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State of the Game Address

WWE 2K15 Sting WCW Attitude Era Mode 30 Years of Wrestlemania Pre-Order bonus

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#1 King of Kong

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 04:05 PM

            Another year brings another WWE game, but this time things are going to be a little different.  We are entering a new generation of gaming with WWE 2K15 coming out for the PS4 and X-Box One.  All I have to say about that is… thank God.  To say that WWE games on the seventh generation game consoles have been a roller coaster ride, would be giving them too much of a compliment.  The ride has definitely seen more downs than ups.   Considering the poor direction from the game producers, long and constant loading screens, glitches, broken game mechanics, corrupted save and game data, game modes that don’t work as advertised, and unrealistic game physics, I’m looking forward to moving away from the PS3/X-Box 360 era.  So what does WWE 2K15 have to offer for us on the gameplay level, and what improvements will the PS4/X-Box One versions of the game bring to the franchise?  Well, I’d like to briefly discuss what we know, what’s been said, and my general thoughts about it all.  One could look at this as a sort of State of the Game Address.  This is Part 1 of the Road to WWE 2K15.

 

The #1 Rule of Advertising

            Much like storytelling, advertising is most effective when you take the “show don’t tell” philosophy.  For example, it is not enough to just say that Aleve is a longer lasting pain reliever than Tylenol.  You have to actually show the two in action so that the potential buyers can see that Aleve is the superior pain reliever.  That’s why you have commercials like this

Apparently 2K Games doesn’t agree with that philosophy.  Instead of actually showing how the implementation of the head and body scanning technology has improved the graphics, it’s better to just say the graphics have improved.  Instead of hearing an example of the improved commentary, it’s better to just say that it’s better than ever and for us to just take their word for it (after all it’s not like we’re promised improved commentary every single year or anything like that).  Actually showing gameplay footage so we can see for ourselves that it’s smoother and more polished?  Get outta here!  We don’t need that.  2K Games is a company trying to get our money.  Would they lie to us?

Some may say that 2K is just working us.  They are holding off showing us gameplay footage in order to heighten our anticipation.  When they do eventually show gameplay footage later on, it will be that much more satisfying.  To those who make that argument, I have one message for you:

If WWE2K15 really was a huge improvement over last year’s installment (especially the PS4/X-Box One versions) I’m sure they would show us game footage ASAP.  They could still work us by showing a little bit of the game yet, save the more specific details for a later time. Not showing us anything at all has me believing that there’s not much to show.

Take the Sting trailer for example.  They just recently announced that Sting is going to be the pre-order bonus for WWE 2K15 (more on that later).  The trailer they gave us was beautiful and very well made.  It was a smart mixture of epic and an itty bitty dash of silly that WWE tries to do a lot but often fails at.  It was almost perfect, but there is one thing I would change about it.

Between 0:48 and 0:50 they very briefly show archive footage of Sting during his WCW days.  If during that small window of time they instead showed gameplay footage of Sting in action, this would be one of the greatest teaser trailers for a game I’ve ever seen.  That we can’t even get one and a half seconds of gameplay footage at this point of the pre-release period makes me feel like this upcoming game might end up being a huge disappointment.  The ball is in your court 2K; prove me wrong.

 

My Problem with Pre-Orders

          Recently I was accused of being too negative about this game.  There was a discussion about intergender matches (and how that still won’t be possible in 2K15), and my argument was that intergender matches should be the least of our concern; there’s a very real chance that this game is going to suck.  In response someone said that I was already calling this game bad before it even comes out.  If I was really sure that this game was going to suck, I wouldn’t still be following news about it.  I was just saying that this franchise doesn’t necessarily have a spotless record.  Not only has the franchise suffered from the problems stated earlier, but they released three games in a row that were not only bad, but even worse than last year’s release.  It because of this that I not only feel that a little bit of pessimism is healthy, but having a pre-order exclusive bonus is complete bullshit.

