WWE 2K16 is a good game that is let down by various game mechanics. Coming from someone who hasn’t been following much wrestling for the past 20 or more years, I was clearly not ready for this entry.
As a young kid growing up I loved watching the wrestling, staying up well past midnight just to see the action. However, I lost interest some 20 or so years ago and up until now have not been following it. So basically this game was purchased mainly due to nostalgia.
The last wrestling game I played was back on the Playstation 2, it was fun back then and had much better gameplay mechanics than WWE 2K16. Unfortunately this game takes the fun out of those original titles and replaces it with unfair mechanics and boring gameplay. Granted the wrestling games are now made by a different developer from the glory days, still I’m surprised.
So lets get on with it, as said the game does feature a very steep grind, especially in the Career Mode.
Which is the main feature I was looking forward to the most. In this mode you are forced to create your own superstar, you cannot play as any fan favourite stars, which is fair enough as I prefer this for this mode anyway.
However, unfortunately you also cannot play as a diva and are therefore forced to create a male superstar, this is very disappointing but I still had my hopes for this game.
Unfortunately the game did not improve and, instead, continued to go downhill. The Career Mode fails to deliver any real storylines and instead places you in a leaderboard that you must climb up in order to win the various titles. To make matters worse, in order to climb these leaderboards you need to spend a lot of time grinding and improving your abilities. This takes a lot of time and I mean a lot of time.
Now I wouldn’t mind the long grind to improve your superstar but, unfortunately the game does not seem to offer any real storyline. Instead you are forced to see repetitive scenes which last a mere few seconds. These scenes are used way too often and, long story short, makes this grind get very boring rather quickly.
However, the Career Mode surprisingly enough does come with some great features. Such as being able to start in the NXT (basically the rookie league), before you can then join the actual proper wrestling league with all of the much bigger stars. I enjoyed this aspect because it makes sense for a new superstar to begin here.
I also liked the idea of being able to select various optional dialogue during the interviews, the problem here though is that these interviews, just like with the other scenes, are very repetitive. They also don’t seem to really lead any where, most likely due to the lack of story, instead it just offers different ways to improve your character stats.
Also, in order to take part in big events such as the Royal Rumble you need to be in a specific league and meet the right criteria, this seems to be a bit unfair really. I understand the need to be in a bigger league but the whole criteria objective seems a bit much.
The only other real aspect of the Career Mode that I enjoyed was the ability to form rivals and tag teams, you can also run into your rivals match and try to ruin their match. This was fun and different from the much older games. In a sense by doing this I could create my own storyline, still it felt like a wasted opportunity. If games need to include a steep grind then they should definitely offer a storyline to go alongside it. Also, as for creating your own tag teams and rivals, you can only have superstars that are in your league. So if you are in NXT for example and are wanting to become friends with the Undertaker, then prepare to be disappointed. After all you can only really do this when you reach the proper league, which, as said before, requires you to properly grind out your stats and abilities first.
As for the gameplay mechanics, well this was where the real surprise came in. During each match you are forced to experience these new reversal systems, I say new because I have only ever played the Playstation 2 wrestling games, so basically this was new to me at least.
This reversal system forces you to hit a certain button in order to escape taking damage, the only problem is, is that you have a really short window frame to hit this button. Also, if you don’t master the reversal system then get ready to see your character get practically destroyed within mere seconds. It really is tough to win any matches when you first start out, though this may change when you develop your character properly. Still you need to get there first.
Also, if you find yourself stuck in a submission, you will then be forced to either play a game of rock-paper-scissors or try some other form of mainly unfair mechanic. The gameplay requires quite a bit of getting used to.
Overall, the game has potential but the unfair mechanics and lack of Career storyline and long-term grinding really plays rough with the overall experience. I did enjoy the fact that the character roster is really quite big. Featuring many old and new superstars, even a few I did not expect to find in the game. I just wish I could enjoy it more.
- Developer: Yuke’s
- Publisher: 2K Sports
Release Date: October 27th, 2015
Platforms: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, XBox 360, XBox One, PC, Android
Genre: Wrestling, Sports
Main Story Length:
Platinum Trophy Length:
Platform Reviewed On: Playstation 4
- Overall Rating: 2/5