Not all games are suited to the yearly model. Both Assassin’s Creed and Call Of Duty franchise have suffered huge drop in fan faith since they have gone yearly. There are however some games, which tend to benefit from the yearly cycle model, WWE 2K16 is one of them.
WWE 2K16 is an improvement over almost everything in WWE 2K15. Be it match-making, My Career, Creation Suite, and even in ring action; WWE 2K16 is a much more improved wrestling simulation than its predecessor. Let’s find out why.
|(+) Improved Multiplayer
||(-) Still too much filler in My Career
|(+) Fleshed Out My Career
||(-) Move-set hidden behind DLC
|(+) Excellent Video Packages in WWE Showcase
||(-) Collision detection is still a bitch|
Detailed WWE 2K16 Review
(+) Wo Wo WO. The Internet is running again
Normally my reviews don’t start off with Multiplayer. And yet this is the one area, where the game has been improved the most. There is now a separate section in which you can go into, select the kind of match you are looking for, and even create private parties with your friends. All of this was either absent or too abstract to work in WWE 2K15. The Online match making has also been improved in the way that now you can select several different kind of matches, some of which will offer bonus experience and rankings. Online matches range from DIVA only matches, to daily challenges in the NXT section. This gives players willing to go online, different experiences, and even opportunities to try out different kind of matches. Also you can practice with your selection while the game searched for a match. Yup definitely better than last time.
(+) A Technical Wrestler
The game play has also received some improvements. While I think collision detection is a running joke at Yukes, a lot more attention has been paid to the pace of the matches. Now each wrestler has a limited number of reversals, which if not used judiciously may lead to you being open to all kind of attacks from your opponent. It adds an extra layer of strategy to the game, where you think whether its justified to reverse a simple punch, rather than reversing everything and anything that your opponent throws at you. In ring mannerism have also improved, with wrestlers taking support of the ropes when they are trying to get up after a mugging. Such small things add that little layer of realism and are highly appreciated by a fan of the sport.
(+) How to Enter the Hall Of Fame
Multiplayer and game play is not the only section that has improved. The My Career mode has also received more context and content than last time. This time instead of winning the WWE Championship, and then retiring into the Hall Of Fame; you have a set of objectives which range from being the WWE Champion to being the tag team Champs 10 times with the same partner. You also have a more transparent ranking system for each championship that you are pursuing. Further, My Career introduces the concept of Rivals and Allies, the dynamics of which change on a weekly basis. The idea of creating a character and then jumping headlong into My Career mode sounds more inviting than ever as I beat rivals on Pay Per Views to capture titles and unlock their move-sets, all the time blowing off steam in my post and pre-match interviews.
(-) More Paywalls Less Creative
That is not to say, its all hunky dory. There are still a lot of fillers in My Career, and a lot of stuff is not apparent at once when you start playing the game. I would still prefer a more story oriented My Career, something that I witnessed in No Mercy, but its definitely a start. The character creation has also received an overhaul, and is far more better for it, but I still miss the create a finisher option (even though I have never once created an original finishing move). Also move-sets hidden behind DLC is a problem, and so are additional members to the existing rosters. I was OK with WWE 2K15 adding more story modes to the game as DLC, but having characters and their move-sets hidden behind a Pay-wall is simply too tough to digest. A fact which is made easier by the huge roster which comes with the base game, but still not justified.
The free-play mode is still there, and this time 2K have done away with the listicles selection of matches, instead offering the gourmet of matches in a grid layout. The character selection screen has also been updated to account for the large roster and is now a list instead of the grid layout favored by most fighting games. There are some match modes which are missing, but I still think there are enough to keep you and friends busy. The roster is the same way, with plenty of wrestlers available for selection.
The WWE Universe mode is still there, and not a lot has changed here. You can create your own arenas, your own shows, you own rosters and more importantly your own cards. Its the control over the WWE Creative that you have always wanted, and its great and perfect in its own way.
(+) Reliving the Good times
Finally the WWE Showcase is insane, and probably the strongest part of the game. But its not because of the matches on offer. Each of the matches offered in the showcase are toned down to a list of objectives which need to ticked off one by one. This brings a pattern of monotony to the entire experience. No the Showcase is special, because of the various vignettes that you can unlock by progressing through it. WWE has always made great promos, and that skill of the WWE team is again on display in WWE Showcase. The image gallery, and the video library is a walk through the memory lane, as you nostalgically re-visit the career of perhaps the biggest WWE Superstar of all time Stone Cold. The Showcase follows Austin’s journey right from his WCW days right upto his last match with the Rock at Wrestlemania; and its a treat to watch, and then re-watch time and time again.
The game offers a staggering number of unlockables which includes costumes, move-sets, entrance themes, and playable characters. Add to that the 54 trophies that you can unlock in the game, and you have a list of things on your hand to tick off if you are a completionist. I strongly recommend a play time of around a month before you can call it a day with WWE 2K16.