WWE 2K16 was, in many ways, a success. It improved on its predecessor, offering over one hundred playable superstars on its roster, and new gameplay mechanics like the reversal system. The game also let players relive classic moments in Steve Austin's career, which proved to be a popular addition.
But the game was far from perfect. Some people disliked the gameplay changes, opting for a more arcade experience. Character models were inconsistent, and career mode was uninspired.
The WWE games continue to improve each year and perhaps one day, it will reach the acclaim once held with earlier titles. With WWE 2K17 expected to release later this year, here are 5 features that need to return to the franchise.
Back since the early days of WWF No Mercy, unlockables were aplenty. Legends, arenas, costumes, loading screens -- you name it. Players earned in-game currency and could use it to work towards these items. It was exciting to browse the catalogues, and felt rewarding to make purchases.
Unlockables never died, but this system has. More recently, players earn unlockables by simply playing through the game's modes. Though this encourages players to explore all aspects of the game, it is far less rewarding when you're forced to play through something you have no interest in.
On top of this, with developers trying to maximize profits, in-game unlockables just don't make as much sense as they once did. Why put something on a disc, when you can just release it a month later as DLC?
It's a shame. Give the fans what they want and bring back the incentives. I mean, who wouldn't want a Lita loading screen?
Anyone who has played WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain remembers its hardcore mode. Players had the freedom to take the fight in 5 different stages. Backstage. In the parking lot. Outside on the streets. Who could forget driving The Undertaker's motorcycle, slamming your opponent against the hood of a car, or frog splashing them from the ledge of a building? It was absolute madness.
But the environments in recent games have been seriously lacking. Starting with its successor, WWE Smackdown vs. Raw, backstage fights began to take place in one confined space. Gone is the freedom and creativity that made it so much fun to begin with.
The backstage match speaks to the overall direction that the WWE series has taken--less arcade and more simulation. While one is not better than the other, I think there needs to be a balance between the two. Multiple backstage arenas would make a fantastic addition to WWE 2K17.
Introduced in Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, General Manager mode was a surprisingly fun addition to the series. Players took control of a faction, managed the roster, and tried to beat out competitors in ratings.
The mode is commonly compared to Extreme Warfare Revenge, a popular text-based wrestling business simulation. The mode begged for expansion, but it only lasted two games, cut out in time for Smackdown vs Raw 2008.
WWE has since introduced Universe Mode, but many fans say it's a poor substitute. It's also recently experienced a share of problems, such as data corruption. Your move, 2K Games.
2K Games did away with Create-A-Finisher for WWE 2K16. The system was clearly flawed due to difficulties with physics, so custom finishers didn't always look clean and realistic. But is that enough to warrant cutting it out completely?
No. Regardless of its flaws, people had a lot of fun with it. Like the backstage matches, it allowed players to be creative. And that's what really matters.
2K Games simply needs to develop the mode further. Edit it, assure it works, and please bring it back for 2K17.
As previously mentioned, WWE 2K16 made waves with its Steve Austin tribute. Sadly however, these nostalgic modes have caused us to overlook the actual career mode and allowed 2K to get away with giving us a dull experience. In other words, these career slices have replaced a proper story mode.
To fix this issue, 2K needs to look back to early WWE games like Shut Your Mouth or Here Comes the Pain. In them, players could play as any character on the roster--not just a created superstar. Stories varied depending on the characters role, the decisions you made, and how you performed in your matches.
It's funny to imagine WWE games from ten years ago having more variety in career mode. But that's the reality here. Players should be able to choose any superstar and take them through a career. They did it ten years ago, I don't see why it can't be done again.