Video Game Reviews: WWE 2K15

With the last gen versions of WWE 2K15 (Playstation 3/Xbox 360) getting a universal negative reception, can the current gen versions (PS4/Xbox One) deliver the hype? I am Julian Cannon and I am reviewing the Playstation 4 version of WWE 2K15.

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This game looks more close to real life than ever this time. From the camera angles to the lighting and the arenas along with the detailed look on the superstars and divas, this is the best looking WWE game to date. Most of the superstars and divas had their entire body scanned for the game. The ring was even scanned so it can look exactly like it is on TV. Everything may look a little smaller than the previous games but it will grow on you in time.

The roster is actually a huge let down. Compare the roster on last year’s WWE 2K14 to this game and you will notice that last year’s game had the better roster. It is good to see the addition of new NXT superstars such as Sami Zayn, Adrian Nevelle, Bo Dallas, Rusev and more, the rest of the roster is the weakest since Smackdown vs. Raw 2008. Many of the superstars are very outdated with their attires and music. Most notably, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have their shield attire and music. However there are a few legends in the roster such as Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kevin Nash, Ultimate Warrior and some good ones including The Wyatt Family, The Usos, Xavier Woods, Big E and more but some of the superstars in the game are exact copies of themselves (for example, current Batista and retro Batista should be just one character with a costume change instead of two separate characters).

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The gameplay has changed drastically for this year’s game. A new chain wrestling mini-game has been implemented to make matches play out more realistically. Pressing the grapple button at the beginning of the match will initiate a collar-and-elbow tie up. From there, each opponent will press one of three face buttons to place their opponent into a side headlock, a wrist lock or a waist lock with a rock-paper-scissors style outcome. (Headlock beats Wrist lock, Wrist lock beats Waist lock, Waist lock beats Headlock.) Whomever wins will place their opponent in the corresponding hold while both players rotate the right analog stick to find a “sweet spot”. If the attacker finds it first, they’ll perform a move, if the defender finds it first, they’ll gain the upper hand. Additionally, the attacking wrestler can strike or wrench the opponent’s limb, making it harder for them to find the sweet spot. This mini-game only happens 2-3 times during the match and can be turned off via the options menu. Strikes have returned to their normal speed with improved collision and selling animations from the opponent. Unlike in previous games, superstars will not stand up immediately after taking a bump or slam, the player must rotate the right analog stick in order to stand up.

The stamina system returns in this game but it has changed as well. It is a three-tier stamina meter which controls the pace of a match. Each move that is performed, especially striking and running, will drain the stamina meter. During the first tier, the wrestler will be full of energy and perform moves easily. During the second tier, the wrestler will begin to slow down. In the third tier, the wrestler will be completely exhausted, even being unable to perform their finishing moves should it drop too low. Although the stamina meter cannot be turned off, stamina will slowly regenerate as long as a meter is not depleted and can be adjusted to drain more slowly. The game’s submission system has been revamped. The “Breaking Point” submission system has been replaced with a two part circular gauge. The mechanic of the system remains mostly the same, but players only have to mash a single button rather than all four.

Wake-up taunt finishers are now known as “Charged Finishers” which combines the taunt & finisher into a single animation by pressing the finisher button when the opponent is grounded. Signature moves can now be stored as well. Catch and Catapult finishers have also returned. Both fighting styles and skill sets have been brought in to ensure that the characters behave more like their real-life counterparts. For example, high flyers like Rey Mysterio will not do power moves and will focus on diving and springboard moves while giants like Big Show cannot climb the turnbuckle and will focus on power moves. Superstars who cannot climb to the top rope can climb to the second rope and deliver moves such as Bret Hart’s elbow drop or Big Show’s slingshot body splash. The gameplay changes take some time to get used to so you will have to play around with it for a few times but if you do not like the new controls, you can revert to the controls from last year’s game.

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The 2K Showcase focuses on two rivalries. One of them focuses on the Triple H and Shawn Michaels feud which began in SummerSlam 2002 and ended in Bad Blood 2004 and the other is the CM Punk and John Cena feud that began in the summer of 2011 and ended in February 2013. I personally liked the HHH/HBK feud more than Punk/Cena but there should have been more feuds added to this mode such as Rock/Austin, Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage, Bret Hart/Kevin Nash and more that can fill up this mode but choosing only two out of many raises more questions than answers. The way you play these feuds is the same dragging style that was featured since WWE 13. Fight until a certain part of the body changes to red, do objectives, cutscene and repeat. I felt that this style of cut and paste should have not happened in this game. Two games to have this style is enough, three is overdoing it.

The MyCareer mode is the best mode in the entire game period. You take your created superstar and you build his career (cannot create divas on this version of the game). You start all the way at the bottom in the performance center, then to NXT. After you reach the ranks there, you will then head on to Raw and Smackdown and eventually to main event WrestleMania and become a WWE Hall of Famer. During this mode, whatever you do, outcomes in the experience such as wrestling as a Babyface or heel, forming alliances, and etc. there is a never ending cycle to this so it can get repetitive down the line. Also, There is a 1-5 star match rating system that will rate matches based on technique, pacing and momentum, with squash matches getting lower ratings and back-and-forth matches getting higher ratings.

There is new feature that allows you to import images from your computer to the game for created wrestlers but I couldn’t access this feature at the time I was reviewing this game due to the servers not being open yet. Also, returning from WWF No Mercy a very long time ago, every superstar and diva in this game is editable. You can change their entire look but you cannot change their hairstyles. The biggest blunder is that you can only create 25 superstars.

This is the point where it gets very disappointing. Players can no longer create divas, arenas, championships, finishers, use custom soundtracks (although an update to next gen consoles will fix this soon), and the only preset custom entrance for custom superstars is the one where the superstar is carrying the phone.

There are also many and I mean MANY matches removed on the current gen consoles

1 vs 1:

– Inferno
– Ladder
– I Quit
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– Special Referee (yet is in the showcase mode)
– Casket (yet is in the Showcase mode)
– 3 stages of hell (Yet is in the showcase mode)
– Backstage Brawl

2 vs 2:

– Tornado Tag
– Extreme Rules
– Hell in a Cell
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– Table
– TLC
– Elimination Tornado
– Elimination Table
– Mixed
– Backstage Brawl

Triple Threat:

– Falls Count Anywhere
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– No DQ
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– TLC
– Backstage Brawl

Fatal 4 Way/4-Man:

– Battle Royal
– Hell in a Cell
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– Table
– TLC
– Falls Count Anywhere
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– No DQ
– Backstage Brawl

6-Man:
– Elimination Chamber Tag
– Championship Scramble (Was removed in 2k14, but notable still)

Handicap Matches:
– All handicap matches

Final thoughts: if you want this game, the only good things are the MyCareer mode and the new gameplay features. You cannot hype a game this much for 6 months and then give us a half-assed game with missing features. 2K showcase is just a copy and paste of 30 years of WrestleMania from last year’s game and the Attitude era mode from WWE 13. I cannot find a reason why to spend $60 plus tax on a game that presents only half of what last year’s game had. If they kept all of those features in, this would have beat out last year’s game. I know this year’s game engine is built from ground up but that is no excuse to remove many features especially for the ones in the create suite community. The decision to take away the ability of creating divas is a slap in the face to every women who plays WWE games. Although you can create divas on the last gen version, that is not the point. My conclusion is that everyone should wait for next year’s game instead or keep 2K14 until next year. This game gets a final rating of 5.5/10

julian

Writer and Media Journalist for Alternativemindz since 2012. I Cover the latest in Pop Culture, Video Games, Comics, Pro Wrestling and much more.