WWE games were starting to get stale, they were starting to feel more repetitive than a best of 7 match between Goldberg and Gillberg, under the stewardship of THQ. After that company dissolved however, 2K Games picked up the franchise, and injected some much needed new blood back into the series. It wasn’t perfect, but for a fresh start it was most certainly headed in the right direction thanks to some superb rekindling of classic memories. And this year, expect WWE 2K15 to focus on kicking even more ass this year, thanks to the new 2K Showcase mode.
Last year’s WWE 2K14 was a nostalgic romp back in time, covering several decades of Wrestlemania, the showcase of the immortals. Wrestlemania however, is an annual event, one where rivalries are settled and new scores are born. And that’s the focus for WWE 2K15 this year, as the game will chart two specific rivalries that shaped the industry. Those two epic feuds, happen to be between John Cena and CM Punk, as well as Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
“This year’s story mode has been rebranded as the 2K Showcase, to focus on some of the top rivalries in the WWE history,” said executive producer Mark Little.
In the format that we’re using for these showcases, are kind of like a mini-documentary style, a deep dive into some of the greatest rivalries in WWE history, and for this year’s 2K Showcase, we’re going to be focusing on two very important rivalries. One is Triple H vs Shawn Michaels from the 2002 to 2004 era, which is noted as one of the great rivalries of that time and then also one of the more current rivalries of great note, which is John Cena vs CM Punk from 2011 to 2013.
So how the rivalries work inside of 2K showcase, they’re set up as mini-documentary style packages where it includes video assets and scripted commentary, up to date historically accurate characters and events and players are able to play through 33 matches across the two rivalries, that tell the story of those rivalries.
This also allows you to unlock new WWE superstars, championship titles and alternate attire that can be used throughout the rest of the 2K15 game modes. This is a large amount of content, it’s a very deep play experience, something that the users will be able to immerse themselves in and either relive the experiences that they saw live on TV back all those years ago or be introduced to them for the first time through this mode.
That’s 33 matches over two such heated exchanges between four superstars, with more on the way via DLC according to Little. “Obviously we have WWE fans of all generations, and it’s a good way for people to be able to experience some of the great storylines from previous years of the WWE,” Little explained of the core mode.
We are also going to release additional 2K Showcase rivalries through DLC following the games release.
For wrestling fans, the idea of John Cena and CM Punk sharing the spotlight in WWE 2K15 might seem strange. After all, CM Punk has been absent ever since the Royal Rumble, having apparently left the company for good. So why use CM Punk, and not any other Cena rivalries, such as his feud with Edge or Randy Orton? According to Little, an agreement was reached where Punk would be available for the game, even if he wasn’t available for the WWE at present.
“Each year we try and create the best WWE 2K roster possible and even though CM Punk is not currently appearing on WWE programming, we’re really happy that we’re able to still provide for everybody this rivalry against John Cena and CM Punk as part of 2K15” Little said.
So in much the same way that Shawn currently isn’t active for the WWE either but he is still able to be part of our WWE 2K15 because the WWE Universe expands through all of the time and the history of the company. So one of the great things about being able to do the 2K Showcase and look backwards at some of these previous rivalries is to be able to share with the WWE Universe all the people that might not be on current programming.
That’s one half of the rivalries on offer then. But if you’ve been watching the WWE for a while, you might remember the especially brutal matches that formed the intense feud between Triple H and Shawn Michaels from 2002 to 2004. I’m talking about matches from Summerslam that ended with sledgehammers, Michaels emerging triumphant over the cerebral assassin in the first ever Elimination Chamber pay per view and a Three Stages Of Hell match that saw the two superstars attack each other with everything and a flaming kitchen sink.
And while Michaels was keen to talk about that, he was also keen on the idea of fantasy rivalries in the game. Such as one between himself and the latest WWE acquisition, Sting. “One thing that I always enjoy about video games, are the fantasy match-ups, the matches that you never got to see so now they can come to life in WWE 2K15,” Michaels said.
And one I’m very excited about is Sting. Sting is brand-new to the WWE as a whole, and I never got a chance to wrestle him, and that is something that can come true. Plus you know a number of the younger stars today, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, young men that I never got the opportunity to be in the ring with, it can happen here.
This year’s WWE game looks like it’s going to be leagues ahead of previous versions, thanks to new-gen consoles and hardware. And that meant that the process for capturing the likeness of a superstar, was more detailed than ever. “I have to tell you, I don’t think, in all of the 25 years that I wrestled, I don’t think that I’ve ever been in front of more cameras at one time,” Michaels said.
I have never seen a setup like that. One thing I know, is that I sat in front of more cameras in that one sitting, capturing literally every wrinkle in my face, which may or may not be great, but the graphics have got to be amazing in this game, because the setup that they had for me when I went down was fantastic.
And it’s not just Shawn Michaels likeness that is being captured. It’s his in-ring persona and flashy clothing as well, something that took the master of Sweet Chin Music on a trip down memory lane when he got suited up. “The thing that’s pretty exciting, is that I came back in just sort of the jeans, the boots and then slowly went back to the traditional HBK attire, the glitz, the glamour, the different costumes and different wardrobe,” Michaels explained.
And I think that’s something that’s going to be fun for people. It’s not going to be a static character, so to speak, because if nothing else I try to evolve and I try to be different all the time.
WWE 2K15 is out in October. Expect more details on the game out of Gamescom and Summerslam, where more slobber-knocker reveals will be made.
Last Updated: August 11, 2014