Alright folks, tonight is the Royal Rumble. Not only does that mean tonight is going to be awesome, but it also means the Road to WrestleMania is officially underway. That means within the next few months 2K Games and Yuke’s are going to be working out what is and isn’t going to be in the next WWE video game. If WWE 2k14 was any indication of how 2K games will run things that is, since the game was well into development before the license switched hands. WWE 2k14’s content was largely finalized around March, which is why the roster didn’t exactly reflect what was going on in the ring at the time of release.
Not that I’m complaining too much, WWE 2k14 was awesome; I’m still playing it a few months after it came out. But, there were plenty of things missing that would have made it even better. Perhaps I’m shooting a little to high with some of these items, but here are some things that would definitely secure WWE 2k14 as a must-have title in the realm of “next-gen” sports games.
5. An Up-to-date Roster (Or really, just the Wyatt Family)
This one would, of course, be a logistical problem, but a man can still dream. Wouldn’t it be great if the game came out and wasn’t missing anybody? Sure, getting Fandango and Big E Langston as DLC was cool but I am seriously starving to play as legit versions of Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. Also, who knows what the roster will look like by this winter season? Xavier Woods and 2014 Batista are probably shoe-ins but if they can somehow hold off finalizing the roster as long as possible the end result could be glorious. Also, implementing a more substantial alternate costume system instead of having three versions of Big Show of all people taking up valuable roster real estate would be great. But hey, at least I’m pretty much guaranteed some Wyatt Family action. Now I just need some damn action figures.
4. A Significant Visual Upgrade
A new visual engine making use of that 2K Games money is an obvious check mark on this list but still ambitious enough to note. WWE games have always caught some negativity due to the… unique visuals and animations, and WWE 2k15 is a prime opportunity for 2K Games to do something impressive. it also wouldn’t be surprising if something like that had to wait for the 2k16 version, but either way a visual upgrade on par with NBA 2k14 would be a huge selling point for the series in general.
3. A More Dynamic Universe Mode
Universe Mode has certainly improved with each iteration of the game since its inception, but there is still a ton of room for improvement. Random events can happen, but feel a little too random and don’t always have results that make sense. It feels a little sloppy and limited, and while most of the point of Universe Mode is using your own imagination in tandem with the tools given, some more payoff in the form of silly cutscenes and more tangible rivalries would really sell the mode for everyone playing the game instead of just the hardcore simulation people.
2. A Personal Story/Career Mode
The Wrestlemania stuff in WWE 2k14 was great, don’t get me wrong, but after it was over there wasn’t much of an incentive for me to go back to it. Some of my favorite single player campaigns in sports titles have revolved around being able to create a character and run through a goofy story mode featuring your avatar’s rise to the top among the familiar superstars of the sport in question. Think Tony Hawk; before those games went down the tubes, the story modes were a lot of fun. The WWE games already have the foundation there; the story modes are just too focused on self-promotion. An original story you can insert your own creations into would do a lot to add some real singleplayer longevity to WWE 2k15.
1. Include NXT Wrestlers, Damn It
Okay, it was really cool to see NXT get some love in WWE 2k14. You could run the show in your Universe Mode, play on the NXT arena, etc. But hey, where the hell was all the NXT talent? Now I’ll never get to play as Chris Hero in a video game! Seriously, if 2K Games wants to get the marks to pop they’ll make more use of the NXT brand, maybe throwing in at least some of the bigger names and letting players goof around in a mode on the side or something. I’d be happy with anything – just give me some NXT for Chrissakes and I’ll happily open my wallet for you. Really, here it is, there’s some money in it and everything.