There, I said it.
I know I'm very late to the party, but I haven't had the time (or the will... mainly due to the poor feedback) to go past the surface of the game and actually dig deep into it, until this month of August where I had a couple of weeks of holiday. And I came to see and appreciate the MANY gameplay improvements and additions that were implemented in WWE 2K15 that have definitely been downplayed and overlooked by the community (and fault also lies to 2K for not marketing them at all), and that represent significant steps towards realism.
Yes, several game modes, features and match types are missing from previous games, yes, MyCareer mode is boring and repetitive and yes, Online is baffling and the worst it has ever been. There's no denying that and I've been as disappointed as everyone else. Hell I even made this: https://www.youtube....h?v=tvfsXDO-2Bw
But people make it look like there's nothing positive about WWE 2K15 and that 2K didn't put much effort in developing the game. And that's definitely not the case and I'll show you why:
- Getting the obvious out of the way... The new Stamina system. Which comes with many new additions including:
- Using the ropes to get up
- Tired animations for moving around, climbing turnbuckle, tired strikes
- Tired finishers, collapsing on the ground after executing them
- Tired pin animations, crawling towards the opponent, and option to break up someone else's pin attempt while crawling on the ground
- Crawling for hot tag - the only way it makes sense to happen!
- The new Chain Wrestling system that happens at the beginning of the match got way too much hate, actually any of it would have been too much, since it's a GREAT addition, intelligently programmed and very well animated.
- There is a brand new Grapple system which is the best and most intelligent the game has ever had. In the past we have been always forced to put the opponent into a "transition grapple" before executing a move, which never happens in real life. Now we finally have a system that resolves that problem, as different grapple moves can instead be executed by either pressing or holding the grapple button, with no "set up" required. In the meanwhile, the various former "transition grapples" such as the side headlock and armbar have now been moved to the aforementioned Chain Wrestling system... where they belong. GREAT thinking.
- Speaking of Grapples... now moves are dynamic and go right into their unique animation when you initiate them, a great concept that has been obviously inspired from WWE All Stars and it was long awaited in the series, making the gameplay so much more fluid. If you don't know what I'm referring to... the generic "grappling animation" that preceeded each move has been removed; for example, the AA directly starts off with you bending to pick up the opponent, the RKO starts off with you launching directly into the air, the Chokeslam starts off directly with your hand reaching out for the opponent throat. And this happens for all moves and it's best seen into practice for all "striking" grapples that now actually feel like manual strikes and not "pre-determined cutscenes", for example: Sweet Chin Music, Trouble In Paradise, Bullhammer... or even any move that starts with a kick to the gut such as the Pedigree or a DDT, it's initiated (and reversed) with a kick animation, not a grapple. AMAZING stuff.
- Charged Finishers: a HUGE improvement over Wake Up Taunts and an AMAZING idea. And you can even trigger a Charged Finisher while the opponent is standing, for example with his back turned, and release the button when you're ready to strike. It's really a great concept. The only thing that's missing is more "charged taunt" variety with individual animations for many Superstars that should have them, and the ability to assign the animation in Create-A-Moveset. Even though, possibly unknown for most, you can already use a small trick and cancel the "charge" by pressing L1 and then do your preferred taunt while the opponent gets up.
- When you execute a move that requires some space to happen but you are close to the ropes, your character now automatically drags/rolls the opponent towards the middle of the ring (for both standing and grounded moves) before executing it. I've seen an influential review describe it as "drag people a short distance in a seemingly random direction before performing a grapple attack, for no apparent reason" and it's definitely not the case. It does need to be tweaked a bit, as the dragging sometimes triggers when it wouldn't be needed and viceversa, but this is a great idea and the perfect solution for this type of situations, being the right "middle way" between the warping/teleporting from old games, and the "execute-the-move-wherever-even-if-it-doesn't-look-right" of the latest few games.
- When you climb the top rope, now the opponent not only waits on the ground (opponents getting up too quickly was a major problem in past games), but also automatically rolls closer to you into the perfect position to take (or reverse) the diving attack, an intelligent nod to the choreographed aspect of wrestling.
- New Skills & Abilities: putting this at the bottom because it's one of the few things that has been talked about and marketed extensively, but it's a huge improvement and an intelligent idea by developers.
- Overall better game physics and real-time dynamic interaction with the environment, the ropes, the objects etc. There are still glitches obviously but it's a huge step-up and the physics does feel next gen.
- All-new and more realistic Strikes animation, new close-range strikes
- New and varied animations attribute-based and stamina-based (for example climbing turnbuckle at different speeds)
- True weight detection: Size really matters now. Giants don't go down as easily when striked.
- New Move Positions (although middle rope moves need to be expanded porting corner grapples that use the middle rope)
- New Referee Animations which now realistically reacts to the moves and has many more more contextual motions
- Support for new ring size for entrances and gameplay: let's not forget that this year the ring is for the first time the actual real-life size, and the huge difference in height (and width too) compared to previous games required the developers to manually tweak and change thousands of animations to support the new ring.
- Extra: WWE Universe Mode is the best it has ever been, now introducing the Story Collection feature that allows you to see and pick the storylines you want rather than blindly playing through random rivalries without knowing what's going on (If you don't know what Story Collection is all about, read here! http://www.thesmackd...st-details-faqs), but not only that. Most of you overlook the amount of detail and dedication is put into programming such a mode, it can obviously been improved even further, but it handles shows, roster, titles, superstars, alignment detection, rivalries, stories etc. and all variables and branching possibilities are programmed and handled PERFECTLY, with great attention.
Now don't get me wrong, all the missing features represent a tough of a blow as they come, and there are several flaws like unresponsive controls, camera angles not triggering, etc. but at the same time, you have to acknowledge that making all of these improvements to gameplay in just one year is no small feat. WWE 2K15 builds an overall great foundation for the future. Infact, from a pure gameplay standpoint this is the best wrestling game ever made. Just giving 2K credit where it's due.
PS: SOUNDTRACK IS NOT THAT FN BAD as people make it to be. (well, except for We Dem Boyz lol)