Sporting the best visuals in a pro wrestling game to date, “WWE 2K16” is easily a step ahead of its predecessor, with awesome character models, more attention to detail and some of the best hair and cloth animations on the PlayStation 4, period.
Away from better-looking character models, smoother animations, better camera shots before and during the match and better lighting, “WWE 2K16” is extra pretty to those who are really paying attention. You’ll be in awe from the small things. Seeing characters’ hair bounce properly and championship belts looking like they actually fit the superstar wearing them will make you smile, but seeing more facial expression from characters during taunts and during maneuvers was the deal breaker. Although Examiner only played the current build demo, which consisted of 12 performers, the exhibition and a piece of the Showcase modes, which features Stone Cold Steve Austin, it was enough to say that “WWE 2K16” will be a graphical powerhouse. Add in the ability to interrupt your opponents entrance and various other presentation element tweaks (more WWE video in the Showcase mode, more in-game camera angles) and “WWE 2K16” feels more like the real thing than ever before.
On the gameplay side, the new counter system works well and eliminates the old, “I can counter anything and everything because my timing is so good” gamer by forcing them to know if they are countering a weak or a strong grapple. The fact that reversals have to be charged also changes the gameplay experience. It also sped up the action considerably and make the game feel more authentic.
The new pinning system is also solid, as it makes kicking out feel more natural. It’s also smart. The pinning display actually changes during the count- you will have to pay very close attention if you want to escape a finisher. While it may appear tougher than last year’s pinning system at first, it’s a great new addition that feels intuitive.
The new submission system is a bit confusing though and will take gamers a few matches to get the hang of. After a match or two, we weren’t really sure how it worked and it wasn’t until we were forced to tap out that it became second nature.
Our biggest concern during gameplay was the return of a few crappy counters from the last game that have never been used in a WWE ring (the modified Arm Breaker/DDT especially) as well as a few suspect move sets. Why is Seth Rollins still using the Curb Stomp when his finisher is the Pedigree? And why is Kevin Owens using the Package Piledriver as a finisher? Anyone that watches WWE knows that he does a lower impact version of the move, so why not use that and keep the original in the game for gamers who want to use a more indie version of the character? While small things like this are only concerns for the hardcore gamer, it means the game will need tweaking by the gamer in order to be completely up to date.
Overall, from our initial playtime, “WWE 2K16” looks better and plays smoother than last year’s version. While there’s still some green that needs to be ironed out and there’s virtually no details on the story mode yet, it already looks like it’ll be able to hold its own with a few small tweaks.
WWE 2K16 is currently scheduled for release on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on October 27, 2015 in North America and October 30, 2015 internationally.
Will you pick up “WWE 2K16” when it’s released? Sound off in our comment section below.