Last year’s WWE 2K15 was a current-gen disappointment. Suffering from the same problems as many sports titles do in the transition to new consoles, 2K15 on PS4 and Xbox One was a watered down version of the last-gen game, and was even pushed back from its scheduled release date during development. Since that time, developers Visual Concepts and Yuke’s have had more time to hone their craft on the new consoles, and they hope to deliver a much more polished pro wrestling experience this October on consoles with WWE 2K16.
While series publisher 2K Sports doesn’t have quite as much of an E3 presence as other publishers, they were still on hand to display their upcoming titles, including WWE 2K16. No gameplay footage was shown, but they did announce the first six wrestlers that will be included in the game.
The first six wrestlers announced for the WWE 2K16 roster are as follows:
- Bad News Barrett
- Daniel Bryan
- Dean Ambrose
- Finn Balor
- Seth Rollins
In addition to their roster announcement, 2K released six pieces of character art for the superstars, representing how they will appear in the game when it releases this fall.
There are a couple of interesting tidbits to glean from this art. For one, it appears as though the yearly annoyance of outdated wrestlers and gimmicks will be a theme continued in 2K16. As many WWE fans know, Bad News Barrett currently performs under the ring name of King Barrett, and as a result, his attire is somewhat different than what is shown in his character art.
The most interesting addition to the roster is probably Finn Balor, which suggests that WWE’s developmental show NXT is once again going to play a major role in 2K16. In WWE 2K15, players began their careers at the bottom of the barrel in NXT, and had to crawl their way through the ranks to earn a spot on the main roster. This mode, while a good idea, was poorly executed, so hopefully this year’s iteration fixes the mistakes of the past and delivers a more satisfying career mode.
It’s somewhat strange that 2K didn’t decide to announce some of WWE’s bigger names as being a part of the 2K16 roster in this initial sneak peek. For example, Daniel Bryan is currently on the shelf with an injury and is nowhere to be seen on WWE television, yet he was included as a part of the announcement, whereas WWE’s biggest current star, John Cena, wasn’t mentioned at all. Obviously John Cena will be in 2K16, but it’s still weird to leave him out of the initial roster reveal.
It’s also odd that 2K16 seems to be foregoing a PC release. 2K released the last game in the series on all major platforms, including PC, and even mobile devices. It’s possible that a PC or mobile version of WWE 2K16 could be announced down the line, but for now, the game is only confirmed for consoles.
In the meantime, 2K Sports says that WWE 2K16 will house the largest roster in the history of the series. 2K15 made similar claims, yet many of the fighters on the roster were duplicates of pre-existing wrestlers, albeit with an alternate look based on how they appeared in the past. If 2K16 mines the NXT roster, it could stake a more legitimate claim to having the largest roster of WWE superstars ever assembled. It will also help if 2K seeks out some wrestling legends to include in 2K16, similar to how Sting was featured in WWE 2K15 last year as a pre-order bonus.
WWE 2K16 will be available on October 27th for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.