Where (and Why) WWE 2K15 Fails (and what can be done to improve WWE 2K16)
Many wrestling fans will have settled down to watch Wrestlemania 31 on either PPV or the WWE Network. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that websites like www.icxm.net would be asking gamers on Twitter what they feel is the “greatest wrestling game of all time”. I’ve seen a few responses to their inquiry and among them are the usual suspects. I mean games like “WWE No Mercy” and “WWE Attitude”. There really isn’t a right answer to the question because a lot of it is based on personal preference.
However, I doubt anyone will put WWE 2K15 on any “Best of” list for sports games or wrestling games. There is good reason for this: WWE 2K15 fails on many levels compared to the past few WWE games, games like WWE No Mercy, and even what 2K Sports stated was their intention when they took over the franchise.
First let’s start with some basics. Most games who buy the WWE games year after the year are not just getting the game for the roster updates. They are getting the game because of the customization options. The ability to create your own Superstar or Diva, your own move set, or your own finishing moves, and similar features are amongst the favorite things that many fans (myself included) looked forward to about the WWE games. While the creation suite has never been perfect, 2K Sports seemed to opt for a “one step forward and two and half steps back” approach to what fans were given with WWE 2K15.
The one step forward is the ability to create your own alternate attire for existing WWE superstars and to some extent Divas. The two and a half steps back includes everything from “Create A Finisher” being deleted to “Create an Entrance” option made extremely lacking in their highly touted “Career Mode” (not to mention the lack of custom music). The “create a superstar” attire items being somewhat limited compared to past games is an issue as well as the inability to customize the Divas in the game with the exception of a few preset attires.
The highly touted option to put your own face on your superstar seems like a “Work in Progress”. Actually, the entire creation suite on the game seems like a gigantic “Work in Progress”.
This leads me to my next issue with game. The high touted “Career Mode” (which is the reason I pre-ordered the game to begin with) seemed like somewhere between a “work in progress” to a complete disappointment. I’m not even talking about the repeated “Tune Up or Dark Match” thing really does make the mode seem monotonous at times.
I can forgive that mostly due to the need for such matches to get your superstar’s stats up. I’m talking about other issues. For instance, and this one really ticked me off, Paul Heyman is not a face manager. The only time Paul Heyman has remotely worked as something resembling a face was the original ECW One Night Stand PPV in 2005. He went back to being a heel right afterwards. Yet there he is as a face in the WWE 2K15 career mode if you decide to hire him. There is a similar issue with nearly all the Divas being only available to faces in the game. And DLC characters who could (or should) be available as managers or even factor into career mode are not even available. In general, it would have been nice if the DLC content characters could have been included into the overall presentation of career mode once downloaded.
Of course, it isn’t like playing through Career Mode and staying a heel is even easy to do. This is another problem in the game. When playing through the game, I noticed a big problem with getting my superstar to “stay as a heel” even after adding nearly every dirty tactic to my move set. The only sure fire way there seemed to be to get the heel meter to go up was to “get intentionally DQed” which really doesn’t do all that much for your win – loss record.
For a game which was touted as “trying to implement ring psychology into the gaming experience” there is a bit lacking here for someone who is trying to play as a heel. In general, it seemed like the career mode was done with only one kind of player in mind. When and if I figure out what kind of player that is then I will get back to you.
I could probably spend another few paragraphs about my disappointment with the creation suite and career mode but there are even more issues to cover. One is an issue that has plagued not only WWE 2K15 but also the past several WWE games that THQ put out. That issue is the “create a tag team” and “create a stable” options in the WWE Universe mode (and other modes). The problems here are fairly simple: 1) The two modes need to be separated. Stables are not lead by tag teams.
At least all the great stables / factions have not usually been led by tag teams. As it stands, any stable created in the WWE game does not give the option for the stable to be led by anyone other than the tag team stuck at the lead. Ex: The “Four Horsemen” were not led by Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, Degeneration X was not led by The New Age Outlaws. 2) Properly including managers for stables, tag teams and singles guys. As it stands, managers cannot be put into a stable as managers. Ex: Paul Heyman managing The Dangerous Alliance could not be done in the current layout of the WWE Universe mode. Neither could The Heenan Family. Actually, managers have to be manually put into the WWE Universe mode in general which is quite annoying and another problem entirely. Ex: Heyman should come out to ringside with Brock Lesnar every time Brock has a match unless he is removed from being Brock’s manager in the Superstar Editor. Lana should come out and be with Rusev at ringside unless removed as his manager in the Superstar editor. As it stands, the “superstar with manager manager” match as to be done manually and doing so manually interrupts any sort of cut scene intended if one was intended in the Universe mode.
A final issue with the WWE Universe mode is the “face / heel” dynamic doesn’t come through enough much like it doesn’t in the career mode.
Again, I could go on with issues the game has with it. I could spend a few paragraphs on issues with various moves in the game looking bad or move not being in the game that should be in the game. I could mention various issues with the roster or with DLC content. I have not even started on the issues with the cage matches that make them loathsome to play. I won’t get into that though. Many of these issues are things that 2K Sports inherited from THQ.
As I said before, much about WWE 2K15 feels like a “work in progress” and that is somewhat understandable. However, a lot of the things that I have mentioned are things that could have and should have been avoided by the game developers. It is largely because of this that I will not likely go near WWE 2K16 and possibly any future WWE games. I have simply given up on the problems being fixed without new ones being created to replace them (amongst other things). This could change, though. Anything can happen, right?
So guy's, do you agree with Gary's thought's on the game? Sound off in the comment's below!