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WWE 2K16 new reversal system detailed

WWE 2K16 looks to revamp the reversal system that has plagued the series for years

WWE 2K16 aims to overhaul the reversal system in this years installment. The reversal system has always been a source of frustration for fans, due to the fact that they can make a match virtually unwinnable. We've all been there; playing against a friend, you attempt a grapple move, they reverse it and begin relentlessly spamming you with kicks and clotheslines. It's extremely annoying. Thankfully, Yukes and Visual Concepts seem set to fix this issue by adding a lot of depth.

The biggest change to the reversal system is that it is now a commodity. Technically proficient wrestlers, i.e. Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, will have a stock of five reversals, whereas your less technical Superstars, i.e. Big Show, Roman Reigns, Ultimate Warrior, will only have three or four. So you can only reverse X amount of times, however they do regenerate over time. Reversals are no longer something that will occur every few seconds, they must be carefully managed. This means that matches do not have the same ebb and flow that they've had for years now, you are forced to wrestler smarter.

This smarter way of handling reversals means that the pace of the match is slowed and flows like an actual match. When you watch WWE you don't see reversal after reversal, and this helps with that.


Another big addition is that of "major" reversals. When your opponent goes to hit a move you will get a reversal window where you can hit a normal reversal and use up one of your stock. However, if you wait you will get another opportunity to reverse, albeit much tougher to hit, that will use two of your stock but signficantly affect the momentum of the match and give you the upper hand.

This really affects how you play the game. As mentioned previously, you will need to do some resource management and always keep an eye on your reversal stock, as well as your enemies. For example, you might want to hold off on using your finisher until your enemy has none left. WWE 2K16 is making you think about how you play, something no previous entry has really accomplished.

2K16 also makes you manage your stamina, as did last years entry. Stamina would deplenish as you attempt big moves and run around the ring. This year however you can use working holds to regain your stamina, while depleting your enemies. Wrestling fans will know that such holds occur in real life matches to give both Superstars a break and let the crowd settle, so it's another step in the right direction that 2K16 uses these holds in a smart way. The stamina management further improves pacing and storytelling.

Last years submission mechanic was technically a new system for the series but this year introduces another new version. Well, it's not exactly new, it's the same system as the grappling from last year. The same circular icon, you spin your analog around and find the sweet spot and beat your opponent who is doing the same thing. It's a decent system for submissions but it was too repetitive for the grappling. It means that submissions are a literal struggle between you and your opponent, much more like real life. It also means that you can potentially submit someone at any point in the match, whereas it was confined to limb damage in previous games.

All in all the new systems mean less button mashing and more thoughtful gameplay. Sometimes you will take a few hits and suplexes in order to reverse an F-5 later on. It makes for a much more realistic and exciting gameplay that should make the matches less repetitive and formulaic.

A constant issue with the WWE games is the fact that they don't actually play out like real matches. You play a game of Fifa and it feels and looks like a real soccer match, the same can be said for NHL, Madden, The Show, and 2K's other series, NBA. Sadly the same cannot be said for wrestling. The graphics of the stars are certainly not in question, however the crowd looks awful and behave in very unnatural ways. The commentating also does not flow like it does on an episode of RAW, it always feels disjointed and unconnected to the action in the ring. Those aren't the only issues with the games but 2K are focusing on the in-ring action and trying to perfect it.

You can check out 4 new videos from the game, as well as links to the weekly roster reveals, here. The new reversal system goes a long way to even out and slow the pace of the matches, as well as make them flow more like you would see on TV or the WWE Network......for just $9.99!

Published Aug. 27th 2015

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