Release Date: November 18, 2014
Developer: Yuke’s Media Creations
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 4], Xbox One
Rated: T for Teen
Next Gen gamers finally have the opportunity to embrace WWE 2K15 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This year 2K Sports and Visual Concepts works alongside Yuke’s in creating the future of WWE 2K. But is this the year and experience we’ve been waiting for? In a way, yes and no.
To start off, WWE 2k15 is by far the greatest looking game in the history of WWE games. Character models look as close to their real life counterparts than ever. John Cena is John Cena and Randy Orton truly resembles the real life viper; even the crowd have their own individual identities.
But when you look at other celebrities like James Harden or Lebron James in NBA 2k15 and the realism that drives the #1 Rated NBA videogame, why would you expect anything less from the franchise?
Then there’s the action in the ring. Again, history is made with how realistic the tempo of every match is that takes place in 2K15. In the WWE wrestlers begin with the grapple, attempting to fill each other out with a test of strength; it’s now also the kick off when playing WWE 2K15 (which is optional); and it only gets better from there.
In WWE 2K15 you now have the opportunity to build momentum, store multiple signatures and finishers. As the match heightens both opponents begin to slow down from fatigue; and while this is as authentic as it gets, it may feel a bit awkward to the seasoned WWE 2K veterans.
Over the past several years, gamers were used to performing a finisher and jumping up for the win. In 2K15 however, you need the stamina to get back up after performing your special or a big move. Otherwise, you’ll find your player attempting to crawl for the win.
The two most important modes to embrace 2K15 in all its glory is 2K showcase and MyCareer. 2K Showcase is the remarkable moments in WWE history that defined the superstars and the rivalries the partaken in. The first two Showcases are CM Punk vs John Cena and Shawn Michaels and Triple H. As this is the possibly the final opportunity to play as the Best in the World, the rivalry pushes back to Money in the Bank where Punk left the WWE with the Championship belt, hands down one of the most surprising moments ever. Michaels and HHH kicks off at the breaking point of Degeneration X and the downhill spiral of two friends becoming bitter enemies.
MyCareer is 2K15’s bread and butter, the selling point of this year’s installment. In MyCareer you get to create your own wrestler, start from the bottom at the WWE Performance Center and earn your spot on NXT, SmackDown or Raw, ultimately earning the chance to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It’s not an easy task and surprisingly not always about winning every match. Instead, it’s the lasting impression each match leaves on the WWE Universe earning you a one to five star rating.
While VC and Skill Points are used to increase your player’s attributes similar to NBA 2K15, they can’t be bought. You genuinely need to earn your way to the top.
MyCareer is a nice touch to the series but it places you in too many filler matches’ in-between cutscenes and critical moments of the career mode. I thought back to WWE 12 where you played as newcomer Jacob Cass that fought his way to the top in the Hero Story of Road to WrestleMania, essentially a career mode that better delivered what mattered.
While having the ability to create your own superstar and uploading your face into the game is pretty awesome, WWE 2K15 seen a handful of cutbacks. There’s no creating Divas, no custom belts, no creating your own arenas, no parking lot brawls and for that matter players still can’t take the action into the crowd.
When creating an entrance you’re extremely limited in how your player will walk down the ramp and what theme song will accompany.
While gameplay is phenomenal, there was too much focus simply applied to that one area. It was a gamble sacrificing customization and creativity to an extent as presentation and authenticity “is” near perfect. While commentary is better between Cole and Lawler, you can’t help but still hear all the new and old lines repeated excessively.
WWE 2K15 seemed to take a step in the right direction to driving the realism while taking a few steps back in providing fans the next level experience in full. Other than graphics, 2K Showcase is the heart of 2K15. Hopefully 2K will deliver gamers a more legitimate, finish product come 2K16. This year on all platforms felt all talk, no authority.
Replay Value: 3.25/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5