            Pre-orders should be for franchises that have a reputation for consistently good games.  I would pre-order a GTA game.  Pre-order bonuses for something like a Pokemon or Zelda game are fine too.  The WWE Games franchise?  I don’t think so.  Some may say that because the franchise has been handled by THQ previously, it would not be fair to hold the mistakes of the past against 2K.  Even WWE 2K14 was mostly produced by THQ right before they closed down.  Well… okay, but the best thing you can say is they haven’t made the mistakes THQ has made.  2K has never made a wrestling game before WWE, so they have absolutely no credibility as a wrestling videogame producer.  That’s hardly a reason to pre-order a game when we haven’t even seen footage of it yet.

            To make matters worse, the pre-order bonus is a wrestler that a lot of people thought would never be in a WWE game.  So a lot of people will be tempted to pre-order this game despite having major reservations for this series.  If you think the WWE Games are fine and you have no major complaints, go ahead and pre-order the game.  If you feel like I do, however, and you’re just pre-ordering solely for Sting, you’re pretty much proving that WWE owns your wallet.  Chances are Sting will be available to everyone via DLC (for a price of course) later on anyway, so you might want to wait a little while before making a decision to buy the game.

 

My Problem with a Nostalgia Theme

          Rumor has it that WWE 2K15 is going to have a WCW theme.  These rumors are probably based on Sting being the pre-order bonus.  I really hope this isn't true.  After two games in a row with special nostalgia themes, I would prefer a game with a different focus.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against a nostalgia theme because I hate legends.  I love legends in the game, and I feel they have a strong importance as a selling point and as a way to get moves into the game that would have otherwise been left out. The main problem is a nostalgic theme allows WWE Games to go another year without innovating their game.

            I don’t want to unfairly accuse game designers and producers of laziness, but it’s pretty hard to deny that game modes like Attitude Era mode and 29 years of Wrestlemania are instant hooks.  That’s good for the 2K and bad for people who want more complex and varied gameplay, a revamped CAW mode, a decent Story mode, or a Universe mode that finally works as advertised.  It might be possible to have a nostalgic theme and put effort in other aspects of the game, but imagine how great Universe mode would be if they put the same amount of time, money, and effort they put in Attitude Era mode and 29 Years of Wrestlemania.  Imagine how great CAW mode would be.  It’s possible to walk and chew gum at the same time, but it’s clear what the focus is on.

            Another problem I have with the nostalgic theme is story mode.  For me an original story made specifically for the game tends to stay with me more than a rehash of angles of wrestling’s past.  If I wanted to relive the past I’d watch a DVD collection or an old VHS.  When I’m playing the game I would rather create my own moments instead of retreading the past.

            And finally, even from a business perspective it might be a bad idea to continuously rely on nostalgia to sell these games.  Something like a WCW themed game might be cool every now and then, but when it’s done year after year after year it stops being special.  Eventually people stop seeing it as some awesome thing and start seeing it as just another part of a game that’s really not that great, all things considered.  History has proven that great gameplay sells units.  A nostalgic theme should be something extra, not the main reason to get the game.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

            If you’re still reading at this point, I’d like to thank you for taking the time off your busy schedule to read this.  If you liked this, please comment.  My goal is to have a new installment of “Road to WWE2K15” every week until the game comes out, and reader feedback will be very important for this series.  So if you agree, if you disagree, if you have an idea of what you want me to write about next, or you just want to share a pasta sauce recipe, please leave your thoughts below.  Thanks again for reading.


Edited by King of Kong, 22 August 2014 - 02:10 AM.


#2 TheEggman

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:17 PM

I liked this post. Good points. The only one I dont agree with on a personal level is the nostalgia mode one. I personally love those. The road to wrestlemania stories with the exeption of the edge and christian one that one year were usually forgetable and boring. I really like the nostalgia one because we usually get a good mix of my fav superstars from the years and more importantly to me the arenas. If we just stuck to current era every arena would look the same. Big screen, curves LED entrance LED columns on left and right.

 

I am really hoping they wow us soon with the graphics. I am living in hope that they dont want to show us too much is because the game is covered in the new logo or possibly they are gonna change up some arenas or logos to go with it and dont want to show anything off too early.



