Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


WWE 2K16

WWE 2K16 Steps Into The Ring With Smart Improvements Over Last Year
by Mike Futter on Aug 24, 2015 at 04:00 AM
Platform PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Publisher 2K Games
Developer Visual Concepts
Rating Teen

Even though WWE 2K15 was the first entry on current-gen consoles, fans expected more since it was released a year into the life cycle. So far, this year’s version takes steps to address the gameplay oddities that held the 2015 edition back. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know how it will stack up on modes.

Our first hands-on opportunity was limited to two multiplayer match types (1v1 and 2v2) and the first showcase event. With Stone Cold Steve Austin on the cover, it’s no surprise that the showcase experience starts at one of his pivotal matches.

In 1996, Austin and Jake the Snake Roberts faced off in the final King of the Ring match. Both had been injured earlier in the night, with Austin receiving stitches on his lip and Roberts coming off a brutal fight with Vader.

That night, Roberts limped to the ring, holding his injured ribs and dragging his pet python. That moment is recreated perfectly in WWE 2K16 and overlaid with a film grain filter to give the feel that you're watching an old match on VHS.

Of course, presentation usually isn’t lacking in the WWE franchise. It’s gameplay that’s unpredictable from year to year.

One of most important changes in 2K16 impacts reversals. In previous years, two adept players could go back and forth for what seemed like forever without doing much damage to one another. A good feel for the timing led to a string of reversals that were simply frustrating to watch and play.

This year, players won’t be able to simply rely on their sense of timing. Reversals are limited, and when your meter is empty, you won’t be able to fend off an attack until at least one bar recharges. The change brings strategic and pacing changes that are both welcome. 

There’s also a new submission minigame that apes THQ’s old UFC series. A circular interface appears with a portion of the circumference occupied by bars colored in red and blue. 

Players move their lines around the perimeter in a game of cat-and-mouse. The aggressor is attempting to overlap his line with the opponent’s, and the person subjected to the submission trying to escape by keeping his line away. It’s much better on your hands and controllers than hammering on a button to complete or stave off a tap-out. 

The refereeing system has been tweaked. In previous years, players would automatically grab the rope if close enough during a pin or submission.

This year, you’ll need to manually grab the rope. However, you need to make sure the ref sees you. They aren’t omniscient entities with physical representations anymore.

The pin meter has been overhauled visually, but it operates similarly to past years. It’s now circular, with pie-shaped segments in which you need to stop the bar (now the circumference of the circle). As you get weaker, the wedge becomes smaller and may even jump around between attempts.

The stamina system and user interface seem identical to last year’s edition. Momentum is represented as a percentage, with specials and finishers operating in the same way as in 2K15. The inclusion of working moves gives you a bit of play with your stamina, though. Putting one on your opponent gives you the chance to recuperate while draining your foe.

In all, WWE 2K16 feels like a smart iteration of its predecessor so far. Until we learn what modes and features are being included though, we only have a small piece of the puzzle. Hopefully we’ll learn much more soon, as the October 27 release on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3 isn’t all that far off. 

Products In This Article

WWE 2K16cover

WWE 2K16

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release Date: