WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role (Exciting Pro Wrestling 2 in Japan) is a professional wrestling video game released on the PlayStation console by THQ and developed by YUKE's Future Media Creators. It is part of the WWF SmackDown! series based on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) professional wrestling promotion. It is the sequel to WWF SmackDown! and was succeeded by WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It on the PlayStation 2. This was the last of six WWF games to be made for the PlayStation.
Released only a few months after the release of the original WWF SmackDown!, Know Your Role proved to be a success for fans. Know Your Role brought out more match stipulations to participate in. These included such matches as Ladder, Table, Iron Man and Hell in a Cell.
Whilst retaining almost all of the previous instalment's superstars, the game's roster also increased vastly and included many new stars like Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. Also included in this game was the ability to unlock superstars to play while playing Season Mode such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley.
The Season Mode was also modified in this game. Along with removing the pre-season mode from the original, Know Your Role gave more storylines and more matches per show. These changes were given a mixed reaction, some proclaiming the bigger variety of storylines in the game. although there were some flaws in the Season Mode, such as skipped matches being fought between two battling meters. Another issue was the long loading times needed for even the most insignificant scenes, such as a wrestler walking down a corridor.
The Create-A-Superstar mode improved greatly from its predecessor. Taking ideas from WWF Attitude, fans could now put more detail into the superstars such as facial features and attire. The original head, upper and lower body mode from the original could still be used in this game as well. A new Create-A-Taunt feature was also added in which you can create a new taunt for your superstars.
The arsenal of moves available increased in this game (such as The Rock's spinebuster and sharpshooter), expanded to accompany not only superstars in the game but also those not in the game. Move-sets of superstars from other wrestling promotions such WCW or Japanese promotions could be used for created superstars. In terms of gameplay, wrestlers have more striking moves with the inclusion of moves made by combining the X button with a horizontal and a vertical arrow button. Double team moves in tag team matches were also a new inclusion as well, and could be pulled off by placing an opponent in your partner's corner and making a turnbuckle move. However, this made double team moves impossible in Tornado Tag matches.
The entrance style of wrestlers from the previous game still existed in Know Your Role. Although more entrance movies were added, they still appeared in front of a superstar's TitanTron video and not the entrance stage like other wrestling games released around the same time, such as WWF No Mercy.
It was also speculated that Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler would provide commentary for the game, but this feature was not added until the next installment in the series, although you can sometimes hear The King. Also J.R. has a line when the copyright info is shown at the beginning.
Know Your Role retained the fast-paced arcade feel of the prequel, which many noted for its lack of realism. Players had no momentum, and no weight. A wrestler could go from standing still to running at full speed, and then stop on a dime.
Though the game featured a "Hell in a Cell" match option, it barely resembled the real life structure. The "cell" was simply a cage with a roof on top, and players moved to the outside by diving headfirst through a side of the cage. Once on top of the structure, the roof was indestructible, save for a square in the center. As gameplay and realism improved in later installments, the gameplay near the edge of the roof actually got worse in recent versions, where players suffer absurdities such as accidentally walking off the side and falling off due to unbreakable animations that move players over to their doom. Comparatively, in Know Your Role, the Cell had somewhat of an "invisible wall" at the edge, making it less likely to fall off for no reason. Though even with this gameplay balancing safeguard in place, it was still possible to perform the ultimate move off the top of the Cell through "release" maneuvers, such as the release powerbomb, release over the top belly to belly suplex, and release German suplex. The ladder match was also criticized as being too simplistic.
Also, any character performing The People's Elbow would take an elbow pad off, even if not wearing it - when The Rock performs it for the first time, actually he removes it, yet in subsequent uses, the same flaw exists.
In the season mode, whenever the player wanted to skip a match, the player would have to wait about seven seconds for the battle to be simulated.
