I’m a massive wrestling fan, and as such look forward to the latest WWE game being released every year. It’s never going to be the World Championship of console games – more like the Intercontinental Champion – but it usually amuses me for long periods of time and stops me having to watch reality TV shows.
I’m one of these gamers that jumps straight in rather than reading the instruction booklet from cover to cover, which is handy as there wasn’t one with the game. You have to download it and I was too busy wanting to pummel Jake the Snake Roberts!
Showcase is a chance to watch and participate in many of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s best matches. You can find the match objective in the top corner of the screen. Luckily, by pressing pause in the game you can see exactly how to achieve the desired aim. By completing all the objectives of the match, you can progress onto the next part of the timeline. Loading times are pretty slow but it’s great to watch many excerpts from past Stone Cold Steve Austin matches including his feud with Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart. The aim of the matches is not always to beat your opponent but to recreate many of the awesome Stone Cold matches over the years. A little tip: You may want to lessen the difficulty if you dive straight into Showcase mode. I lost to Jake the Snake Roberts so many times it was embarrassing.
MyCareer mode is a chance to create your own wrestler and have him rise from an unknown on the NXT roster to the WWE champion. This is something I am never going to achieve due to the fact that my wrestler can’t seem to win a match. This I blame on the incredibly poor tattoos which look so unrealistic he’ll be having them laser-removed very soon. The scripted storylines in MyCareer mode include set rivalries and interviews by a very unrealistic looking Renee Young. In fact, she asks the same questions over and over again and my character, who aspires to be John Cena, answers them very politely. As you win matches you earn VC points that you can then spend on wrestler’s stats, skills, and abilities. Points can also be spent on buying managers who will distract referees for you if necessary. Don’t worry if when you start you lose your training matches, I did and I was still placed on the NXT roster.
The graphics in this game are, as usual, my biggest problem. I realise it’s never going to achieve the high-quality graphics associated with games such as Assassin’s Creed, but I would expect them to have improved much more than they actually have. Yes, you can recognise most of the superstars and I’m sure that creating graphics is an incredibly complicated job, but they are still relatively poor for a next gen console game. Having said that, they’re much better than earlier renditions of the game, so I guess we should be thankful.
Reversals are an important part of playing WWE 2k16. Timing the hit of the button that reverses the move from your opponent is incredibly difficult. It is mostly judged either too early or too late. However accurately I feel I am timing the reversal, which is indicated on-screen, I still seem to miss and get pummelled over and over again. You are also limited to the number of times you can use the reversal move before it needs time to recharge, but it doesn’t take too long to fill up again.
It certainly takes some time to get used to the different moves and understand completely the controls of the game. The submission move is like a small mini-game where the aim is to escape the submission by avoiding your opponent overlapping their slider onto yours. This isn’t too hard but if you’re applying the submission move, it seems near impossible to overlap your slider onto theirs. I obviously need more practice. I doubt Mankind and his Mandible Claw ever had this problem.
Overall, this game is great for WWE fans but I’m not sure whether others would enjoy it so much. A lot of the enjoyment of the game is due to the opportunity to play as your favourite wrestlers and execute some of their famous moves. The controls of the game come very naturally and the game flows really well. The 2K Showcase is the main event of the game and players will certainly enjoy taking part in the WWE matches of Stone Cold Steve Austin. The many other styles of single matches that you can participate in, including Triple Threat matches, and the Royal Rumble will keep you playing until WWE 2K17 is hopefully released next year!
– Becky Britton