With WWE’s biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam only a few weeks away, we are at that point in the year where information regarding the next WWE title is released.
So far all we know are the first six superstars and divas that will be present in WWE 2K16 and that this year’s roster will be the largest in the game’s history (almost double that of last year’s roster). While the idea of having over 120 playable characters is genuinely exciting, 2K really have their work cut out for them if they are to entice players back to the series after last year’s massively disappointing WWE 2K15.
The biggest criticism of 2K15 was the absurd amount of content missing in comparison to previous games. From missing match types (over 30 overall missing including the match creator) to a severe lack of creation modes, which for a series that’s known for having a wide variety of customisation, is completely unacceptable. You could no longer create divas, titles, arenas, finishers OR stories, which really hurt the game’s replay value. So right off the bat, 2K need to get EVERYTHING back in for 2K16. Fans aren’t going to accept anything less then what was available to them in 2K14 and rightly so, as we all expected the WWE 2K series to really evolve with its debut on the current generation of consoles.
In regards to the roster, 2K is already on the right track, both with the announced roster size and the first six names revealed. Of those six, the one that instantly sticks out is NXT’s Finn Balor, someone that is hotly tipped to be a massive star once he joins the main WWE roster. By announcing Balor, 2K has already managed to garner excitement as fans will be anticipating how Balor’s phenomenal ‘demon’ entrance looks in-game. To those that aren’t big wrestling fans, NXT is WWE’s developmental show and currently the most talked about wrestling show in America, with praise given towards NXT talent's match quality, revitalisation of women’s wrestling and just the overall product. As a result, NXT NEEDS to be a prominent feature in 2K16 and with the roster set to be the largest in the game’s history, there is no reason why the majority of the NXT roster won’t be in the game. The idea of being able to play as Hideo Itami, Kevin Owens, Tyler Breeze, Samoa Joe, Sasha Banks and the rest of the roster is going to have fans incredibly excited.
Along with the first six names, we now know that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 Terminator will be available as a pre-order bonus (in what has to be one of the craziest, yet oddly awesome roster inclusions ever), as well as cover star Stone Cold Steve Austin. The reception to Austin being made the game’s cover star hasn't been particularly positive and it’s not hard to see why. Selecting someone that’s not wrestled in 12 years over the current crop of talent is an awful decision, though hopefully 2K16 will take a page out of 2K14’s book by having a double sided cover to allow fans to choose who they want on the cover (with 2K14’s being The Rock or Daniel Bryan).
The decision to have Austin as the cover star also points towards a showcase/story mode this year based around the career of the Texas Rattlesnake. If handled correctly, this could be thoroughly enjoyable; however 2K needs to ensure they keep each playable scenario as authentic as possible. There were some inconsistencies with the Triple H/Shawn Michaels showcase rivalry on 2K15, in which what occurred in the scenarios didn't replicate that of its real life counterpart. So if Austin’s showcase remains as true as possible to his legendary career and the majority of his famous feuds are covered (McMahon, Rock, Taker, HHH), then the mode should go down well with fans.
I for one am intrigued to see if 2K will look to improve on the problems of last year’s game, as another game with the same lack of content could really drive fans of the series away. Here’s to hoping 2K deliver this time around.
Are you looking forward to WWE 2K16? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on twitter - @KingKicks
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