#3 Superboi307

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:51 PM

These are my thoughts too. Not saying that the game would suck but I think you have a point when you say they haven't given us any game footage and if they really really improved it they would have given us teasers at least to keep us hooked.
But then again maybe they want it to be a surprise or they just might blow our minds with the roster so we forget about the graphics and game play.
Either way I really hope to see some footage as it will help me decide if I should get a new console.

#4 lilsting10

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:59 PM

I really don't care about a story/history lesson mode, I'm in it for the customizability. At most I use Universe Mode to run a WCW brand filled with CAWs.

 

I don't really care about the in-game roster, because they are only a means to get new moves for caws. Even if I like a wrestler, chances are they will mess-up the model somehow (yellow eyebrows and florescent pink skin for nWo Hogan in 2k14) and will probably end-up making a caw of them.

 

What I dislike is how things have been peace-mealed out to us with no rhyme or reason.


2011 had a WCW Nitro arena.  Didn't have CreateABelt though, so your WCW wrestlers were stuck using WWE belts.

 

2012 had Starrcade, Clash Of The Champions, but they changed the Nitro arena and did something wrong with it (can't rememer exactly what it was now). Their "WCW"/Hero RTWM storyline was more of a WCW circa 1992 with Arn, Road Warriors, Vader etc. The half-arsed-but-at-least-we-got-something ''War Games'' match never returned to the series like other special-mode-debuted-matches did in the games afterwards (Mickie James's women's HIAC, Cena's Gauntlet, Defeat The Streak/Slobber Knocker).

 

2013 had Alliance Era DDP and WCW titles as DLC in Edit-A-Belt Mode (sans the WCW TV Title), but not a single WCW arena anymore.

 

2014 had the return of non 80s/nWo Hogan, Goldberg, Ric Flair and The Outsiders and other nWo guys, but no WCW arenas, and a Create-An-Arena logo resize glitch (or restriction if it's still present in 2k15).

 

2015 will have Sting, but no Goldberg so we can't have Goldberg vs Hogan from Nitro. It will have 80s Hogan, but will it have nWo Hogan for the Starrcade match?

 

Now imagine a game where Goldberg can walk out in the real WCW Nitro arena, defeat Hogan, and raise the WCW World and US titles high. Imagine a game where nWo Hogan can fight Crow Sting at Starrcade. Or where (WCW) World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair can fight the WCW Classic (WCW International World) Champion Sting to unify the belts at Clash Of The Champions. I could go on and on.


Edited by ksdixon, 18 July 2014 - 06:00 PM.


#5 glchitman

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:00 PM

I don't agree with you on the nostalgia aspect but I do agree with you on the lack of footage. I was really hoping we would have had just a screenshot by now. Maybe we will see some this Sunday?

#6 JcZ15

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 06:17 PM

I understand what you are saying about how pre orders should be with games who have a good record, but really? It isn't like they make you pay extra to get the pre order codes. I mean just go to gamestop or TRU or BestBuy and throw the 5 or 10 bucks down on the game. I mean is it really that hard to do. It isn't like they are asking you to spend 20 bucks on just the pre order codes.



#7 VirulentViperô

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 07:07 PM

I hear that, man. I personally think the major "upgrade" this year is clearly going to be the graphics. That being said, I'm honestly not expecting any gameplay improvements whatsoever. I'm expecting exactly what we had last year with updates and 2k's well-known authenticism with models and audio. However, if you're going to be getting 2k15 for 360 or PS3, I think you can look for exactly what you had last year with 2k14... with a few updates. 

 

I think that's why they haven't bothered to show us any gameplay - there isn't any improvement. The only improvement is going to be the way it looks and sounds. Time will tell but.. I'm not getting my hopes up.



#8 EJ!

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

I agree with pretty much everything. The longer they wait to show us ANYTHING, the faster the anticipation sours into doubt. I hope when they finally do show us something it blows our minds or whatever but now I just feel like they know a lot of people are going to be disappointed that it's the same game with a graphics update so they're holding off on the shitstorm that would come their way if that's the case. I predict they're not gonna show a damn thing till it's real close to release so it's like 'if you like wrestling, buy this wrestling game' and people will take a chance on it because they want a new wrestling game and there are no others. Then we just find out on our own that it's the same game when they already got their money. They don't wanna disappoint us right now and have us decide we're not gonna buy the game.

