Hello and welcome to the second of our looks at what we’d like to see included in future games in the WWE 2K video game series from 2K Sports (developed by Yukes.) The first instalment focused on gameplay improvements and a few smaller features, in this second part we’ll look at two things; possible new Game Modes, and then match types we’d like to see added to the franchise (or, in some cases, re-added) – last week we discussed adding 8 wrestlers on screen at once, which would then lead to eight man tags.
Showcase Mode is no more in 2K 17 and while we understand the decision to focus on the core Universe and MyCareer game modes, we’d like to suggest a couple of possible new game modes for future releases.
The recent popular trend in sports titles is toward fantasy drafting; and Madden NFL and FIFA in particular already have robust Ultimate Team Modes – Madden also has a quick fantasy draft mode. With the recent reintroduction of the WWE’s brand split; now seems like the perfect time to introduce a similar game mode to the 2K game series. Well, how would it work?
As the GM of either Raw or Smackdown Live, your first job would be to simulate a brand new WWE Draft (perhaps allowing users to only simulate the first five or ten picks and allowing the CPU to handle the rest if players prefer not to go through a draft with the whole active roster; although this certainly should be an option for all armchair draft enthusiasts).
Once your roster is assembled you play through a series of shows and the mode would play more like the old-school Create-a-PPV mode from Know Your Role. You book matches for both TV and PPV; and a ratings system works out how many viewers each match gets. There is also a momentum system which tracks a wrestler’s wins, so wrestler who may attract a low audience share at first, with a series of wins becomes more of an attraction. The goal is to gain a larger audience share than the rival brand, and to put on better selling PPV’s. The mode tracks title changes independently, so don’t worry about messing with your Universe or Exhibition mode saves.
It couldn’t be a totally open ended mode, otherwise it’d be a little too close to Universe mode with ratings, but perhaps allowing users to play a short, medium or long game (between say three months and a year of shows) would make Draft Mode a fun and replayable game.
Yes, there is already create a tournament, but this is something a little different. It’d be a more dynamic and changing game mode, probably played online and run by the developers: it’d play more like Overwatch’s Brawl of the Week mode with changing rules as to which characters you can play as; and could be themed to fit around current WWE TV.
The ultimate goal (and we admit this could be a pipe dream considering development times for rendering each wrestler and motion capturing unique moves) is for independent wrestlers to become available for a limited amount of time: imagine being able to actually play the next Cruiserweight Classic in full, with all non-WWE contracted stars available for the length of time the tournament is actually on air.
Even without this, we think the developers could have fun coming up with unique brackets and fun stipulations (assuming they ever allow those again – see the first article) using the standard in-game roster.
New (or returning) Match Types
Some of these are simple, others more unique concepts. Some have featured in the games before – and we can never understand the removing of match types that are already in the game – but all of these are all match types we’d really like to see added to the series which needs to add new match modes to avoid becoming stale:
Tag Team Turmoil
Come on, it’s been a staple of WWE Programming for years and would be easy to implement. In Part One we talked about the resurgence of tag team wrestling, so how about actually giving us a fairly common and standard variation of tag team wrestling?
Add Gauntlet matches for that matter, too.
The current limit of only 6 grapplers on screen might not be able to do the match justice, but with only a slight increase to on-screen characters – and seriously, how has that not increased in 15 years – another standard WWE Match could finally be added to the series.
Being thrown over the top to the lumberjacks could lead to one of two things: either a quick in match cut-scene with the chosen lumberjacks either helping or hindering the wrestler, or have the lumberjacks treated as normal interactive characters who can be attacked and countered at choice by the player/CPU who is on the outside. The latter is preferable, the former probably more doable for the developers.
They are both fairly silly WWE gimmick matches, but could be a lot of fun to play in video game; and with a fully customisable Universe Mode, who’s to say you don’t want to run a show full of outrageous created wrestlers participating in wacky gimmick matches? Why should the grey conformity of the current WWE 2K match stipulation system be allowed to continue to limit your imagination and fun?
Firstly, in a stretcher match you’d have to wear your opponent down enough to actually get him or her on the stretcher. Then, you have to wheel him up the ramp towards a white line: the game could implement a tug-of-war mechanic to simulate this. Get him over the white line and the match is won.
An Ambulance Match would add an extra mechanic with you wheeling the stretcher into the ambulance and trying to close the door: numerous mechanics could work for this including a Quick Time Event or an extended tug-of-war.
Recent games have allowed more fighting at ringside and with 2K17 returning Backstage Brawls, the opportunity is there to add these kinds of matches.
They used to be included in the old games of the series, but this time we’d like to see them back with a deeper layer of strategy. Again, you have to wear your opponent down first and either whip or drag them into the casket and then there is a mini-game to close the lid. A bigger wrestler would be harder to get into the casket but would once they’re in they are pretty much done, while a smaller competitor should be easier to get inside the casket but much more likely to spring out. Casket matches used to be a lot of fun, and they could be again. They could even work in the OMG moments system to allow you to Chokeslam/Tombstone/Superkick/AA etc your opponent into the casket.
3 stages of Hell
Again, why remove something that was in before? You can simulate a 2/3 falls match, but it isn’t the same. In 3 Stages of Hell, each fall has a different stipulation, from table to streetfight to cage to No DQ to..well, to whatever special stipulation matches are included in the game. It’s true the WWE uses them rarely, but as discussed in Part One that shouldn’t really be a consideration and some of the matches – like Austin vs. Triple H – still hold up as classics. There really is no reason to not include these anymore.
Slightly more of a dream scenario, but rumours persisted for years of a WCW themed Showcase mode, so how about allowing us to play WCW’s signature match? Ideally, the number of wrestlers on screen would need to increase, but current restrictions would allow a workable 3 v.s 3 variant. It would require programming a second ring, which should be achievable and then then the match uses similar concepts to an Elimination Chamber match. It’s a match tyoe which would have the older 2K players salivating, and done well, could be a real star attraction for the game. It’s presence also gives 2K and Yukes an easy-in for a WCW Character DLC pack and/or the return of Showcase mode featuring WCW legends.