One thing that I'm constantly asked about by customers is "Why are they removing features?" This is, of course, in regard to the current-gen versions of certain games. It happened with the September release of NHL 15, and it's happening again with the upcoming November 18th release of WWE 2k15.
There's a really quick answer to this query: they haven't. As was the case with EA Sports' less-than-stellar release for this year's NHL game, 2K has decided to throw away the old, broken coding that we've been purchasing for the past few years and start fresh on the current-gen consoles. Because of this choice, they have had one year since 2k14 to build an entire game from the ground up. Sure, there are a lot of features that have been left out (or lessened) due to time constraints, but this is the first wrestling game that I've been excited for since Fire Pro Wrestling Returns had its official North American release on the Playstation 2 in November of 2007.
I remember coming back from my wrestling hiatus and thinking about how good WWE 13 looked to me. It was just so life-like that I couldn't imagine anything better coming any time soon. Look where we are now: the difference between the last-gen and current-gen versions of this game is astounding. It's only now, watching this video of the Wyatt Family entrance, that I'm truly seeing the cartoonish nature of the in-game models from last-gen. The texture on Erick Rowan's mask... the loose hang of Luke Harper's unwashed wifebeater... the light of thousands of cell phones in the audience, made all the more ominous by the true blackness of the darkened arena.
Created wrestlers are limited to 25 this year, due to the models being almost on-par with those of the wrestlers already in the game. Despite this limitation, the later additions of over 10 other superstars past and present, as well as the ability to fully edit any superstar as you see fit, has got me more hyped than Mojo Rawley (who is pleasantly absent from the game).
The big draw to this year's game is the inclusion of MyCareer mode, which will have you create your own superstar and take him from the tryouts at the WWE Performance Center in Florida up through the ranks of wrestling's hottest product NXT and onward to the big time stage of Monday Night Raw, and if you're lucky, the grandest stage of them all - WrestleMania.
Last year's 30 Years of WrestleMania mode will be spiritually succeeded by the 2k Showcase mode, where you can re-live classic rivalries between Shawn Michaels and Triple H, as well as John Cena and the "Best in the World" CM Punk. Three more rivalries can be found through the upcoming DLC as you can destroy all those in your path with Mark Henry, re-live Christian's feud with the "Viper" Randy Orton from 2011 or take the Path of the Warrior as you pray to the gods of destrucity for the power of all the little warriors while playing your way through the Ultimate Warrior's rise through the ranks of the WWE during the late-80's and early-90's.
The lack of CAW slots is disappointing, for sure, but we weren't robbed of any features. This is a brand new game built for today's wrestling fan, with a few tributes to those of us who have stuck it out through the years. For me personally, I missed the Orton/Christian feud that will be a part of the Season's Pass, so it will be nice for me to get a glimpse of what I missed. On the other side of it, the Ultimate Warrior was a childhood hero of mine and I am going to revel in the nostalgia of running through Sgt. Slaughter, the Honky Tonk Man, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage and yes, the famous squashing of one Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
There's enough here to satiate any true fan of professional wrestling. My 25 CAW slots will fill up quickly with NXT superstars and other wrestlers that I would love to see in NXT, but I'm okay with that. Between MyCareer and the 2k Showcase, I really don't see how I could possibly feel like I didn't get my money's worth out of this. It's been a long road to get here, to the point where we can look forward to a true career mode in a WWE game, but I sure am glad that I've made my way back.
We are under a week away from launch now, and I can't possibly be more excited for this game. All I want to do now is urge each and every one of you out there to give this game a chance, because anything is possible if you just Bo-Lieve.