatively quick as finishers usually end a match-up. The Superstars grapple quickly, run fast and move from in-ring to out of the ring at a clip. The series was also one of the first to allow a full backstage set-up to wrestle in matches such as Hardcore Rules or Falls Count Anywhere.
The "career mode" of SmackDown! 2. This allowed the player to simulate a number of years of WWF television through week-to-week episodes of Raw is War and SmackDown! as well as monthly Pay-Per-Views such as SummerSlam or No Mercy. There are five events in every month; two episodes of Raw, two of SmackDown! and a PPV to round the month off. Each event included seven matches and a main event. All divisons of the WWF are represented such as the Light-Heavyweight and Intercontinental Title divisions. The player(s) (up to 2 can play) can assume control of one or two WWF Superstars, from highly-booked main eventers down to low-card jobbers. Upon winning matches, the player rises up the ranks of their respective title division until they reach the spot of number one contender. Then, at a future show, the player may recieve a title shot. The player may only be in one title division at a time (bar the Tag Team division, which anyone can be in) and can't leave their respective division if they hold the title.
The player can also create their own WWF Superstar. With a created Superstar, the season mode works the same as with the rest of the roster, but created superstars will have to start at the bottom of their title division. Over the space of a few years, the player can rise up and down the rankings, win championships and participate in annual WWF events such as the Royal Rumble or the King of the Ring. A history of all title defences and former champions can be viewed in their respective meus. All unlockables are attained once the player reaches the end of their fifth season year.
Sometimes, between matches, the game will load up cut-scenes. Most of which usually involve your chosen superstar and can range from situations such as backstage assaults, planning interferences or random scenes like the player entering the building or cutting a promo. At certain intervals, the game plays "storyline" cut-scenes most of which are from real-life WWF feuds from the year 2000. The player can only particapte in this matches if they happen to have chosen an involved Superstar. Otherwise, the player can watch these cut-scenes unfold throughout the show as the story progresses. These story sequences are used to unlock new wrestlers and match types. The following list are the unlockables with the dates for these events also specified;
Stone Cold" Steve Austin - April: Week 4 & 5
On the final SmackDown! for April, The Rock begins a feud with the alliance of Vince McMahon and Triple H. The Rock approaches the ring whilst the HHH and McMahon are cutting a promo. After the exchanging of a few words, Steve Austin is then shown on the TitanTron destorying Triple H's RV. At Backlash, Austin is then booked as the Special Referee in a match between HHH and The Rock. After this match, he is unlocked.
Shawn Michaels - May: Week 5
At the Judgement Day PPV, a promo is shown with Triple H, Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon in the ring. Mid-promo, Shawn Michaels appears on the TitanTron declaring that he is the Special Referee for the Ironman Match between Triple H and The Rock. A later scene show an angry Vince McMahon in his office. Shane McMahon manages to level the playing field for Triple H when he becomes the second Guest Referee for the match. After the match, both Shawn Michaels and the two referee Ironman match are unlocked.
"Mr. Ass" Billy Gun - June: Week 4 & 5
Before the King of the Ring tournament, a scene is shown of Kurt Angle boasting about how he was the previous King of the Ring winner. Events continue as normal until the PPV, when Kurt Angle is booked in the main event against a random opponent. First a scene is play of someone walking past Billy Gunn, then Angle's opponent is beaten up by a mysterious attacker and finally Billy Gunn replaces the beaten-up opponent in the main event. He is unlocked after the match's compeltion
TLC Match - July: Week 1
Initially, a scene is shown in which the Dudleys claim that they are better than the Hardy Boyz. A number of backstage attacks occur and soon a TLC match is booked between Buh Buh Ray Dudley and Jeff Hardy. Upon competion of this episode of Raw is War, the TLC match is unlocked.
Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco - August: Week 1
On the first Raw is War after the Fully Loaded PPV, a cut-scene is shown with Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco talking to Vince McMahon backstage. McMahon continues to scheme with The Stooges (Patterson & Brsico) for the reminder of the episode until he scolds them for incompetence for failing to interfere in his match against a random opponent. Patterson and Brisco are then unlocked.
