Monday, 9 November 2015

WWE 2K16 Review

It's been hard to recapture that spark that WWF games had in the late 90's early 00's. The game has been missing a proper campaign or career mode for quite some time now, 2k16 has set the course to correct this.

MyCareer is where the player creates a new superstar or diva from scratch. You then start in training to learn how to play the game with NXT stars. It runs through the various minigames involved, including the chain wrestling mechanic (which is vastly improved) right upto pins and submissions. It also pairs you with Baron Corbin to learn how teams work.

This mode is great if you've not played an 2K WWE game before. After joining the NXT roster, you can fight to any wrestler and start any tag team or any rivalry with others that you want by running in to matches. Join mid-match to create a potential tag team with someone. This could be distracting the opponent or referee, or you can be a true heel and distract everyone then pick one person and get ejected out by using a chair. Be aware that this may end the match causing both to start to dislike you.

The more stars you earn for your performance the more popularity you earn in the universe, meaning great opportunities and rewards. The more SP and VC you'll earn too. These are your two currencies. SP will increase your overall rating by you spending it in attributes, it can also gain you abilities too, e.g the dirty pin. All of these come in levels costing more for each new level. VC is used to but ability slots for more abilities, the purchase of managers who can cheer you on or distract the ref, depending on who you buy. It can also buy skills. These are things like OMG moments, or specialities like Ladder finishers. 

It is still very limited in what you can do, should be more attacking options, e.g. attacking during a lost match interview or attacking random people backstage. More replies during your own interviews would be nice, more diverse questions would be excellent, but there is still something there to work with, something to grow and become stronger.

The problem isn't so much its technical ability, so much as its difficulty. It sometimes seems to forget what you've got it set too. Most of the time, on easy you'll steamroller everyone, but then you'll sometimes find it hard to reverse moves or holds. Sometimes the pin system doesn't react properly either. Other times it feels like the game thinks you're on legendary. Which is very rare.

These problems are bizarrely not present in Showcase. This year it's cover star Stone Cold Steve Austin that takes centre stage, it starts with his infamous fight with Jake 'The snake' Roberts at King of the Ring and works his way through more, including Bret Hart amongst others.

Again you have to hit every extra assignment during the match to unlock everything, which weirdly includes wrestlers, having the biggest roster ever is actually a little smaller if you're not a fan of Showcase.

Universe is back, universe is much the same. Play every match if you want to, create your own stables and rivalries. Simulate to PPVs if you want to. Problem was that matches (at the time of this review) weren't working properly, they'd either freeze or the outcome would be forgotten at the end of the match. Even had problems with minigames and moves. A patch has since been released which has fixed these issues.

In single player/local play, this game has very smooth gameplay which more resembles real life shows than previous years. Aggressors also tire along with those being dominated. Pinfalls also give the player on the backfoot a chance to turn it around.

Online features include the creation studios, where you'll find the inevitable 100,000 versions of Jeff Hardy. Also, the matches, as with most fighting games though, it is completely unforgiving, the balances of single player go out the window, the move spammers are here. None of these imbalances are the games fault. Most of it is just the opponent is relentless and not interested in having a fight.

It's strengths are MyCareer and Showcase. If you have been waiting for a great Career mode you might need to wait another year, this is a shell of what it could be. A little more features in it would be incredible. It's almost kind of barebones as it is right now, it can only get better from here. Graphically it's even weirder. Main roster guys look great, they look real and look fresh from backstage. WCW based characters and some (not all) NXT members look pretty naff. A little strange from a game that is almost on the best form it has been since 2011.

Overall, if you like WWE games you'll enjoy the improvements from 2K15. If this is your first game, you'll still find something fun to play. It's good to have a career mode back too.

Overall 7/10
Gameplay 7/10
Graphics 8/10
Content 8/10


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