WWE 2K16: Review

2K has once again teamed up with Yukes and Visual Concepts to return to the squared circle to release another addition to the WWE titles that they have annually released since 2012. But does it have what it takes to reach the heights of what wrestling fans should expect from a WWE game? Does it capture your emotions and get you covered in goose bumps when you hear the words “If ya smmmmmeeeeeellll what the Rock is cooking”?

The previous year’s WWE game (WWE 2K15) was the first wrestling game to make a dramatic entrance onto the current generation of consoles, but came across as being rushed and lacking a lot of content. Gone were the long lists of customisation options or the ability to include your own entrance music. In short 2K15 left a bitter taste in the mouth and was simply very disappointing in comparison to previous WWE games.

So does 2K16 make up for last year’s omissions?

The gameplay and presentation of WWE 2K16 is beautiful and accurately re-creates the look of WWE’s Monday Night RAW and Smackdown right down to the PG-13 rating, whereby it takes a hell of a lot of head bashing to get the crimson mask to shine. The wrestler’s entrances are accurately portrayed, from Fin Balour’s Demon entrance to the "YES" chants of Daniel Bryan and Enzo’s mic skills ‘You can’t teach that’. The controls are easy to pick up and master and in no time you’ll be slamming your opponent through the announce tables and flying from the top rope. The game on the harder difficulties will require precise timing in order to reverse moves and to kick out, which at times can be frustrating when you miss out by fractions of a second. WWE 2K16 has reworked a lot of the in-ring action, the mini games within the match, pins, submissions, and the chain wrestling all of which combine to create a very realistic experience, much like the way a real match would play out in real life. 

There are a few different ways in which you can travel through the WWE Universe; there is the Showcase Mode, Career Mode, and the WWE Universe Mode. Career Mode is where you can create your own wrestler and start out from the bottom in WWE NXT and progress through the ranks to become the next WWE Champion. WWE Universe is much like a manager mode, where you can manage the rosters, rivalries and match cards. But it is the Showcase that is the star of this game.

Showcase centres on the career of the Texas Rattlesnake “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and give me a “Hell Yeah!” The video cut-scenes move from the real life video to gameplay graphics smoothly and in stunning detail. Playing through some of the highlights of Austin’s career took me back to my teenage years and taking on the Rock, Shawn Michaels and others was awesome. Even good ol JR returns to the commentary team, calling it how it is with Jerry the King Lawler.  However for all the great things and nostalgia that the Showcase offers, after one play through it doesn’t leave you wanting to go back and replay any of what it offers. I felt like I had just been Stone Cold Stunnered, covered in beer and left for dead in the middle of the ring.

WWE 2K16 is not a good game, it’s not a bad game, it’s the only game wrestling fans can get their hands on. It looks awesome, and plays great, but there are a few things which leave you disappointed as much as seeing your favourite wrestler become a “jobber”. Half of the full game roster remains locked at the initial playthrough, and a number of superstars are locked behind DLC packs which you can get with the Season Pass or purchase individually. The bad thing is the Season Pass though doesn’t even cover all of the DLC available as you can pay to increase your career mode wrestler’s abilities and stats, unlock all wrestlers attires, and several wrestlers still have to be purchased individually.

The only saving grace from all of this is the Creative Suite. Here you can go crazy and create your own championship belt, Arena, Divas, and even your own WWE Show, but that’s not all as you can share your creations and download what other people have made available online including created wrestlers. With this I was able to download the WCW Nitro arena, Goldberg and the NWO which was pretty cool.

Overall WWE 2K16, is an enjoyable experience and does a great job in bringing the WWE to your console. If you’re a big wrestling fan then this title definitely gets a “YES YES YES” and "that's the bottom line."

Score: 8 out of 10

Platfroms: PC, Ps4, Xbox One

Genre: Sports, Fighting, Wrestling

Initial Release: October 27 2015

Developer: Yukes and Visual Concepts

Publisher: 2K

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