WWE 2K16 Review

I don't think many people played WWE 2K15 for as long as I did. I played for at least 250 hours (what's wrong with me?). Was the game perfect? Absolutely not. But I could sense raw potential. That's why I was so excited for this year's 2k wrestling game. And I'm glad I was, because this game delivers. Big time. WWE 2K16 is the most complete, ambitious and satisfying wrestling game we've gotten since Here Comes the Pain.

The biggest difference when comparing this game to its predecessor is the fact that WWE 2K16 plays much better. The endless reversal marathons are finally over. This year, 2K has introduced a reversal system. Each superstar or diva has a limited amount of reversals. Guys like Daniel Brian have 5, while heavier wrestlers like Andre have 3. Once you use one, they will slowly regenerate over time. This small adjustment changes the entire game. Whenever I played a match, I needed to have a strategy. If I have more reversals, I'll attack as often as possible in hopes that my opponent uses all his reversals. Once he does, I can hit a couple of moves until he recovers. However, if I have less reversals, I have to let my opponent attack for a while, waiting for the perfect opportunity to reverse a move and get in control of the match. A wrestling game has never been this complex or deep. And while people who want WWE games to be super arcadey might be mad, I think the reversal system is brilliant. It really makes this a better game.

The reversal system is not the only major improvement. Submissions have also been changed. And while it took me a while to understand how it works, I also think the change was for the better. Last year, losing to a submission felt cheap and unfair. This year, I always feel like I can take it out, which makes the entire thing more exciting. Pinfalls have also been updated. And again, I like them better now. All these changes really come together to create epic matches. Whether you're playing against the AI or your friends, matches just flow better. More than ever, playing this game feel like watching an actual WWE match.

That's a big aspect of 2K16. Realism. You can tell they wanted it to look and feel as real as possible. While playing, the camera makes the same cuts you see on RAW, and wrestlers actually express emotions. Anger, frustration or cocky smiles (I'm looking at you, Y2J). Faces look much better. Unlike last year, pretty much everybody looks good, and whenever the camera zooms in, you can see scars and face marks. Also, there are less loading screens. And during entrances, you can breakout while your opponent is walking to the ring and begin the match outside the squared circle. So...presentation is fantastic, except for what has been this franchise's nightmare for the past 10 years.

Commentary. It's still not good. At all. While you can tell Michael Cole and Lawler recorded more individual lines for each wrestler, you still get a lot of repetition. But that's not the biggest problem. I was super excited when 2K announced that JBL would be joining the team. Sadly, his commentary is pretty bad. He only recorded a couple of lines that he repeats over and over in every single match. You can tell they decided to include him way too late. Hopefully they'll fix the repetitiveness with the next patch, and improve commentary next year.

Back to the things 2K nails, let's talk about fan feedback. They really did listen, and they made sure WWE 2K16 is a more complete game. There are more match types like Ladder, handicap, and tornado tags (I still wish I could customize match rules, so I could have Triple Threat elimination matches). The biggest addition though, is the HUGE roster. 120 playable characters. Holy crap, that's a big number! From current guys like Zack Ryder and Stardust, to legends like Mankind and X-Pac, this game has an amazing, massive roster. In any other game, it would be overwhelming and unnecessary. In a wrestling game, it's the best thing ever! I should mention that there are some weird omissions like the four horsewomen, the Dudley Boyz, RVD and Eddie. But overall, I was impressed by how good the roster was. I'll be playing this game for a long time.

WWE 2K16 also has a pretty good amount of content. Outside of your normal exhibition matches, you have the Showcase mode. This year, it covers Stone Cold Steve Austin. The mode had me playing through some of the most exciting and fun matches he ever had. Nostalgia was all over the place. I grew up watching those same matches, so it felt nice to go back. Presentation in this mode is awesome! It mixes the game's graphics with actual TV footage from back in the day. Plus, JR commentates in every match. Who doesn't love JR commentating a Stone Cold match?  A sick man.

Also, MyCareer mode is back, and it's better than ever! It has been improved, taking you all the way to the hall of fame. It also include more interviews, alliances, feuds and cutscenes. It sounds better on paper, as most of the mode has you grinding through matches. But it is more entertaining and meaningful. Lastly, you can play online in a bunch of modes. There's still lag, which disappoints me since 2K said that they had re-built it from the ground up. Again, it must be fixed. Almost forgot, create a Diva, create a show, create an arena, and create a championship are back! And they're actually great!

Verdict: When it's all said and one, people will look back at WWE 2K16 as one of the most important wrestling games ever. Complex, complete and fun, it is a game changer!

The Good
- Major Gameplay Improvements
- Huge Roster
- Realism
- Better MyCareer
- Good Amount of Content

The Bad
- Commentary
- Some Key Wrestlers Missing
- Online Still Not Great
Score: 8.5/10

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