The Mean Street Posse - September: Week 1
After Summerslam, a scene is shown backstage with Shane McMahon talking to Joey Abs, Pete Gas and Rodney. It is soon revealed that McMahon has book them in a 3-on-1 handicap match against a random Superstar. A later scene shows this superstar being attacked by The Posse. After the match takes place and the episode of Raw ends, The Mean Street Posse (Gas, Abs, Rodney) are unlocked.
TLC Tag & WWF New York - November & December: Week 1
On the first episode of Raw is War after No Mercy, two events take place. First, The Hardy Boyz are shown in the ring talking trash about the Dudley Boys. Later, we see the Dudleys announce their intention to take on the Team Xtreme in a TLC Tornado Tag match. After the match takes place (and regardless of winner) we see the Dudleys smash one of the Hardys through a table using their patented move, the 3D. Also, towards the end of the show, we see a cut scene in which Michael Cole announces that WWF New York will be open in a month's time. Fast forward a month to the first show after the Survivor Series and we see the official opening of WWF New York. Each item is unlocked after their respective episode of Raw.
At random points during the season mode, your wrestler will booked into a Special match (e.g Steel Cage, Ladder Match) against a random superstar. This usually means an Unknown wrestler will appear. These Unknowns are used to unlock new parts to use during the Create-A-Wrestler mode. The Unknowns usually carry traits of un-licensed or former WWF Superstars like Ken Shamrock or Goldust. When Unknowns appear, three cut-scenes occur. Firstly, your opponent is assaulted by a mystery assailant. Secondly, you walk past an unusual Superstar in the locker room. Finally, Vince McMahon books a match between you and the Unknown, who replaces the former injured opponent. If you win the match, you unlock the gear the Unknown was wearing for use in the Creation modes. The WWF Superstar Big Show can only be randomly seen during the Royal Rumble match. Sometimes a man named "Unknown" arrives in the ring who has the appearance, moves and music of The Big Show. This is the only part of the game where he is seen as, at the time, he was removed from the WWF roster due to weight issues.
This is the custom match option in SmackDown! 2 for quick matches. A number of different matches can be chosen and up to four players can play at the same time. These are the available match types;
- Single - w/ Manager or w/o Manager - A regular one-on one wrestling match. Win is achieved via pinfall, submission, count-out or DQ.
- Tag Team - Two teams face off in a standard tag-team match. Only one partner is allowed in the ring at a time
- Tornado Tag - The same basic rules of tag team apply here but all four partipants are allowed in the ring at once.
- Triple Threat - A three-way match where the first wrestler to score a pinfall or submission wins the match.
- Fatal-4-Way - A four-way match type in which the first wrestler to get a pinfall or a submission wins the match.
- Battle Royal - A four person match type. The same rules apply as a Fatal-4-Way expect that it is an elimination match instead of a one-fall match.
- Royal Rumble - WWF annual 30-man, over-the-rope Battle Royal. Due to the PS1's limitations, only four Superstars are allowed in the ring at a time.
- King of the Ring A 8-man tournament bracket. It is held during the annual King of the Ring pay-per-view.
- Hardcore - DQ is off as hardcore rules are applied. Wrestlers can use a variety of weapons to beat up their opponent(s).
- Falls Count Anywhere - A Hardcore match with one difference, pinfalls can be scored anywhere in the arena instead of just the ring.
- I Quit Match - A variation of a Submission match in which you must beat up your opponent to the point that they must say "I Quit" into a microphone.
- Casket Match - A one-on-one match in which the only way to win is to seal your opponent in a casket.
- Ladder Match - Pinfalls, DQ, submissions and count-outs are off as the only way to win is to grab the belt suspended over the ring using a ladder.
- Steel Cage Match - The ring is surrounded by a open-top cell. The only way to win is to successfully scale your way out of the cage.