- Al Snow
- Big Boss Man
- Bubba Ray Dudley
- Bull Buchanan
- Crash Holly
- Chris Benoit
- Chris Jericho
- Dean Malenko
- D'Lo Brown
- D-Von Dudley
- Eddie Guerrero
- Essa Rios
- Sho Funaki
- The Goodfather
- Grandmaster Sexay
- Hardcore Holly
- Jeff Hardy
- Kurt Angle
- Mark Henry
- Matt Hardy
- Mr. McMahon
- Paul Bearer
- Perry Saturn
- Road Dogg
- Rikishi Phatu
- The Rock
- Scotty Too Hotty
- Shane McMahon
- Steve Blackman
- Steven Richards
- TAKA Michinoku
- Triple H
- The Undertaker
- Val Venis
1: Both Big Show and Ken Shamrock were originally created and ready to be in the game but due to events leading up to the game's release, both were made unavailable to play. They both however sometimes enter a royal rumble match referred to as "Unknown". It is also possible to play them through the means of a GameShark. Andre the Giant, Jerry Lawler, Bob Backlund, and Sgt. Slaughter's bodies were available in Create-A-Wrestler mode, but their heads had to be hacked in with a cheat device such as a Gameshark. It was also possible to create Kane's 2000+ attire in Create-A-Wrestler mode as it was included as an unlockable upper and lower clothing part.
2: Both Jeff Jarrett and Goldust were originally ready to be in the first installment of the game, however both left WWF for WCW before it was released. However, in 'WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role', once you unlock all of the Create-A-Wrestler items, you can build both Jeff Jarrett and Goldust in full using Create-A-Wrestler mode. Jeff Jarrett has his theme music in the game, as Debra used the theme after he left for WCW, as well as his move set under "Unknown G".
3: Both Earl Hebner and Ho appeared in SmackDown! 1, in Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role', you can create both in Create-A-Wrestler Mode.
Stables and Tag Teams
- D-Generation X (Triple H, X-Pac, Shawn Michaels & Road Dogg)
- The APA (Faarooq & Bradshaw)
- Edge & Christian
- The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg)
- The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy)
- Eddie Guerrero & Chyna
- The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D'Von Dudley)
- Kai En Tai (TAKA Michinoku & Funaki)
- Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & Grand Master Sexay; does not contain Rikishi. However, he will sometimes appear alongside them in various storylines)
- Right To Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan & The Goodfather)
- Rock & Sock Connection (The Rock & Mick Foley)
- T&A (Test & Albert)
- The Stooges (Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco)
- The McMahon Family (Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, & Stephanie McMahon)
- Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
The following are superstars w/ managers
- Triple H w/ Stephanie McMahon
- Kane w/ Paul Bearer
- X-Pac w/ Tori
- Val Venis w/ Trish Stratus
- The back cover of the UK version of the game features Mankind and Classic (Funeral themed) Undertaker in a Hell In a Cell. The Classic Undertaker is not included in this game, but is available to create through Create-A-Superstar mode. The back of the UK version also shows a screen with Ken Shamrock's name bar on it but he was removed.
- The Undertaker's then-entrance theme, Kid Rock's "American Badass", was not used in the game but instead replaced with the RAW theme, "Thorn In Your Eye".
- In some versions of the game, Michael Cole's name is spelled wrong, it is spelled "Michael Call".
- The Shawn Michaels in the game is actually when he was part of D-Generation X. The hearts on his tights have X's on them. Also, when he does his trademark muscle-flex pose towards the end of his entrance, he does a noticeable DX "Crotch Chop". Finally his crowd sign in Create-a-wrestler and the back of his tights says "Degeneration X" on it with "HBK" overlapping it.
- This is the first game in the SmackDown series not to feature The Big Show as a playable superstar, the second being WWE SmackDown Vs Raw 2008.
- In the US version of the game, a file can be found on the game disc (using a PC), which contains hundreds of unused cutscene tag lines for Season Mode. These cutscenes include/show:
- Members of the D-Generation X faction, 'kidnapping' a character in their 'DX truck'
- The announcement of a character starring in a TV show/commercial
- The announcement of a character forming a new stable, or getting a new manager/tag partner
- The announcement of an engagement/marriage between 2 characters (presumably between a male Superstar & female Superstar/'Diva')
- Commentators acknowledging a character's debut match (indicating possible plans for a Pre-Season Mode, similar to the one in the game's prequel)
- The player's future opponent, asking the player to choose a match type for their upcoming match
- The player's declaration of the '24-hour Hardcore' rule, upon winning the WWF Hardcore Title (this may have simply meant a guaranteed Hardcore Title match at every event/PPV).