WWE 2K15 Review

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Developer: Visual Concepts and Yukes

Publisher: 2K Sports

Platforms: PS4 (Reviewed), PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360

Release Date: November 18, 2014


The WWE wrestling brand continues strong with another in its long running series of sports games with WWE 2K15. Per usual, WWE 2K15’s biggest strength, its historical awareness of the WWE and superstar wrestlers, is also its biggest weakness, the game can never really match the crazy narratives experienced in real life. WWE 2K15 provides you with a variety of tools to become the superstar you want to be and to have the experience you want to have in this game. The experience is marred by a consistent number of gameplay hiccups and some technical issues, but if you love the WWE or just want a fun fighting game to play with friends online or offline WWE 2K15 is a fun title to grab your hands on.


WWE 2K15 uses a number of different features for the game to mimic what WWE superstars do in real life. You have a button used to create a variety of grapples: strong, medium, front, back, running, and submission holds. You have a striking button which provides ways to hit people with combination strikes as well as big takedowns like the “Clothesline.” You have a button for the “Irish Whip” mechanic to send your combatants running into the ropes, the corners, the barricades, and maybe even the steel chair of your tag team partner. You have a button for all of your signature moves, special finishers, and OMG moments like sending combatants through the announcer’s table, firing up the crowd for “Sweet Chin Music,” or a high flying elbow.

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There is also a new grappling element wherein both you and your opponent try to gain the upper hand through a simulation of various holds. The systems in place for the game make it difficult for you to just beat up on your opponents, initially. It is imperative that you learn how to win the early grappling simulation as your opponent needs to be worn down before you can attempt the variety of grappling moves you have available to you. The single most important system that can save you is the reversal system. If you can properly time reversals you can turn on a match on its head really quickly especially if you reverse a finishing move or a signature move which will grant you a boost in momentum or your own finishing move in turn.

The issue here remains in the actual execution of the gameplay even after you have figured it out. I continue to have troubles on occasions when attempting various finishers, signatures, reversals and grapples with the system registering the proper move I’m trying to do if it registers at all. This is vitally important in close matches because missing a reversal can be the difference between mounting a comeback and frustratingly trying to get up out of a pin.

The other way this impacts the game heavily is when attempting the medium or strong grapples. The game clearly defines that holding the grapple button and a direction will result in something different than if you tap the grapple button with a direction. On occasion this works perfectly fine, but in the heat of the game even as I tried to keep the moves in varying forms I would still end up doing the same ones. Some of this could likely be attributed to user error, but even when I’m focused on exclusively trying a certain move it seems as if it doesn’t happen as I want it to. The errors are frequent enough to be noticeable but not enough to completely tarnish the experience of WWE 2K15, but as this is a fighting game it is very important to take note of these issues with some of the fighting mechanics.

Gameplay Modes

2K Showcase

Relive two of the WWE’s greatest rivalries

The most notable mode in any WWE game is the single player campaigns provided which allow you to play through one of the many narratives and rivalries that exist in the WWE Universe (these provide ample opportunities to practice how to play with higher level superstars and to unlock more characters to play). In WWE 2K15 you are in for a treat with two of the biggest rivalries of the last decade. Up first is the John Cena and CM Punk rivalry from 2010-2013. You get to fight through the origins of the feud between John Cena and CM Punk and follow it all the way through to the point when John Cena defeats CM Punk for the chance to rematch The Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title.

As someone who tapped out on watching a lot of wrestling around the same time The Rock became the Scorpion King, this was a pretty fun playthrough and gave me a glimpse into why CM Punk was such a big deal in the WWE wrestling community the last couple of years. The way you play through these matches and meet objectives as you get more and more into it really keeps you on your toes if, like me, you do not know what is happening next.

The second showcase highlights the feud of 2002-2004 between Triple H and Shawn Michaels. This happens to be when I was watching wrestling more frequently so many more of these scenes were familiar and even were some reminders of past fighters who competed for the WWE title like Rob Van Dam. Even better, there is the glorious over the top nature of acts like Booker T and Chris Jericho and Stone Cold Steve Austin. It’s all in there and it is so fun to relive much of what is denoted as the Attitude Era of WWE wrestling.

Alongisde the Cena and Punk matchup the Triple H and Shawn Michaels feud is notably more violent and filled with a lot more crazy antics. Unfortunately, much of what happens through the objectives for both of these showcases kicks off cinematic events you can watch unfold. There is nothing wrong with this necessarily, but it highlights the extent to which the game cannot comfortably match the intensity and unpredictability of what happens in real life.


The main screen for the MyCareer mode is a bit sparse

I am in my fourth year of my WWE career in the game and I’ve just begun my heel turn where my guy is turning into a bit more of a villain than the face of the WWE. Seamlessly, the game has filled in a couple matches of mine with other created superstars from other WWE 2K15 players. I did not even notice it until recently as the fighters are treated just like the other wrestlers in the game. So the big feature of imported superstars does work really easily as long as you are connected to the network. You do not even need to touch any settings it just does it naturally, which WWE 2K15 does really well (more on that later).

You begin the mode by creating your superstar or importing your created character from the WWE Creations menu. It should be noted that it is better to make a character in the WWE Creations menu as opposed to in MyCareer as you will then also have access to that fighter outside of MyCareer mode as well. From creating your superstar you begin a fight against an opponent and then you

You can even choose from a variety of women and one man for a manager!

However, beyond that feature the MyCareer mode feels a bit lacking of direction. You do fight after fight to build up your character and you spend plenty of time building your movesets and your entrance music and your ring attire. The WWE is built on crafted narratives, but your character does not seem to have one for hours of matches once you decide to move on from being the NXT champion. In light of other career modes in other games, the WWE 2K15 MyCareer campaign is overall disappointing in recreating not just the WWE experience, but the depth of other sport’s games campaigns.

WWE Universe

In the interest of full disclosure, this is the mode I played the least of all available modes. It provides you with the ability to create your own WWE narratives, rivalries, heel turns, and etc. The amount of customization offered in this mode is rather wide and astounding. You can insert custom superstars with their own movesets, entrances, rivalries, and other options and expand the WWE Universe into one of your own. If you are interested in achieving all of the trophies and unlockables in the game then you need to play the mode at least a little bit and play with those machinizations offered by the WWE universe and its superstars as well as your own.

You can alter some of the superstars themselves as well. You can make them more boisterous, you can make them interrupt matches, and you can tailor all your events to make the crowd as hype as possible. But generally, the mode only results in needing a better metric with which to judge yourself as a GM. How entertaining the matches and matchups are is not something that is tracked. In reality, this mode without any measure or metrics to keep up with provides you with a planner with which to track the personal matches, superstars, and rivalries you have created.

WWE Creations

The game allows you to create superstars, entrances, and movesets and upload them online for others to use. This is a great feature for the community which has taken to creating characters like Goldberg and other wrestlers from WWE’s rich history. In that sense, the mode is a step forward for WWE.

In other ways, the amount of customizations is rather sparse especially when it comes to entrances. In previous games, creating a custom entrance was a matter of time and commitment to making what you wanted to make. Given the limited nature of the options this time around, creating an intro is more likely to resemble another superstar’s intro than be truly original. You can change lights and add some pyro, but the amount of mechanics is truly slim pickings.

When building your character’s presence it is easy to create their offstage persona and on-mat persona. However, the options for wrestling attire is also rather limited in ways one wouldn’t think would be the case. When building your character’s move set, the game also suffers from frame rate issues as it demonstrates what each move looks like. There is a lot of stuttering and slow transitions and it can be a little off putting while trying to transition.