WWE 2K16

[Review] We look at the most recent WWE game with echoes of hope from the retro past.
The Details
  • Title: WWE 2K16
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Yuke's
  • Publisher: 2K
  • Released: 27 October, 2015
  •  
  • Platforms: PC XBox One PS4
  • Reviewed On: XBox One

Firstly, I didn’t pay for this game, it was “Free with Gold” on the XBox One, but I still feel robbed as it took the place of a game that could have been worth playing.

Now then, back in the day when I was a wee lad, I used to play Smackdown on the Original Playstation. It was a fantastical fighting game in which you could create your own character and then button mash your way to the top. It was both hilariously funny, and, well, it was just damn good fun. I have fond memories of playing that game and its sequels (though I know exactly nothing about wrestling), so I went into this new(-ish) iteration with cautious optimism, accompanied by my faithful companion, Lozzykinz.

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The artists had one job. One job damn it!

 

We decided to play a tag match, naturally, so we could share the action and have a joint giggle of what we both assumed would be some light hearted combat within a springy ring. We explored the roster of new ‘Superstars’, having precisely zero clue about any of them, and picked a couple of the old classics we remembered from childhood and swiftly began our match. After loading into the game we were greeted with the over the top intro’s that all WWE matches have. It was hilarious and definitely pulled on the old nostalgia, the big screens in the background playing clips from our 90’s characters matches.

During these intros however, we noticed how shockingly terrible the graphics were. Now, for a game that only has to worry about a handful of indoor locations, a crowd and 4 main characters, wow, it’s bad. The shadows are next to none existent, the shading on most objects is completely broken, resulting in many things (flags for example) glowing brightly in a flat, depth-less fashion reminiscent of those old Playstation games. The lighting was, well, beyond poor, with the arena completely lacking in any sense of depth or scale as the same light washed across every single surface in sight. Then there was the crowd. The FIFA games have a better crowd and your camera is nowhere near as close as it is in this game. In fact, the camera gets close up to those crowds on a regular basis and it just looks terrible. On a plus side, they occasionally hold up a sign with a character relevant message, which is a nice touch, it’s just a shame that most of them have flat, cuboid heads.

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Look at those glorious graphics!

So we laughed at the terrible graphics, we made comparisons to Fight Night: Round 4 and commented on how much better that looked, which was 6 years previous and running on the XBox 360 (seriously, look it up and compare it to this shambles). but we let that slide, after all, it was the fighting we’d come for.

No. Just, no. Allow me to describe how the fighting works in this game:

  1. Press button
  2. Wait for animation to finish playing
  3. press another button

Now, these animations can not be interrupted unless you press “Right Trigger” (on XBone) at a designated time. Even if I bring my character into the ring (risking being disqualified) and pounce onto our enemy, nothing happens. For example (this is a real example), Lozzykinz is pinned to the floor, she can’t tag me in due to “reasons” even though we’re right next to each other, so I climb the ropes, I hurl myself off at them in the hopes it’ll be just like the TV fantasy shows. Nope. My character slides around the pair (in mid air) and lands next to them, injuring himself in the process. I clamber to my feet, the referee shouting something at me and waving his arms around, I ignore him and attempt to slap my enemy around, hoping to liberate Lozzykinz. Nope. Nothing.

What is the point of even being there? Yes, I know there’s ‘rules’ in wrestling, and I use them term ridiculously loosely as anyone with half a brain cell knows that 1) It’s made up and 2) the winner is decided months in advance and the show is choreographed. Does that reduce it’s entertainment value? Not for its fans. However, losing the match for entering the ring, something that happens in tag-team matches in WWE (or at least, used to) to add some fun and spice into an otherwise boring bitch-slap-athon, reduces its entertainment value to exactly zero. I mean, I could stand outside the ring and beat up the other tagless team mate, the referee never blinks an eye, but my opponent moves away and back to the ropes at every single opportunity. It’s just no fun, so I decided to play “properly” and have no fun whilst standing at the side of the ring. Yay.

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These guys and that crowd. Just. Wow. What year is it again?

 

Now, this animation thing I’m talking about, as you can see from the above example, the combat animations can not be interrupted, not even by God, or The Rock jumping from the sidelines. They have to play out. You do have opportunities during certain moves (such as the various grapples) to interrupt these moves, they’re called “reversals”. They’re a load of shite. Basically, a tiny little “RT” icon pops up for around half a second and you have to press “RT”, miss it and the move plays out, hit it and you turn it around onto your opponent. Sounds cool, right? No, the window of opportunity is tiny. maybe if I played for longer I could master it, but I just wanted some light hearted chaos (which I didn’t get and this game doesn’t provide).

Even if you hit these reversals, what this game essentially is, is a slideshow where you press a button to play the next animation. Or, an extended quick time event (God, I hate those). At no point did I feel like I was in control. My character just ‘did stuff’, or failed to do stuff. It was all rather boring and monotonous.

And after all that, I have to say, under no circumstances should you, or anyone you know, purchase this abysmal ‘game’. It’s one of the worst things I’ve played in years, and I’ve played Aliens: Colonial Marines (stay tuned for a review of that bad boy!!).

 

Judgement
Pros:
  • Old classic characters from childhood.
  • You can turn it off.
Cons:
  • Abysmal graphics.
  • Utterly terrible gameplay.
  • Poor controls.
  • Just, everything.
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NaytoE
Web Master at CoupesCorner
Nathan is lumbered with all the technical stuff behind CoupesCorner. If stuff breaks, it's always someone else's fault, but he'll fix it, because he's a pretty awesome guy.

Nathan loves tactical shooters, RPG's and Bro-Ops games. Some all-time favourites of his are Black and White 2, Postal 2, the Rainbow Six series and Pokemon. He also loves playing guitar and fishing with his dad, when Lozzy isn't busy making him do stuff...
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