IF YOU SMELL, What WWE2K15 is cooking!
Pro-wrestling has come a long way especially when wrestling fans around the world just celebrated WrestleMania 30 at the superdome back in April earlier this year. For those who don’t follow wrestling, it’s the biggest wrestling event all year round and is known to be attended by fans all around the world. So how does WWE2K15 do this year? Considering the title’s transition to the next generation platforms, it’s always tricky to move a gaming series across multiple platforms developers tend to ask the question. “Which portion of the game do we keep and which portion of the game should we redesign?” This is quite apparent for WWE2K15 as they seeked to make the jump across new platforms.
Developed by Visual Concepts/Yuke’s and published by 2K Sports, WWE2K15 boasts 72+ playable characters. Wait, don’t get too excited yet. From the get go only a good half of them are available. A bunch of them are meant to be unlocked by playing through the game. You could also alternatively spend real money to either purchase a season pass or an accelerator DLC which unlocks all the characters. One could view this as a good or bad thing. Personally, I find this to be a bit of a mix bag as I expected more characters to be unlocked from the get go and not having to waste extra precious playing time unlocking them. Remember the last time you paid money to unlock characters in a fighting game?
Part of this year’s modes include the 2K showcase which presents 2 of WWE’s notable feuds. One from the attitude era triple H vs HBK Shawn Michaels and more recently the pipe bomb saga between John Cena. Both of which were serviceable for the most part accurately documenting the actual events. The play through would take you to the key events/matches. While this was a good way to revisit memory’s lane, I couldn’t help but feel short changed compared to WWE2K14’s road to WrestleMania which included every single match up from WrestleMania 1 to 30.
WWE2K15 looks good for the most part especially when it came to the player models. I think the developers paid attention to each wrestler from the little intricacies from the way they would strut down the ring or to the way they execute signature moves and moved in ring. Most of which were very accurately depicted in accordance to the life like counter parts.
WWE2K15’s gameplay has also been augmented this year. The pace of the game felt significantly slower compared to the more arcade like feel to the game in previous iterations. This was actually not bad a change. A wrestler’s performance over time in the ring would wear down a wrestler and fatigue would kick in. This added a certain element of excitement not knowing whether or not your wrestler would be able to make it to the end to pull off a crucial finisher to end the match. This was a good change to manage the pacing of the game in efforts to make the game more lifelike.
Another gameplay element change would be the rock paper scissors lockup. When 2 wrestlers engage in a lock-up, a mini game would kick in usually determining a winner which then moves a wrestler into a 2nd mini game that pits a player into a guessing rotation of your analog sticks to see which player can perform the action first. I found this to be quite disruptive to the overall momentum to the game. While this wasn’t a deal breaker, it did feel somewhat out of place.
WWE2k15 is not without its fair share of problems. The game’s physics system while working most of the time still inherited issues from its PS3 counter parts especially collision detection of the ring and the wrestlers. Some of the controls also proved to be unresponsive because your target had to be strictly in a position. Auto corrections like moving a player to a certain spot before executing a move according to script are quite common in the game. This tends to come with the decision of choosing not to build a new system but instead migrating existing code. The problem with doing so meant that 2k15 was always going to bring old generation problems to the new platforms.
While the above mentioned issues were by no means game breaking in any way, but the little things still do add up to the overall feel of the game.
While I was hoping more from the title, I think fans would still be able to get the most of the game especially those who frequently watch Monday night RAW and the pay per views. It’s refreshing to see new wrestlers make their debut to the game. Most of them designed accurately and play well for the most part.
While the game is still very much playable, this year’s WWE2K15 felt like a light weight version of previous iterations of the game. It carries over the previous problems from older games from the PS3 over to next generation. For fans of the series, it is still worth checking out the title for its visual and animation upgrades. The game was also lacking in various modes that previous iterations included which made the game feel more bare bones. All in all, this year’s game is a hit and miss experience and we feel that it needs to be fixed and addressed in future iterations of the series.
Ratings 3 out of 5 stars
by Kenneth Choong
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