I still think we can have a WCW mode and a good ass original HCTP quality single player mode at the same time.

#9 Stoned Clown

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:16 PM

Well written good stuff



#10 Vapor

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

Good points.



#11 Stoned Clown

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 10:45 PM

In all fairness preordering is bs anyway. The entire first warehouse loads of 2k15 will have Sting, and the shop will sell it to you whether you preordered or not. In the UK in the GAME stores you could still get a brand new 2k14 with Warrior months after it launched.

 

Only things worth preordering are titles that sell fast (gta/cod)



#12 huh?

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 11:02 PM

I liked the attitude era mode, you were able to get the attires/looks of a lot of wrestlers (some of them being my favorite wrestlers) from that era. And arenas. I did not however find much enjoyment out of last year's wrestlemania mode. I stopped playing it once it got to the mid 2000's or whenever it was that has John Cena in the mode... I don't understand why they took out the attitude arenas from the previous game.

 

And game play for me hasn't changed much expect for the reversals that they do automatically now. They need to improve that still.

 

Universe mode was better in wwe 12 to me, anyways. wwe14 I barely get any cutscenes, and why did they make it where you only get scenes on the last two matches for. Didn't they used to happen through-out the whole match card? And I never get injuries in my universe.

 

 I'm hoping they fix the freezing issues, too.  I'm also hoping for a lot of improvement in moves (new moves), universe mode, new A.I. And revamp to CAW mode, get rid of the boob/crotch blurs. It's so aggravating when I want to make an attire and can't. They should limit that to if you were uploading it only.

 

I don't really expect much though. Each year I get the game, and I'm always a little disappointed.

 

WWE 12 was my first game to the ps3 system so there was a lot of excitement for me because I finally got to make 4 attires and there were a lot new items/moves and universe mode that I had not experienced before on the ps2. So I think that's why I liked that. But I was even hyped to get last year's and I actually preferred wwe 12/13 to wwe14.



#13 liontamer*

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:57 AM

I hated the Attitude Era mode, and I never got 2K14 because it looked exactly the same to me except for some new features. If I want to relive matches, I'd rather watch them, so I completely agree with that point that you made.
There's actually a lot that i'm sick of when it comes to recent wrestling games, and I have high hopes for 2K15, but I feel i'll be disappointed.

I just want to be able to look at the first screenshot or gameplay and notice a difference. If I don't see a difference right away in gameplay, I'd honestly be disappointed, because simply put, the gameplay is bad, and they need to make a lot of changes, maybe take ideas from older games like the submission and stamina system from SvR 06.
I don't care about the main story mode anymore because I feel they've been out of good ideas for years now, and I actually enjoy universe mode. I'd be happy if that mode makes a return, which it probably will, and I'd also hope they don't focus too much on the past.



#14 Saturi

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:17 AM

Couldn't agree more.

With the issue that the next Gen Consoles aren't even supporting mp3 files or any movie and sound formats it's already a major no go for me.

 

Alone this fact will turn many people from grabbing a PS4/X-Box One purchase (unless it's  made possible till then).

 

No one wants their character to enter in generic themes that have nothing to do with the actuall wrestler and use the same theme on like 20 caws because there is nothing else to do.

 

Except if they go down the road on offering that extra music over the networks so one can download them from the console and pay extra money (which is another thing that I won't do!).

 

The most annoying thing through the years were the people that no matter how shitty a game in the series was, they still bought it and supported THQ with the argument "I always buying it every year".

 

So you could give these people like one mode and two wrestlers for 70€ and they would still buy the game out of habit.

I skipped a few games of the series out of various reasons and I still would if need be.

 

Mainly worked with the caw mode for the community and barely touched any other mode in the game so far (like the first 4 matches in the wrestlemania and a few matches in the universe mode only).

 

Such companies need to see that people won't be buying a game out of habit or randomly but rather CARE about what a game has to offer before they open their wallets.

 

Only that way such companies will be forced to improve their products and drop the attitude of "oh well, the people will buy it anyway).



#15 guy2305606

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

Nice read. Agree with your points.


