Last year, WWE 2K14 electrified with its sprawling campaign mode, 30 Years of Wrestlemania. 2K15 is looking to tell a more focused, up-close-and-personal story than the broad historic view offered in 2K14. 2K Showcase will be broken up into two episodes, each one focusing in tightly on an epic rivalry from the WWE’s past. Think of them as mini-documentaries of a sort. Could it be Rock vs Austin? Undertaker vs Kane? 2K hasn't spilled the beans just yet, but rest assured we'll be the first to know, and when we do, so will you. If the excellent 30 Years of Wrestlemania was any indication, though, the authenticity of the presentation will make these rivalries a treat to play through.
In addition to reliving these golden WWE memories, you'll finally have a true, discreet career mode for your created wrestlers in MyCareer. This mode has been lifted from NBA 2K14 and adapted to the WWE environment. While I didn't think the mode had the right synergy with the NBA, the WWE seems like a logical place to apply it. Imagine replacing all those cheese-ball, amateur hour characters and cutscenes with authentically voiced and mo-capped WWE Superstars. You get the picture. Exact details of the mode are still forthcoming, but we do know that it will be on the current-gen version only. Sorry, 360/PS3 stalwarts.
No matter what version you play, though, you'll get to enjoy the fruits of Visual Concepts' involvement. Over 50 days worth of motion capture sessions went on at 2K's state-of-the-art mo-cap facility, where WWE Superstars spent hours getting their signature moves digitally recreated. All told, WWE 2K15 features five times (FIVE TIMES! FIVE TIMES!) the animation data of 2K14. Thankfully, just as much effort has gone into improving the way the game sounds, the color commentary in particular. Over four times as many lines were recorded this time around, which should go a long way towards spicing up what has consistently been one of the franchise's presentational low points.
So that's what you can expect in terms of new features and modes. As we get more face time with the game, we'll be diving in deeper on many of these additions, and of course, bringing you footage and detailed impressions of how things differ once you're actually in the ring. Be sure to head here regularly for a steady stream of new IGN First content on WWE 2K15 throughout the month.