WWE 2K16 Hands-On Impressions: 12 Things You Need To Know

With numbers huge improvements, 2K16 is already making '15 look like a joke.

With WWE 2K15 ranking between 'disappointment' and 'abomination' for the vast majority of critics and fans, 2K were under a huge amount of pressure to deliver with their next annual instalment of virtual grappling. Adam Pacitti (the much worse Adam from Whatculture.com) and I were invited to a play-testing event on October 14th and spent a few hours with the game to see if improvements had been made, or if videogame wrestling had sunken even further into its rut. The results were positive. They're doubling down with the the aim of creating 'realistic match pacing', but what felt sluggish last year feels fresher with this instalment. There are more transitional animations to keep momentum between moves, and more intuitive in-game mechanics for reversals and submissions, which sit alongside the returning stamina system to create a match with a compelling ebb and flow. But that's not all, nearly every criticism hurled at 2K15 has been countered with development. Crappy reversal system, how about THIS? MyCareer was boring, how about NOW? You thought last year's roster was thin, how about EVERY WRESTLER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD? In some areas, like the roster, they've gone fully insane with their attempts at redemption, so much so that you almost want to wrap a blanket around their shoulders and tell them to "calm down, mate, we get it, we get it. Shhh, sleep now. Shhh." Indeed, the prevailing impression we got from our hands-on encounter with 2K16 is that this is a game made by a very repentant team, one that's absorbed a LOT of the criticisms from 2K15 and is in the midst of fully-fledged babyface comeback spot. Will they pop the crowd, or will they be "WHAT"ed out of the building? From the improvements we've seen, it's looking good...
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Adam is a sports writer, comedian and actor, currently living in London.