Edited by RMolloy24, 19 July 2014 - 03:55 PM.


#16 TheKyle3000

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:06 PM

Agree 100%. 

 

Put this on the 2K forum while you're at it man.



#17 Brandon-X

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:56 PM

I'll pre-order the game from ebgames, not because of sting (okay, a little bit because of sting) but because they deliver on day of release and i'm to damned lazy to drive down to the next town over to get it.



#18 Mr.Smith

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 10:25 AM

Here's a few points I like to make about the WWE game curse cycle that happens every year.

 

 

1. History shows us that they give us a game trailer or roster reveal/list around Summer Slam PPV time

 

 

2. New gen systems do not support MP3 files so you can kiss entrance originality for caws or updated theme songs goodbye

 

 

3. Sting has ALWAYS been in wwe games thanks to the great caw makers in our community so paying for a pre-ordered "in-game" sting made by 2K is like paying for a pair of Jordans that come out every year ( same quality, bad design).

 

 

4. We never get actual game play footage, information, or game mode info until the game comes out in a few days. Which gets people hyped up to pre-order the game at the last minute just to go home, insert that disc and then............ :facepalm: :rant: :shake: :poo: :flush:  you get the point

 

 

5. If the game is WCW themed..... save your money now because the other game modes will be the same with little or no improvements due to all the effort being put into the theme mode of the year (as always).

 

 

6. Is it Universe mode or YOU verses the mode? because I have yet to see universe mode actually do what YOU want it to do.

 

 

7. There are a lot of guys on the Indy game scene that are working on amazing wrestling games that are way better than wwe games right now and focus on gameplay more than graphics (Mdickie Wrestling/Booking Revolution 3D for example)

 

 

 

I'm not even wasting my money on 2K15 until I see some reviews and game play videos by early 2015. Not falling into the trap again this year.


Edited by Mr.Smith, 20 July 2014 - 10:31 AM.


#19 Exorcism

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:27 PM

I guess if 2K15 is lacking in quality like the past THQ backed titles, people won't have the 'this is 2K not THQ' excuse to fall back on.

#20 King of Kong

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 02:29 AM

I am really hoping they wow us soon with the graphics. I am living in hope that they dont want to show us too much is because the game is covered in the new logo or possibly they are gonna change up some arenas or logos to go with it and dont want to show anything off too early.

 

 

I find it hard to believe that the new logo is the reason for the delay of gameplay footage, but  I could be wrong (it sure as hell wouldn't be the first time, heh).  Keep the hope alive!

 

 

Either way I really hope to see some footage as it will help me decide if I should get a new console.

 

 

I'm with you on that.  If WWE 2K15 is good enough, it will be a console buyer.

 

 

I really don't care about a story/history lesson mode, I'm in it for the customizability. At most I use Universe Mode to run a WCW brand filled with CAWs.

 

I don't really care about the in-game roster, because they are only a means to get new moves for caws. Even if I like a wrestler, chances are they will mess-up the model somehow (yellow eyebrows and florescent pink skin for nWo Hogan in 2k14) and will probably end-up making a caw of them.

 

What I dislike is how things have been peace-mealed out to us with no rhyme or reason.


2011 had a WCW Nitro arena.  Didn't have CreateABelt though, so your WCW wrestlers were stuck using WWE belts.

 

2012 had Starrcade, Clash Of The Champions, but they changed the Nitro arena and did something wrong with it (can't rememer exactly what it was now). Their "WCW"/Hero RTWM storyline was more of a WCW circa 1992 with Arn, Road Warriors, Vader etc. The half-arsed-but-at-least-we-got-something ''War Games'' match never returned to the series like other special-mode-debuted-matches did in the games afterwards (Mickie James's women's HIAC, Cena's Gauntlet, Defeat The Streak/Slobber Knocker).

 

2013 had Alliance Era DDP and WCW titles as DLC in Edit-A-Belt Mode (sans the WCW TV Title), but not a single WCW arena anymore.

 

2014 had the return of non 80s/nWo Hogan, Goldberg, Ric Flair and The Outsiders and other nWo guys, but no WCW arenas, and a Create-An-Arena logo resize glitch (or restriction if it's still present in 2k15).

