I’ve been playing the WWE games ever since I rented Wrestlemania Challenge for my NES in grade school. I’ve seen it go through some huge ups, and some of the biggest downs (Those Gamecube games were awful!) One thing I’ve noticed over the last few years, however, is that while the games have been stellar, they’ve been very presentation-heavy. I’ve never had an issue with it, but I know that fans of wrestling titles like the Fire Pro series have been disappointed by the focus on arcade style wrestling gameplay and the lack of focus on the wrestling aspect itself. WWE 2K15 looks to change that this year.
Please note: The features discussed in this article are exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. They aren’t on the other editions.
This is the first edition of the WWE 2K franchise on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, and 2K is ushering in a new era of contact gameplay in 2K15. Now that the presentation element of the title is solid, WWE 2K15 players on this year’s Xbox One and PS4 editions will be treated to a new chain wrestling engine. Right from the opening bell, you’ll be able to play a mini-game which fashions out in a rock-paper-scissors style where certain moves will beat others. The engine will focus more on traditional wrestling moves by default, however, if you just want back to the way things were before, you can turn them off in settings.
Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t presentation enhancements in the next gen versions of WWE 2K15. You’ll recall that the game was bypassed for a skeletal shell release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last year, and you’ll see how much the 2K team has put into this offering. New character scans and 5x the character animations mean your wrestlers look and move more realistically than ever before. 2K spent nearly TWO MONTHS motion capturing superstars for this game in all.
Gameplay-wise, you’ll see a career mode unlike past editions, allowing you to start in Florida at NXT, work your way up to the big roster and stay there. Dubbed myCareer, involving your create a wrestler (CAW,) and plucked with inspiration from NBA 2K, the mode is so true to form that Bill DeMott himself reprises his role as “Guy who yells at you a lot.) You get the chance to talk back to GMs in NBA 2K, so we’ll have to see if you get the chance to talk back to DeMott and make fun of his General Rection gimmick in WCW. I’m guessing not. Like NBA 2K, your performance (not whether you win) makes the difference in the world. You’ll score big ups if you make the crowd and WWE brass happy. How you go about doing that is your business. Here’s one of the coolest features – If you make a network of WWF 2K15 friends, their created wrestlers could very well integrate themselves into your career, and as you’re on the cusp of winning that Money in the Bank briefcase, their career CAW could emerge and spoil your coming out party. I’m looking forward to that one.
Of course, the Legends roster always interests me too. Sting was the Pre-Order bonus (both Bart Simpson/Facepaint Sting and Crow Sting) and joining him will be the likes of Bam Bam Bigelow (as DLC) and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The late 80s/early 90s fan in me is interested in why Iron Sheik is in the game as the controversial Col. Mustafa, but seeing as Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan are there too, there’s got to be some sort of Wrestlemania VII connection. Otherwise, “Sheiky Baby the legend” would stand strong on his own. (Please note again that Hogan, Slaughter and Sheik’s appearance as playable characters are also downloadable content. An earlier version of this article accidentally referenced them as on-disc unlocks. Apologies for any confusion this may have caused.)
Lastly, you’ll continue to retain all of the fun and familiarity of the previous WWE games. 2K has done a really good job of making sure that THQ series fans stuck by in bringing in a lot of the familiar faces from the past to help create a consistent gameplay experience.
WWE 2K15 is now available for the following systems:
Purchase Standard Edition for the Xbox One
Purchase Standard Edition for the PlayStation 4
Purchase Standard Edition for the Xbox 360
Purchase Standard Edition for the PlayStation 3
Purchase “Hulk Rules” Limited Edition for the Xbox One (SOLD OUT)
Purchase “Hulk Rules” Limited Edition for the PlayStation 4 (SOLD OUT)