Release Date: October 28, 2014
Developer: Yuke’s Media Creations
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 3], Xbox 360
Rated: T for Teen
It’s WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment. It’s the biggest, most iconic genre in sports entertainment today. And night after night blood, sweat and tears are left on the mat, all from bringing their very best to the ring.
With the unique installment of WWE 2K15, two versions are scheduled to release, bringing you exclusive features between consoles. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will introduce you to the “MyCareer” mode that allows your very own create-a-player to start from the bottom of totem pole and earn a shot at the prestigious WWE Undisputed Heavyweight Championship. But in this version of WWE 2K15 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it’s all about Who Got NXT.
Before going in depth let’s talk about what earns first in line, the 2K Showcase that relives the rivalries between C.M. Punk vs John Cena (HUSTLE, LOYALTY & RESPECT) and Shawn Michaels vs Triple H (Best Friends, Bitter Enemies). We’re obviously starting with the Best in the World.
The 2K Showcase kicks off with C.M. Punk speaking his mind of the brand and threatening to walk away with the title at Money in the Bank. It was an amazing rivalry between Punk and Cena, perfectly re-mastered for gaming enthusiast. You’re also reintroduced to the Shield as well as have a few opportunities to play as Ryback in Hell in the Cell and Alberto Del Rio as he became the middle man in a heated battle.
The 2K Showcase mode reminded me much of the Attitude Era mode from WWE 2K13 as it was extremely addictive from beginning to end. I also enjoyed the teasers as loading screens displayed new-gen screenshots of WWE 2K15.
Back to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, its exclusive mode is Who Got NXT. This special mode allows you to play as Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Rusev, Cory Graves and Bo Dallas. There are four matches to participate in, including special and hidden objectives that when completed allows the NXT wrestlers to make their way into the WWE 2K15 roster, becoming playable in the WWE Universe and Exhibition modes.
One thing that sticks out on Who Got NXT is the overall score for each match; showmanship, excitement, drama and more makes up the total score but shows no unique significance for the game mode. I’m willing to bet however this will be the same scoring method for WWE 2K15 MyCareer on new-gen come November 18th, but more involved.
2K15 has an incredible roster from the starting gate, including a handful of additional superstars that are unlockable through the aforementioned modes, 2K Showcase and Who Got NXT. And what really makes this year’s version of WWE 2K15 authentic are the entrances. Whether it’s watching John Cena interact with the cameraman, Bray Wyatt igniting the fireflies or even Daniel Bryan driving the Yes Movement, as a WWE fan you can’t help to but smile on the inside.
As for WWE 2K15’s gameplay it’s a bit of a rinse and repeat from last years’ experience. Don’t expect the grapple chain system or new mechanics previewed to be a part of this version of 2K15. A few things you can expect are new fighting mechanics, specifically in the Hell in the Cell matches. In WWE 2K14 wrestlers, including John Cena, eye-gouged and back scratched excessively outside of the ring. This year however, grappling your opponent will perform several different moves.
As you build momentum in WWE 2K15, there’s a new meter that prompts you when you’re able to perform a signature move. Again, the ability to store them is not available in this installment of 2K15.
If you’re wondering if anything might have change backstage, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. There are no new elements, just the same hallway that leads to the parking lot. Even when fighting in the arena for no DQ matches’, breaking the barricade is as far as you get to fighting in the crowd.
Other differences are no custom story, no custom entrance music and no updates that have already been introduced in trailers for new-gen. For example, the shield still comes out as a unit in WWE 2K15 rather than Roman Reigns having his unique entrance. Dean Ambrose doesn’t have his new attire or music. It feels like 2K Sports had plenty of time to make those minor adjustments, but focused too much on one version.
WWE Universe mode is back, offering gamers to engage into a much deeper story rather than normal rivalries. Stories are now built into the universe based on rivalries, including secret stories that you can only partake in by playing stories to the very end.
Characters look a bit more detailed than in WWE 2K14 thanks to the new lighting system by Visual Concept. Certain wrestlers such as Bray Wyatt, John Cena and The Rock truly compliment the change, detailing character models and tattoos.
New voiceovers are included in WWE 2K15. Commentary between Jerry and Cole is by far the best that the videogame has put together in years; simply because it seemed to be an untouched area for years. Sheamus screams “FELLA” rather than sounding lazy as he has in previous installments. The announcers, including Ricardo Rodriguez have new audio as well supporting 2K15 in their much needed revamp all around. There are also new sound effects supporting the fighting system, being driven to the mat or even breaking the barricades.
For the most part WWE 2K15 is WWE 2K14 with minor adjustments. Who Got NXT is a mode that is only temporarily used to unlock a few upcoming superstars. 2K Showcase on the other hand will show replay value as 2K Sports plan to release more rivalries in the future. 2K15 is all about the stories rather than just a match being won, a message well driven home.
If you have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One I’d definitely recommend waiting it out until the new-gen version launches. WWE 2K15 is well packaged, but it doesn’t nearly hold as much recognition as the new-gen’s career mode.
Replay Value: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5