WWE 2K15: Ruthless Mehtensity
I know there were last gen versions of this game but I will be talking entirely about my experiences on the PS4. This was the digital pre-order and was a release day version.
So where to start. I’m a huge wrestling fan and have been playing wrestling related games since maybe 1989 or even 1986 if you count the NES Pro Wrestling title. There’s always a much needed balance between simulation and action that can sometimes lead to unbalanced game concepts. Frankly, one of my favorite games was either N64 No Mercy or N64 Wrestlemania 2000. The amount of CAW (Create a Wrestler) options and story mode alternatives made the replayability extremely high. The actual gameplay was simple but addicting in that you got all the signature moves of your favorite star. So how could the next/current gen console games improve on that?
To start, the PS4 version looks gorgeous. (Yes there are still some texture and hit box issues but come on.) The ability to upload your own logos that you created on your PC/Mac is a much needed feature. This especially comes into play when you go to upload your own face to your CAW. After a bit of tweaking I was able to get my rookie to look eerily like me. But then you realize that the personality is only skin deep. The entrance options are nigh on barren. There are the superstar actions you can copy but what happened to the motions from superstars from yesteryear? Why can’t I do the Mr. Perfect towel throw or the Mach Man spin? Why can’t I have a different action for my ramp entrance and my ring entrance? Oh yeah next-gen…
At this point I have only just started the My Career mode and just won the NXT title. I do like the concept of working from the bottom and training. As a simulation of a wrestling career it’s a start. The ability to level certain abilities and wrestle with other superstars to “learn” their moves is a nice step forward. Maybe later on you can choose some heel/babyface actions but so far it’s just William Regal smiling at me and throwing jobbers at me each week. They touted unlocking clothing and features by winning in career but I have yet to see what those will be. I imagined getting some cool shades or better boots as my popularity went up. Instead I could buy Brie Bella to be my manager. Yeah that makes sense. New NXT star gets help from a main roster Diva. Oh yeah next-gen…
So gameplay… I appreciate the chain wrestling attempt from a collar and elbow tie up but most people seem to just cheese past that. As a simulation having stamina as a mechanic is appropriate but it seems to be more of a roadblock than a feature. Maybe I don’t know how but in my wrestling head, I envisioned seeing my stamina low and being able to put my opponent in what is traditionally called a “rest hold.” In real life this let’s both wrestlers catch a breather but forwards the match story in that the controlling superstar is wearing down their opponent. But there’s something missing. It’s almost as if the game is trying to be a fighting sim like an MMA title while trying to force you into planning move variety for career points. It just doesn’t flow the right way. I will however reserve my final judgement on this until I progress a bit further and learn the mechanics a bit more. As a side, it is quite thrilling to be on the brink of losing and somehow pulling out the reversal and finisher.
So as it stands, the game feels halfway to something interesting. For die-hard fans, they will find something to cheer about. Casual players will find it too slow and tedious. If they want to sell a ton of these next year, they need to make it simple to create either yourself or custom superstars that are as easy as making Mii’s. Keeping the simulation in the mix for the hardcore fans, no not those fans, and making the random fun of having CAW’s brawling for crazy titles would do this franchise well.