The latest glimpses of WWE 2K15 point to the video game being a way to satiate fans' hunger to see CM Punk in action.
The disgruntled and abruptly retired Superstar will be featured in the new 2K Showcase mode. The rivalries that comprise that portion of the game, new screen shots and some word on possible roster additions round out the newest batch of WWE 2K15 news.
It's look as if the newest WWE game is going to transport fans back to SummerSlam 2002 and The Summer of Punk. Unlockables and nostalgia await.
From what 2K Sports has shown of WWE 2K15 thus far, it's clear that journey back in time is going to be rife with stunning images.
Screen shots of The Viper
Peeks at the game's graphics have come in small doses. Last week, 2K Sports showed off what the move to next-generation consoles would offer WWE 2K15 by releasing a shot of John Cena in a staredown.
The man opposite him is who fans get a look at this week. Randy Orton looks tremendous in the screen shots released so far.
IGN posted a shot of Orton in his trademark pose:
IGN also provided a peek of Orton glaring at Cena:
Both images may inspire a few gamers to upgrade their systems. No word on how much the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game will improve from last year, but they certainly won't have that kind of detail.
The tattoos covering Orton's arms and the scowl he so often wears are both captured beautifully here.
These screen shots should also spark curiosity in fans hoping to see what the game's other Superstars look like. The series had lagged behind in terms of graphics in the past, but the leap to next-gen appears to have the WWE 2K series charging toward the future.
2K Showcase Details
The story mode is set to focus on a pair of rivalries in great depth. The choices for those feuds are a touch surprising considering Punk's current chilly relationship with the company.
WWE officials may be upset over Punk leaving in the midst of WrestleMania season but clearly have no issue making money off his likeness.
PWInsider.com's Mike Johnson passed along a press release from 2K Sports that announced that the two rivalries to be highlighted in the mode are CM Punk vs. John Cena and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels.
Both feature number of great matches fans will love to relive.
Punk vs. Cena at Money in the Bank 2011 and Triple H vs. Michaels at SummerSlam 2002 will both entice. The game will dive far deeper into those feuds, though, as Bleacher Report's own Brian Mazique breaks down here:
The aforementioned press release notes that there will be 33 matches between the two rivalries. Upon completing bonus historical objectives, players will "unlock new WWE Superstars, Championship titles and alternate attire."
Much like the 30 Years of WrestleMania mode, the 2K Showcase will feature "documentary-style video packages of classic WWE footage, authentic WWE Superstar commentary and cinematic cut scenes."
It won't have the scope that 30 Years of WrestleMania had but instead should benefit from zeroing in on two rivalries with plenty of thrills to mine. Each Superstar chosen for the mode has a strong fanbase, likely adding to sales.
Who will join Punk, Cena, Michaels and The Game in the list of available characters? There have been no new names added to the confirmed roster, but Superstars keep letting it slip that they are a part of the game.
In a recent interview, The Miz told ChampChong that he was excited to play as himself in WWE 2K15.
His answer certainly makes it sound like he'll make the cut, which isn't surprising at all. It's no shocker that Bad News Barrett will join the WWE 2K15 fun as well.
Barrett talked to IGN's Greg Miller about the upcoming video game. In the interview, he confirmed that he's a member of the roster, noting that it's the first time his Bad News Barrett will be represented in the series.
Kevin Nash says he's on the roster, too.
On PWInsider.com, Walt Hoenisch relayed Nash's answers to a Q&A session after a screening of NWO: The Revolution. When asked about whether he was going to be in the game, Nash said that he would, as Diesel. He added that Jay Lethal filmed his moves and entrance for WWE 2K15.
If Lethal is indeed in the game, it has to be to provide generic and created wrestler animations. WWE isn't about to promote former outside talent unless they have left the company they work for and come to WWE crackling with buzz, a la Sting.
Further updates are surely forthcoming with word on how many legends from yesteryear 2K Sports brings to the fold and what new names get added to the series. For now, though, fans can be certain that The Best in the World will be wrestling for WWE again, at least in virtual form.