In the last two weeks, a lot more information has come to light for WWE 2K15. The game was finally on display to play at Gamescom. The story mode details and a good chunk of the roster were revealed. Suddenly, it looks like the game is starting to take shape prior to its October release date. I want to take a look at what has been discovered about the game and evaluate what we know so far.
About 62 wrestlers have been confirmed for the Superstar roster. Based on the roster select screen at Gamescom, there were 92 slots on the screen. To be clear, one or two of those slots could open sub-player select sub-menus. One slot could open up a sub-menu to select WWE Divas. Since NXT will be a part of the game, one can assume that there will be a selection of NXT Superstars on the select screen as well. So, while we know there are 62 confirmed wrestlers, the final count will likely be well over 100, including Divas, NXT Superstars and Legends. This could very well be the most jam-packed WWE game roster of all time. Keep in mind that there will be wrestlers added via downloadable content over the next year or so, so that will add to the overall roster count.
WWE 2K Showcase and MyCareer Mode have been confirmed for the game. 2K Showcase will be the game’s story mode and will highlight famous rivalries from WWE history. 2K Games recently revealed that the two main rivalries for 2K Showcase will consist of Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H from 2002 to 2004 and John Cena vs. CM Punk from 2011 to 2013. The good news is that fans and players are getting CM Punk, despite the fact that he quit the WWE and pro wrestling business earlier this year. Apparently, there was not enough time to phase CM Punk out of the game after his falling out with the WWE. The disappointing news is that Triple H/HBK is one of the two starting feuds. Of all the great feuds in WWE history, the use of Triple H/HBK for 2K Showcase is rather disappointing. Many of their matches were boring and disappointing, especially their Hell in a Cell Match at WWE Bad Blood 2004. It seems like a waste for 2K Showcase to utilize such a feud.
The silver lining is that more feuds will be incorporated into 2K Showcase later on via DLC. Since Sting and Flair are in the game, why not do something like Sting vs. Ric Flair? Let’s recreate their matches from Clash of the Champions, Great American Bash and their final match on WCW Monday Night Nitro? It cannot be too hard to have those arenas added in later. Or better yet, why not Sting vs. Vader from 1992 to 1994? That was one of my favorite feuds in pro wrestling history. The other unfortunate thing is that 2K Showcase will not be available to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 owners who want the game. The mode will be exclusive to the PS4 and Xbox One consoles. That is a bit disappointing for PS3 and Xbox 360 console owners, but it probably was not feasible to include 2K Showcase on last-gen consoles.
I am very happy to hear that MyCareer mode will feature the pro wrestler starting from the very bottom at the WWE Performance Center and WWE NXT and will take them to the top in the hopes of getting into the WWE Hall of Fame. This means that WWE NXT, one of the best wrestling shows around, will be incorporated in the game. So with WWE NXT, this gives me hope that wrestlers like Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, The Ascension and Charlotte Flair [Ric’s daughter] are all in the game as part of the NXT roster.
There is still no official video or edited footage from 2K Games yet, other than some short entrance videos. The only other videos for the game that have surfaced online are fan-shot videos from the playable demo at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Unfortunately, seeing the fan-shot video is not as good as seeing the real thing in high definition. The good news is that the fan-shot video provided quite a bit of useful information about the game. Based on the promo images and the fan-shot video, 2K Games and Visual Concepts has completely revamped the character models and animations for the game, along with wrestler entrances. In addition, Visual Concepts has said the game will run at 60fps and 1080p. The new animations and revamped entrances look great. The wrestler animations look very authentic. Cesaro does his trademark neck crack. The new character models for the wrestlers look fantastic and incredibly detailed. Hopefully, this means other writers will stop making stupid comparison photo stories with Booker T from the TNA wrestling video game. Based on the new images and fan-shot videos, the new character models are ultra-detailed and great recreations of the real-life wrestlers.
An interesting new aspect that I noticed from the fan-shot videos is a new chain-grappling system. It appears when a wrestler initiates a grapple like a side-headlock, and it will start a chain-grapple mini-game system. This is an interesting idea, and I am curious to see how well it will be implemented in the game. Apparently, this feature can be toggled on or off, along with wrestler HUDs. I like the idea of a new grapple system for the game, though I hope reversals are not insanely hard to pull off. Ultimately, I wanted grappling and controls to be revamped, so hopefully the finished product will be an improvement over past editions. I would really like submission and rope breaks to work like they did in Smackdown vs. Raw 2005, which in my opinion, did submission holds best in that particular franchise.
It is still hard to imagine that the game is actually coming out in just over two months. 2K Games has been more than a little stingy about rolling out footage for the game. I hope the game is not being rushed for its release. The lack of footage and gameplay video makes one more than a bit curious, but it could work out as a strong marketing strategy in the long run.