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    WWE 2K15: Falls Flat on Last-Gen

    The latest suplex fest from 2K Sports is the Wrestle Mania XXIX of wrasslin’ games uninspired, workmanlike and utterly, utterly phoned-in. A drastically shrunken roster, outdated gimmicks and a lack of key features found in the new-gen versions is the Salmonella Special dish of the day. The result is a cynical cash-in begging to be chokeslammed through a table.

    underneath the half baked layers of lazy lycra, WWE 2K15 proves itself to be a decent ring general on PS3 and 360. That’s what makes the apparent lack of effort so frustrating. Though near mechanically identical to 2K14, this year’s effort remains an enjoyable approximation of sports entertainment, with all the loving nods to absurd finishers, over the top entrances and weekly burying of Damien Sandow that entails. Still, there’s no overlooking that last-gen second-class citizen syndrome.
    “many of the fights yuke’s has chosen for shoWcase mode are emBarrassing filler”
    To make you feel every inch the Tiny Tim looking in at Scrooge tucking into a nine course Christmas dinner, let’s look at the features this last-gen cash-in lacks compared to its PS4/XO big brother. Full-body scanning for every superstar? you’re cut. The NBA 2K15 inspired MyCareer that sees your young wrestler rise from the bowels of the WWE Performance Centre to the main event of Wrestle Mania? you’re cut. The new collar and elbow tie up minigame that starts bouts? We really like your hustle… that’s why it was so hard to cut you.

    Down for the count
    Developer yuke’s has at least tried to ease the pain of these omissions with the last-gen exclusive Who Got NXT. Based on WWE’s weekly show for rising stars, the mode lets you play as adrian neville, Corey Graves, Sami Zayn, Bo Dallas or rusev as you polish off a series of their must see bouts. Pity it’s a) really short, and b) more outdated than Hulk Hogan rocking a shell suit thanks to those last two talents now being on the main roster.

    Showcase Mode, which features across both gens, fairs better, but still feels crippled by a lack of ambition. Focusing on two major rivalries from the last 12 years, the campaign sees you reliving the glisteningly moist encounters of CM Punk vs john Cena and Shawn Michaels’ bitter bouts against Triple H. With only 34 matches, though, it pales next to last year’s excellent 30 years of WrestleMania. Worse, many of the fights yuke’s has chosen are embarrassing filler. an obscure casket match between Kane and old Hunter Hearst from a 2002 episode of raw? To nick a line from The Miz, “Really?!”

    Despite the content, you can at least feel 2K’s excellent presentation finally start to seep into the series in a way that just wouldn't have happened in the THQ days. Commentary is much improved. Michael Cole and jerry Lawler show real enthusiasm the pair’s renewed vigour is particularly striking during Showcase Mode’s expertly handled cutscenes. The rejigged lightning model also fares well, with moody entrances looking all kinds of authentic.

    Ultimately, though, it’s hard to look past this grappler’s cynical shortcomings. Outdated and outgunned by its predecessors, last-gen WWE 2K15 cuddles up to mediocrity in the saddest of bear hugs.

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