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'WWE 2K16' Review

Johnny Flores, Jr. |
November 2, 2015 | 10:22 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

"WWE 2K16" Title Screen
"WWE 2K16" Title Screen

"WWE 2K16" is finally here and it boasts the largest roster ever, a robust "Showcase" mode, a slew of creative options and enhanced graphics. It is everything I have wanted in a wrestling game and so much more. It improves upon the foundation layed by the mediocre "WWE 2K15" in so many ways and is a blast to play.

One of the biggest features of "WWE 2K16" is its upgraded reversal system. Superstars and Divas carry with them reversal stocks, some more than others. These reversal stocks are used when a character reverses a would be move by their opponent. The trick is managing how you use your stocks. Minor reversals can be done at any time and yield a small reward such as a window of opportunity to attack. Meanwhile, major reversals are a lot harder to perform and yield a larger reward if done correctly. A major reversal can change the flow of a match drastically. This new feature adds an element of strategy. This feature coupled with working holds--a way for players to regain stamina while effectively draining their opponent's stamina--and new elements to the "Chain-Wrestling" feature help move the game from the arcade like feel of past installments to a more simulated fighting game. To be succint: for the first time ever a wrestling game actually feels like a wrestling game. 

Players can find themselves playing in an array of matches in various locales utilizing the various Superstars and Divas they have come to love. If playing out fantasy matches isn't your forte you can hop on to the "2K Showcase" mode. "2K Showcase" last year was all about famous rivalries. This year's  "2K Showcase" sees players playing through the career of cover art WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin from his early matches down to his biggest feuds against the likes of The Rock and The Undertaker. "2K Showcase" blends real footage from the past with in-game cinematics to help recreate the career of one of WWE's biggest legends. 

Each match in "2K Showcase" has a set number of objectives that can be completed. These range from performing a particular move outside the ring to damaging an opponent inside the ring. These objectives help make the matches more authentic as many of the 'objectives' were infact moves or instances that occured in the real life matches. More so, by completing these objectives as well as the overall "2K Showcase" mode players will find themselves unlocking new Superstars such as Bret "Hitman" Hart as well as new attire for current Superstars such as The Undertakers 1999 attire. 

While WWE 2K16 is a fantastic game and truly a blast to play it is not without its problems. In terms of visuals some Superstars look fantastic such as current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins while other Superstars such as Chris Jericho look decent at best. The commentary while certainly improved isn't quite there yet with a few awkward pauses and repeated lines. Finally, while WWE 2K16 boasts one of the largest rosters to date with over 100 Superstars and Divas players will be surprised to see that while many of their favorite wrestlers have made the roster many current popular wrestlers have been left out altogether. For example, women's wrestlers such as Bayley, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks are no where to be found. This is odd considering that these four women have led the charge in legitimitizing women's wrestling and two of which are current women's champions. Meanwhile, Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan both of which stem from the same person are two separate characters. 

NXT Champion Finn Balór squares off against Sami Zayn
NXT Champion Finn Balór squares off against Sami Zayn

None of these issues are game breaking, however, they are issues nonetheless. The roster issues can easily be solved with DLC, however, such prominent on-screen characters should also be in the game free of charge altogether. However, until then players can create these women through the improved creation suite which allows for deeper customization in addition to the ability to create arenas, shows and even championships. 

WWE 2K16 is a blast to play. It truly feels like an authentic wrestling experience. New features in addition to new modes, characters, and creation suites help make for a very robust game. A game that will have me playing for hours on end delivering RKO's, Tombstone Piledrivers and Stone Cold Stunners without ever not being fun. Now if you'll excuse me I have championships to defend. 


Reach Staff Reporter Johnny Flores, Jr. here.



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