The consensus is that 2K neglected the current-gen version of WWE 2K15 as it revamped the version of the game set to come out on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
WWE 2K15 for those consoles promises to be sleeker, more handsome and more robust. Meanwhile, the recently released PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 editions are being met with eye rolls.
Fans got more looks at the graphics for the next-gen versions in new videos released by WWE and 2K. An impressive creation tool is going to add a multitude of options. Design & Trend also noted that a community manager on a 2K message board said that the game will run at 60 frames per second.
All the great changes and additions fans have heard about the game, though, mostly only apply to the next-gen version. Reviewers are saying the current-gen WWE 2K15 isn't worth the purchase.
- Nick Tan for Game Revolution: 2/5
- Dave Rudden for IGN: 5.9/10 (mediocre)
- Caley Roark for Operation Sports: 6.5/10 (above average)
When the most forgiving critic of a group dubs your game "above average," there's a real problem.
Even though Roark gave WWE 2K15 a better score than his peers, he had a number of gripes.
"Too often, I felt removed from the game, as animations play out with little interaction," Roark wrote. "Pacing also continues to be problematic, as some matches feel like epic slugfests while others end annoyingly abruptly."
For him, the gameplay made no improvement from last year. He had issues with the graphics as well, saying that they are "starting to look really dated."
Roark did say the game was ultimately fun to play even with its flaws but summed it up by writing that "fans of the series will be disappointed with what has to be viewed as a bit of a step backward."
Note that these are quotes taken from the most favorable review of the three. Not exactly what 2K wanted to hear.
IGN's Rudden was harsher.
Of the game's graphics, he wrote, "Little has been done to fix older characters, though, so Santino still looks like he's just come back from root canal surgery, and Dolph Ziggler's mouth remains twice the size of a normal human one."
In his video review, he reiterated Roark's belief that the game is worse than last year's:
This is partially because of some of the modes being taken out and partially because the roster isn't as impressive as it has been in recent years. Players can no longer create stories or special moves.
Tan agrees with the aforementioned reviewers. He called the game "a stripped-down version of WWE 2K14."
In just another way that current-gen console owners will be jealous of folks with newer systems, 2K announced on the game's official website that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions will get an exclusive Superstar Studio feature.
It's a creation suite where fans can import images, even ones of themselves. Art director Lynell Jinks does recommend, though, that players first edit their images with their own software:
This is the kind of addition that can extend a game's shelf life into infinity. Players can craft versions of their little brother, Keiji Mutoh or Very Mysterious Ice Cream.
One can create custom tattoos as well.
Created Superstars slots aren't as plentiful as one would hope, though. WWE Games tweeted that there will be just 25 slots for next-gen users:
That's the only area where current-gen versions win over their newer counterparts.
Takeaways from Twitter Q&A
The WWE Games development team took questions from fans on Twitter and covered a variety of topics. The complete Q&A sessions is compiled on WWE2K.com.
There was no concrete answer on when one can play as Paige:
Other notable bits of news include:
- Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins won't have their new attires.
- MyCareer can run through about 15 years of a career.
- There are no WCW arenas.
- Lana is the only manager who can't be paired with any Superstars. She only manages Rusev.
- Adam Rose is a playable character (DLC) and will come with The Bunny.
Sid Justice is in the game...sort of:
It's strange that 2K would go through the trouble of designing Sid but not make him a playable character. It's not as if his presence would save the game, but the deeper the roster, the better.
I'm not sure why you can't pair Lana with other wrestlers, either. I guess she only backs Russians (and Bulgarians).
2K worked hard to add features to the new game and rework the combat system, but it's going to hurt its sales by not including these minor things. Word of that kind of stuff travels across the Internet, deflating potential buyers.
One of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to a next-gen gaming system before picking up WWE 2K15 is the graphics. 2K continues to show peeks of how great the game looks.
It released a collection of clips of Superstar's entrances on YouTube:
The Usos look particularly realistic. Kudos to the folks who worked on their gear and tattoos.
For the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, WWE has been posting videos of the NXT mode in action. Adrian Neville doesn't look amazing here, but it's a solid rendition of the NXT champ:
One will notice that even if the battle is moved to Full Sail University and features two men in Neville and Bo Dallas who have never been in a WWE game before, it feels a lot like what we saw from the game last year.
The animations aren't any better. The much-talked-about grappling system isn't here.
The major improvements that have had fans buzzing are reserved for the more advanced systems. 2K looks to have made lateral movement (or worse) on the current-gen WWE 2K15.
The critics are saying to avoid that version and wait until Nov. 18 in North America and Nov. 21 internationally when the superior one hits stores.