 

2015 will have Sting, but no Goldberg so we can't have Goldberg vs Hogan from Nitro. It will have 80s Hogan, but will it have nWo Hogan for the Starrcade match?

 

Now imagine a game where Goldberg can walk out in the real WCW Nitro arena, defeat Hogan, and raise the WCW World and US titles high. Imagine a game where nWo Hogan can fight Crow Sting at Starrcade. Or where (WCW) World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair can fight the WCW Classic (WCW International World) Champion Sting to unify the belts at Clash Of The Champions. I could go on and on.

 

 

I feel the same way about customization.  As far as the WCW arenas are concerned, I feel like your best bet is create-an-arena.  It's not perfect, there's only so much you can do with it and they insist on keeping a certain WWEness to every arena you make, but some of the WCW arenas on CC are excellent and as long as they keep improving the mode every year, it will only be a matter of time before you can pretty much make any arena you want (hopefully)

 

 

I understand what you are saying about how pre orders should be with games who have a good record, but really? It isn't like they make you pay extra to get the pre order codes. I mean just go to gamestop or TRU or BestBuy and throw the 5 or 10 bucks down on the game. I mean is it really that hard to do. It isn't like they are asking you to spend 20 bucks on just the pre order codes.

 

 

I never said that pre-ordering was a bother.  In fact, it is quite easy.  That is not the issue.   The way I see it, there are people who will get the game no matter what (because they are wrestling game collectors or because they think the franchise is that good) and there are those who want/need to be more selective in their decision to get the game.  I feel that pre-order exclusives are a cheap way of trying to hook people who would probably be better off waiting a month or two after the release since, as Mr Smith said, we won't truly know what this game is about until people actually play it.

 

 

I think that's why they haven't bothered to show us any gameplay - there isn't any improvement. The only improvement is going to be the way it looks and sounds. Time will tell but.. I'm not getting my hopes up.

 

 

if they haven't made major improvements to the gameplay this year, I'm skipping 2K15.  I'm not spending money on another wrestling game in which everybody plays the same.

 

 

In all fairness preordering is bs anyway. The entire first warehouse loads of 2k15 will have Sting, and the shop will sell it to you whether you preordered or not. In the UK in the GAME stores you could still get a brand new 2k14 with Warrior months after it launched.

 

 

You think there will still be copies with the Sting code around in January?  Cause I probably won't even seriously consider getting this game until then.

 

 

I'll pre-order the game from ebgames, not because of sting (okay, a little bit because of sting) but because they deliver on day of release and i'm to damned lazy to drive down to the next town over to get it.

 

 

You are one of the few people whose review of these games I trust.  So many people play the reviewer copy of the game for a couple of weeks and give it a 8/10 or a 9/10.  We're supposed to be playing this game for a year (although often times I find myself growing tired of it after only a few months), so how can you really get a handle of how good this game is after playing it for such a short amount of time?

 

 

 

7. There are a lot of guys on the Indy game scene that are working on amazing wrestling games that are way better than wwe games right now and focus on gameplay more than graphics (Mdickie Wrestling/Booking Revolution 3D for example)

 

 

 

On this matter, I disagree with you completely.  The big problem with wrestling games today is that there is no alternative to the WWE franchise (much like the wrestling business in general, heh).  There are indy games that come out every now and then, but they're not good.  They don't have the money, staff, or know how to make something that's better than even the worst Yuke's game.  The only indy game that came close to being good was Action Arcade Wrestling, and that was mainly because of the huge customization options.  The game itself was kind of a mess.  Still... it's better than what PS3 users have to look forward to

 

 

I respect what Mdickie tries to do.  It's obvious that he has high aspirations for everything he makes.  From my experience, however, he is not a good programmer or designer at all.  I haven't checked out his Touch Revolution game, but all his PC games are so bad they aren't even worth getting for free.

 

@PrismaticChaos: Thanks for the support.  I will eventually post this on 2k forums, but I thought Caws.ws should see this first.  For anyone who thought this was good, feel free to share it anywhere you can.  I am and ego maniac, and I need all the publicity I can get.  ;)







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