Making annual sports games (even for a discipline that everyone knows is pre-determined) is hard. Devs are expected to retain everything great about the previous year’s iteration, all while introducing new features that make the update worth shelling out for. It’s critical, then, that designers don’t remove content which has kept people buying their game year after year at least, not without a very good reason for doing so. Shame no one told Visual Concepts.

Leading development of a WWE title for the first time since THQ’s demise, 2K’s in house sports team has made a boo boo of King Kong Bundy proportions here by decimating the series’ fabled creation suite. In previous years, any wrestlers omitted from the game could be produced manually (and shared online) using comprehensive entrance templates and PS3’s custom soundtracks functionality.


Not any more. With no prior warning, these options have been ripped from the game with all the subtlety of a Great Khali promo. Sure, you can still create Jeff Hardy… just with Kane’s theme and John Cena’s entrance motion.
“the roster is incomplete and months out of date with the sport itself.”
Perhaps the decision has been made to force users into playing as members of the current WWE roster, rather than rivals, old-timers and random superheroes. (I still maintain my Hulk Hogan vs Superman feud last year was a classic.) That might be acceptable… were it not for the fact that said roster is incomplete and months out of date with the sport itself.

A dozen active wrestlers, such as Zack Ryder and Los Matadores, are missing completely, while main eventers Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins come out in their old Shield garb, to that tandem’s theme, despite flying solo since June. And of course, you can’t update their music due to that custom soundtracks cull.

nxt in line
It’s especially galling because in-ring this is another strong grap effort, with improvements to WWE Universe for instance, being able to select specific storylines to underpin any rivalry especially welcome. The 2K Showcase feuds between John Cena and CM Punk, and Shawn Michaels and Triple H, nicely mix scene setting video packages with back and forth in-ring action, and new mode Who Got NXT cleverly introduces debuting Superstars such as Bo Dallas and Rusev via a neat, arcade style ladder format.

Those features alone save this from an even harsher score, but Visual Concepts’ decision to sabotage user creativity is astounding. Just as you’d never buy a FIFA game that featured uneditable players wearing the previous year’s kits, so you should steer well clear of this crushingly feeble low blow.

6/10