WWE games makes its long awaited debut on PS4/Xbox One with WWE 2K15. Last year 2K skipped the launch of the (at the time) next gen consoles, so fans of the WWE games were excited to see what 2K could do with all the new hardware. I’ve always found the WWE games to be really fun up until 2K15 on last gen consoles, which was one of the worst WWE games I’ve ever played. Is WWE 2K15 better on current gen consoles? Yes. Is WWE 2K15 another solid entry to the series? Sadly no, and you’ll find out why in this review.
Before I talk about what WWE 2K15 does wrong lets start with some positivity because WWE 2K15 still has many positives within the game. The first thing that has to be mentioned when playing WWE 2K15 on PS4 is the improvement of the visuals compared to the last generation games. WWE 2K15 features face scan of most of the roster with some not being possible to scan (CM Punk and The Rock come to mind) the scanned wrestlers look really good, and some look extremely life like. The wrestlers that were not scanned still look really but obviously not as good as the ones that are scanned.
Along with some solid visual improvements there have been some changes to the gameplay. At the start of every match the first grapple move you will do is a chain grapple. Once a chain grapple has been initiated you have a choice of 3 different grapples which works similar to rock paper scissors. After the grapple has been chosen you then have to find the sweet spot in a circular meter, and fill it before the other person does. I felt like it was a necessary addition to the games as they want to move closer and closer to a sim wrestling game, and most matches in WWE start like this.
Another addition to gameplay is the revamped stamina system which is extremely effective in the game, if you lose too much stamina it will cause your wrestler to move much slower, and change the animations of certain things like climbing to the top of the turnbuckle with low stamina will cause them to move up much slower, and look visibly tired compared to previous games were there is just one animation for every time you climb up. There is also the addition of the desperation pin, which can only be done in low stamina after a big move. Once the big move has been executed you can crawl towards your opponent and place one arm over them for the cover. It all adds to the drama of matches in WWE 2K15.
MyCareer mode is exclusive to Xbox One and PS4, and features your own created character that you take on a journey from being a rookie, to NXT, and then finally getting to the main shows in WWE. MyCareer mode includes features like storylines, good guy/bad guy meter (face and heel meter), currency to buy new moves/managers, match rating system, competing in title matches (as well as defending titles)/Money In The Bank/Royal Rumble’s along with other features. While this all sounds very good, it was executed poorly. One of the biggest problems in the mode is the amount of filler that is in the mode, which must be more than 50%. Filler parts are when the GM (Vickie Guerrero) has nothing for you on that week so you can choose a dark match instead. Every so often you will get a storyline, but you’ll be spending most of your time in filler matches.
One of the biggest complaints of MyCareer mode is the fact that the mode ends as soon as you win the WWE world heavyweight title. This means you can finish the mode by the 4th year if you choose to go after the WWE world heavyweight title. Other than the mode ending extremely early, it also means that you can’t even defend the title that you won at all. I found these design choices to be overall terrible, and really brought down the mode which does have good potential.
The interactive, and historical mode is back again in WWE 2K15. It has been previously known as Attitude Era mode and 30 Years Of Wrestlemania, but now it’s known as 2K Showcase. The mode follows the same path as the previous versions with a main overall theme which is now WWE rivalries. There are two rivalries that have been focused on in Showcase and that is Shawn Michaels/Triple H (2002-2004) and CM Punk/John Cena (2011-2013). It is still objective based with a checklist of things to do in each match (around 14 or so matches in each rivarly). Cutscenes are also triggered by completing the objectives, these cutscenes are in game versions of the moments that actually happened in matches that happened in the WWE. Showcase mode does a great job of recreating history with solid commentary (this can’t be said for outside of Showcase) and the cutscenes that play out exactly like the match did, but I feel the mode has ran its course, and more effort should be put in the things that need work like Universe mode which has one big change overall.
The Final Verdict
Overall WWE 2K15 was a disappointing debut for WWE games on Xbox One/PS4 due to a range of different problems like removing a ton of matches from single player, not improving Universe much, removing create modes, limiting Create A Superstar, MyCareer problems, and other issues (trust me there are a lot). The only solid work that has been done on this game is the graphics and the improvements to gameplay. It was very disappointing overall, and hopefully WWE 2K16 is much better.
+Improvements to gameplay
+/- MyCareer has potential and is good in parts but some poor design choices ruins the mode
+/- Showcase is good but the format of Showcase (A.E /30 year of WM mode) has become redundant
-Removing match types in single player
-Lack of create modes compared to previous versions