I’ll just be honest here.
I’m not the greatest video gamer in the world.
But that was then, this is now. When your 12 year old niece can school you at video games, you know that it’s time to step away.
There’s only a few games that I still buy on a yearly basis, and that’s NHL, Madden and WWE games.
You can’t imagine my delight when I went into my local GamStop and purchased WWE 2K15 for the XBOX One. It was like Christmas Day for me. I had little John Cena’s dancing around in my head, and thought of laying the SmackDown on Rusev or Sheamus in a Hell in a Cell match.
The game itself is the typical price of what you might expect of a Next Gen console. I paid around $60 for the game, plus I plugged down another $25 for the Season Pass, which gives you extra wrestlers and bonus storylines like Path of the Warrior, where you battle Ultimate Warrior’s biggest rivals from the 80’s and 90’s, a One More Match mode between Christian and Randy Orton, a Mark Henry storyline, and other cool stuff. When I left the store, I paid around $90 for the game and downloadable content.
I must have really wanted this game.
When I brought the game home, I was very excited to play it. I immediately downloaded all the extra content, and started playing a few exhibition matches. The graphics looked great. The ropes and turnbuckles and arenas looked more life-like than that of past WWE games. And the wrestlers also looked really cool. There was just one problem.
The grapple system sucks.
For the life of me, I just can’t grasp the new grapple system. It’s very hard to get an advantage when you lock up with your opponent. I like the old button mashing method of getting a leg up on your fellow wrestler. The XBOX 360 version was perfect when it came to this method. But I also get that they wanted to freshen things up, and try something new. Problem is, it just doesn’t feel right.
Also, the AI seems wonky. It’s very easy for your opponent to reverse your holds, and very hard for you to reverse, well anything. I’m a man who typically keeps his cool and doesn’t get mad, but many times I found myself wanting to throw down my controller during the match. You can tell the developers at 2K and Yukes are still in the developing stages of making this game right.
The storyline modes are good, but not as eye popping as past versions. I really like Path of the Warrior. You kind of go back to an era when you were a kid, and you watched WrestleMania 6, and felt like Hulk Hogan got robbed of the WWE Championship. Or Wrestlemania 7, when Randy Savage retired when he fell to the power of the Ultimate Warrior. This, in my opinion, is the best storyline mode in the game. If you love old school 80’s and 90’s WWE, you’ll love this story.
I also discovered that the game has no create-an-arena nor a create-a-championship section. To me, those added a lot to the last few games on XBOX 360 and PS3. I could spend a lot of time developing a ring, including making the ropes and turnbuckles and creating an arena to my specifications. I loved making old AWA rings, or developing an atmosphere that was reminiscent of ECW circa 1995. Also the belt mode was fantastic in WWE 2K14. I loved making my own NWA Tag Belts or classic 80’s WWF World Belts. But in this game, those modes are not here, and that’s a damn shame.
When I went to download all of the content I paid for, I discovered that not all DLC is covered for the Season Pass! So basically, if you want WCW wrestlers, or some NXT talent, you got to pay more? When it comes to downloadable content for games nowadays, they really nickel and dime you to death. But since I am a dork, and am gullible, I bought the WCW pack and NXT wrestlers. When I calculated it, I had paid $104 for this game, with all its bells and whistles.
Being a wrestling fan, and of WWE games in general, I truly believe the game will be better next year. I found that some of the same flaws that were in this game were similar to those in the NHL game on the XBOX One. They left a lot of stuff out, but I’m sure they will address those issues this year.
Just stay away from the Triple A game on XBOX 360. Boy was that awful.