SummerSlam weekend cut away much of the veil that was covering WWE 2K15.
Info on the upcoming video game isn't as shrouded as it was before. The majority of the roster is now revealed, images and clips of the game are spreading across the Internet and one writer gave a hands-on preview.
Some fans aren't going to be thrilled at the omissions from the roster. More Superstars will be added to the list, though.
Taking a peek at some leaked gameplay and hearing what Vince Ingenito of IGN had to say about WWE 2K15 should cheer those fans up. The game isn't the same old retread of the series.
Even with its imperfections, it's set to be a revolutionary step in the series' evolution.
WWE 2K14, despite 2K Sports taking over, was not all that different from the game's previous editions. Mechanics mostly stayed the same, save some minor tweaks.
It looks as if tweaks are set to give way to bigger shifts.
Ingenito wrote for IGN about his experience playing an early version of the game. He said, "I really dig the direction 2K15 is taking the franchise. It's a very clear step down a path that few wrestling games have ever walked. I'm here to tell you that WWE 2K15 is, for lack of a better term, a wrestling sim."
He described it as "different," discussing a new grappling system, mechanics and stamina system. As a result, the game is closer to what one sees on TV each week.
The stamina system, as Ingenito notes, will prevent players from just running around the ring with no consequence. To avoid getting gassed, you'll have to pace yourself.
Ingenito wrote the following on the grappling system:
It starts like rock, paper, scissors – with each player pressing one of three face buttons, and the winner advancing to a more advantageous position. From here, both players play what is essentially a lock-picking game, rotating the right stick until they find the 'sweet spot,' and holding it there to improve their respective situation. During this time, the player with advantage can land strikes, or even wrench whatever limb they've grabbed a hold of. It's a lot more like the opening stages of a real match than running right up to your opponent for a spine-buster the moment the bell rings.
This changes as the match goes on, though. Once the feeling-out process is over, moves are easy to perform.
It sounds a lot more complicated than the previous system, but if it makes the game feel more authentic, a tougher learning curve won't bother fans. Requiring a bit of added strategy will please those who have mastered, and are likely bored of, the old system.
WWE 2K tweeted a screenshot of The Bizarre One in all his face-painted glory:
He looks fantastic here, the developers doing a great job with the lighting and details in his ring gear. These improved graphics give fans more reasons to upgrade their consoles.
Stephanie McMahon provided an early look at her husband in action. She tweeted out a look at the 2K Showcase mode, which will feature Triple H and Shawn Michaels' rivalry:
This appears to be the famous 2002 angle where Triple H stabbed Michaels in the back. The SummerSlam match that followed this will be fun to play out.
In addition to those images, WWE.com released a photo gallery of character art from the game, which included Chris Jericho.
And AJ Lee as well.
What's most interesting to fans, though, is how those wrestlers and others move in the ring and what improvements 2K Sports has made with animations. Some videos taken at Germany's Gamescom provides a look at both.
Fans were playing a stripped-down version of the game at the recent convention. They weren't shy about posting their experiences online.
In one video, Orton battles Cesaro.
A tutorial for the aforementioned grappling system pops up. It looks as if the addition will be a boost to the game, providing a new element to the mat-wrestling side of things.
Some of the animations look excellent, such as Orton cringing after a slam and holding his ribs after Cesaro clocks him, for example. The familiar awkward moments of missing an opponent when grappling or running past one's foe are present here as well, though.
A part of that has to be attributed to the players still picking up the game.
Another video sees a virtual Cena tangle with a virtual Cesaro. This offers a better look at the grappling system even if the instructions are in German.
One can see that 2K Sports has been working on strikes and the reaction to them as well. Cesaro and Cena's slugfest looks great.
A third video shows a No Holds Barred match.
The players struggle to get Cesaro to smash Orton into the table, so we don't get to see how that looks. Whoever is controlling The King of Swing has a much better result cracking a baseball bat against Orton's torso.
IGN posted a more official video featuring Cena:
There's not much new to enjoy here, as the previously released screenshots were clearly taken from this scene. Still, it's clear that the presentation in WWE 2K15 is going to be top-notch.
It's the roster that is drawing the most complaints.
After 2K Sports' roster reveal event, Renee Young announced who is officially part of the game so far. WWE's biggest stars are on that list, as are some Hall of Famers from the past.
As of now, the game's roster is as follows, per 2K.com:
- AJ Lee
- Alberto Del Rio
- Bad News Barrett
- Big Show
- Big E
- Bray Wyatt
- Brie Bella
- Brock Lesnar
- Chris Jericho
- CM Punk
- Cody Rhodes
- Curtis Axel
- Damien Sandow
- Daniel Bryan
- Darren Young
- Dean Ambrose
- Dolph Ziggler
- Erick Rowan
- Hulk Hogan (Hulkamania Edition)
- Hollywood Hogan (Hulkamania Edition)
- Jack Swagger
- Jey Uso
- Jimmy Uso
- John Cena
- Justin Gabriel
- Kofi Kingston
- Luke Harper
- Mark Henry
- Nikki Bella
- Randy Orton
- Rey Mysterio
- Roman Reigns
- Rob Van Dam
- Santino Marella
- Seth Rollins
- Shawn Michaels
- Steve Austin
- Sting (pre-order)
- Retro Sting (pre-order)
- Summer Rae
- Tamina Snuka
- The Miz
- The Rock
- The Undertaker
- Titus O'Neil
- Triple H
- Tyson Kidd
- Xavier Woods
Some additional Superstars are sure to be available as downloadable content. Some should be added to the roster proper as well.
For now, though, Bo Dallas, Rusev, Adam Rose, Paige, Christian, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder and Heath Slater are all missing. Ryder, like his fans, want to know if he's going to be in the game:
What's also surprising is the small number of legends. Sting is obviously a momentous inclusion. Beyond him, there aren't a ton of names from the past.
There had also been rumblings of adding an NXT element to the game, per Brad Davis of SEScoops.com, which would mean rising stars like Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn would be part of the fun. That looks to be untrue for the moment.
If 2K Sports sacrificed some roster size for better gameplay, fans are going to be happy with the trade. Having Slater on board would be fun, but it's not as important as smoothing out the mechanics.