- Hell in a Cell - A very tall, enclosed cell surrounds the ring. You can escpae by Irish Whip-ing your opponent against one of the doors. You win via pinfall or submission
- Table - Traditional methods of victory are banned as they only way to win is to put your opponent through a table.
- TLC - A slight variation on the Ladder Match type where chairs and tables are provided at the start. They match has two varieties; win by pinfall or win by grabbing the title.
- Slobber Knocker - A Gauntlet-type match-up where you see how long you can survive against a never-ending wave of opponents. The longer the last, the higher you will place on the leaderboard. This is not an actual WWF match-type
Many of these matches can be played in a variety such as the Hardcore and Falls Count Anywhere matches which can be Triple Threat or Tag Team matches.
A staple of wrestling games, this mode allows you to create your own Superstar. This is seen as a big improvement over the original iteration of the mode seen in the original SmackDown! This game's Create-A-Superstar allows to play advanced controls over character creation; individual body parts and face parts can be used to create more unique looking CAWs. This Superstars can be outfitted with ability points, character traits, custom signage and individual ring enterances. Additonal body parts and specific features can be unlocked in the Season Mode (see above) The custom superstar's move-set can also be edited in a separate mode.
The move-set editor allows the editing of a current or created Superstar's move-set. Every move is customisable as well as things like stance and ring enterances/exits. Depending on your level of ability in certain areas (Technical, Speedy, Smash Mouth, Power) your power using these moves (If you have a high Technical level, a German Suplex will hit harder) increases.
Alongside the game's pre-set stables (the wrestling term of a tag team of 2 or more), this mode allows the player to create their own stables. Stables can have from two to four members and the group entrance, music and name can be chosen. The created stables can be entered into the Tag Team Championship rankings to try win the gold.
This allows you to create a WWF-style pay-per-view using the game's tools. Every card has eight matches on it and each Superstar may only wrestle in one match only. Title matches can be held so that championships can be swapped around outside the Season mode. All match types bar the Slobber Knocker are selectable and your PPV can be given a custom name. At the end of each created PPV, the audience ranking is decided. Depending on the quality of the matches on the card, the audience ranking will go or higher or lower. The all-time highest matches and events are placed upon the in-game PPV leaderboard.
Taunts are used in-game for extra momentum for finishers and well as potential bragging rights. This mode allows the creation of custom versions of taunts. There are a number of pre-set animations which can be used in different ways, speeds and styles. The moves themselves can also be altered after the fact for a different look. These created taunts can be assigned to your created Superstar.
This simple mode is used for the assigning of managers to wrestlers. There are a few managers and valets in the game already (e.g. Paul Bearer, Trish Stratus) and these managers or any other wrestler can be assigned as managers. Mangers accompany the Superstars to ring in Single w/Manager match-types and can be used as support during the match.
The lengthy season mode often put-off people, however, it existed as way to unlock more content including; wrestlers, moves and costumes. Loading times in the season mode added to the time spent and over viewing unrelated matches amplified this. Despite the season’s negative points people favoured it for its storylines and liked its justifications for matches. Building on the original game, Smackdown! 2 included more wrestlers, a more intricate create-a-wrestler mode and an elaborate create-a-taunt mode, which hasn't been seen since. Freedom for creativity over-flowed into fans that created custom content employed by hex hacking tools such as an Action Replay pack. This was also the first time in a video game where a double team move could be done through a table, most notably the 3D, although this was very hard to pull off.
Yukes decided to negate colour-commentary during matches in favour of other content, this was a mixed blessing seeing how fans felt this detracted from the immersion whereas others enjoyed not listening to the repeating soundtrack. Despite the lack of voice acting, clips of audio recorded by wrestlers, possibly imitators, were implemented in season mode. Later the game was re-released as WWE Smackdown! 2 due to the WWE’s legal issues over the use of their name as was its successor on the PlayStation 2 platform, WWF Smackdown! Just Bring It.
List of featured wrestlers