WWE 2K15 Review for PlayStation 4 (PS4)

WWE 2K15 Review for PlayStation 4 (PS4)

More, But Not Much More

WWE 2k15 has already come out on the PS3 and Xbox 360, so we already have an idea of what the roster looks like and such. But it was widely known that the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were sort of toned down, scaled back versions for the last-gen. The real improvements were held over for the next-gen version of the game, and while they are noticeable, the verdict is still out on whether or not they are all good. I’ve had a short while to fool around with the game, and I have to say there isn’t a whole lot here that goes above and beyond the last gen version. There’s little reason to get both, but if you need a wrestling offering for your next-gen console, this is a competent enough game to pick up.

The first thing you’ll notice in WWE 2k15 is the graphics overhaul. The graphics on next-gen consoles are significantly better than graphics on last-gen consoles all around, but the detail can really be seen in WWE 2k15 ’s models. Characters look the best when the camera closes in on their faces, usually during intros or match highlights. The expressions that these characters are able to make are very realistic, and if it weren’t for the still kind of plastic-like appearance of the skin texture, we would forgive you if you thought you were watching a real life wrestling match.

But while the models themselves look good, the animations are still a little bit stuck in the past. While complex grapples and finishing moves look great, many other moves including strikes and minor grapples look stiff and unwieldy. It all feels reminiscent of the times we played with WWE action figures as a kid, as limbs and bodies don’t really interact with each other well. However, much like we did when we played with action figures as a kid, it’s easy to ignore the janky animations and just sort of lose yourself in the moment. Besides, it’s not like the animations have gotten worse since the last-gen versions of WWE games, they just stick out more now that the models look better.

WWE 2K15 Screenshot

It’s also easier to notice the flaws in animations as the action in general has slowed down. Strikes, grapples, even movement has slowed down in an attempt to make the game feel more realistic. It works, to an extent. If you are watching the game, it certainly appears to resemble an actual wrestling match more closely. However, if you are playing the game, things feel a little off.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing I found was the increased reversal window. I never particularly enjoyed the reversal mechanics in these games to begin with, especially when playing against the computer, as nearly any move you attempt can be turned against you. However, the increased window and slower speed extends this problem to matches with other people. I frequently found I could lazily spam the reversal button and get out of most dangerous situations. The same held true for my opponent, meaning that our more impressive moves only hit when one of us fell asleep at the wheel.

WWE 2K15 Screenshot

The new fatigue mechanics also slow down the game. Once again, it increases the realism of matches, with competitors limping and crawling across the mat. But while you are playing, it simply feels like the controls aren’t responding to you in the way they should. You feel like you are fighting against these artificial limitations more than you are fighting your opponent. Not only that, but if you do somehow manage to get an early lead, that is hard to overcome, as you zip around the ring and your opponent barely moves.

There’s also a new chain wrestling mechanic, which is a little interesting. Instead of just starting a match on opposite sides of the ring, wrestlers will begin by getting into an armlock. When this happens, they then need to proceed to play a bunch of mini-games in order to get a dominant position over their opponent. It starts with rock paper scissors, and then continues on to a “sweet spot” minigame, involving rotating the analog stick and holding it in a certain point. It’s an interesting take on locking up with an opponent, but it just feels more complicated, slower, and distracting than the already implemented grapple system, which is the system you will use over the majority of the match.

WWE 2K15 Screenshot

One of the modes that was absent from the last gen version was the MyCareer mode, which allows you to create your own wrestler and make him rise through the ranks of the WWE. This was one of the most anticipated offerings in the next-gen version and now that I have had a chance to play it I have to say it’s… ok. It’s not bad it’s just unremarkable. The plotlines that you get involved in are shallow, the main events you participate in are few, and in the end it kind of feels like the things that happen to your character are more randomly generated instances rather than one solid narrative. In addition, the fights are long and since so many of them don’t really tie in to the “story” of your custom wrestler, a lot of them feel like a grind. It feels kind of like a career mode from the PS2 era, from back before we knew how to make modes like this more immersive. It’s a decent distraction but otherwise it didn’t wow me.

Everything else basically falls in line with the last-gen version, from roster to modes. This also means that this version has the same problems the last gen version did. The showcase mode simply doesn’t highlight the best matches, nor does it do a good job telling a story. Some of the best features of previous WWE titles, like the ability to make custom storylines and arenas and belts. Heck, WWE 13 felt like a fully fleshed out crowd sourced wrestling game, one of the best actually, now two years later WWE 2k15 offers a drastically reduced feature set and I’m not sure why.

I expected the next-gen version of WWE 2k15 to offer a lot more than the last gen version that came before it. While the differences are noticeable, the extra features aren’t exactly mind-blowing. If you have both a next-gen and a last-gen console, you might as well pick up the next-gen version if you plan on picking up WWE 2k15 . However, if you already picked up the last-gen version, there’s not a whole lot of reason to double up. In the end, I stick to the same opinion I had when I played the last-gen version, which was that the game is competent, but you aren’t missing much if you decide to skip over it. Maybe WWE 2k16 will bring make the features we loved from years past.

Graphics are probably the one thing the next-gen version has over the last gen version. 3.0 Control
The controls are mostly the same, but the gameplay is slower. 2.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
No big changes here, although there are some additional voice quips from the announcers. 3.0 Play Value
Still not enough options or modes to make me happy. 3.0 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Introducing: 2K Showcase: Relive the groundbreaking rivalries of John Cena vs. CM Punk and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels in a new single player campaign told through your gameplay and historic WWE footage.
  • WWE Universe and Creation Suite: Create your own Custom Superstar, or customize WWE Superstars and Divas, Move-Sets and entrances. Take control of WWE as your actions shape your Universe: storylines, schedule, rivalries, alliances and more
  • All-New MyCAREER Mode: For the first time ever, take your custom Superstar through an unprecedented and authentic WWE career spanning countless hours of gameplay. From NXT to RAW, make your way up to the WWE Championship and live the life of a real WWE Superstar. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 only.
  • Gameplay Enhancements: WWE 2K15 will significantly improve the core gameplay experience through key additions and improvements designed to elevate the franchise now and into the future. By using new motion capture technology, 2K15 includes five times more new animations than any WWE game before. Combined with a brand-new chain wrestling system, WWE 2K15 will take the drama and adrenaline of a WWE match to new heights?just like on WWE TV; Xbox One and PlayStation 4 only
  • Presentation Overhaul: Proprietary facial and body scanning technology deliver the most realistic WWE Superstars, Divas and Legends EVER. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Only. Listen to Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole call the action with the best commentary featured in a WWE game to date, with more than five times the lines recorded than any other year. WWE 2K15 will also feature a custom soundtrack featuring today’s hottest artists, curated by John Cena.

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