The first PC WWE game in over a decade
WWE 2K15 marks the first time the main WWE video game franchise has made its way over to the PC since the release of 2002's WWE Raw. A faithful port of the console version, which was released in October 2014, the PC game comes packaged with the full range of downloadable content, offering great value for money.
Additionally, the ability to mod the PC version gives the game a new lease on life, offering superb scope for customisation. But does that make up for the delayed release, which has left it feeling somewhat out-of-date?
Evolution or Revolution?
When the WWE video game franchise became a part of the 2K Sports brand in 2013, many fans hoped it would be given a complete overhaul. However, with Yuke's continuing as the series' developer, this did not immediately happen and WWE 2K15's predecessor, WWE 2K14, felt very much like a continuation of what had come before.
As work began on WWE 2K15, a decision was made to make changes to the gameplay, taking it away from the arcade-style of previous versions, with a view to implementing more relaxed, traditional gameplay. In some ways, this transition has been successful -a new chain grapple system at the beginning of matches is a welcome addition, for example- but it still falls short of being the complete reboot many fans had hoped for.
The visual aspect is one area where the game has seen considerable improvement. Enlisting the help of Visual Concepts, motion capture technology was used to record WWE superstars performing their moves, while body scanning technology, similar to that deployed for the NBA 2K series, was also utilised. This has resulted in excellent superstar likeness and noticeable improvements to animation.
Superstars and Legends
In terms of the roster, WWE 2K15 will please the majority of casual fans, with more than 70 characters to choose from. Whether you are still a WWE fan today, or you enjoyed it many years ago, you are sure to find plenty of superstars you want to play as -from current wrestlers like John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton, to legendary figures like Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Utimate Warrior.
That said, because WWE's television product is a fast-moving, the video game series is often somewhat out-of-date by the time of release. In this case, with the PC release coming six months after the initial console release, that problem is amplified. For instance, Stardust is still Cody Rhodes in WWE 2K15, while Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns are in the game as members of The Shield, despite the fact that the group broke up in June 2014.
On the plus side, CM Punk fans will be delighted to learn that he is in the game, thanks to the outdated roster.
Gameplay and Modes
For the most part, the gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played a previous WWE video game. The new grappling mechanic works well, but feels like a cosmetic addition, and not much has changed otherwise. That is good news when it comes to picking up and playing the game, but unfortunately it means some familiar problems return. If there are three or more superstars in a match, for instance, the old targeting problem still rears its ugly head.
Single player game modes include 'MyCareer', which allows players to take a created superstar through a WWE career. Most of the match types have been featured in previous games, although steel cage matches have been enhanced by a new escape system.
One of the more disappointing aspects is the stripping back of creation modes. Created superstars cannot be female any more, while Create-a-Finisher and Story Designer modes have also been removed. That said, the ability to mod the game on the PC eases this problem somewhat and makes it less of an issue than it was on Xbox and PlayStation.