Finally, WWE has released a simulation wrestling game for the mobile screen. The popular 2K series has come to iOS and Android, yet it doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Much like a big-budget summer blockbuster, it has all the bells and whistles, but no soul.
WWE 2K for mobile costs $7.99, so it’s not a cheap game by any standard, especially when you compare it with the other recent free-to-play offering from the wrestling stable, WWE Immortals (read our review). So should you be putting down your hard-earned cash for this one?
What’s WWE 2K All About?
There have been some glorious wrestling games in the past, and if a proper wrestling game is what you desire, then WWE 2K ticks every checkbox. The action is in a regular wrestling ring and features some of the biggest names from the roster of superstars, including John Cena, Roman Reigns, The Big Show, Batista, Daniel Bryan, Hulk Hogan, Sting, The Undertaker and Triple H, among others.
The developers have done a great job of modelling the characters and they look pretty close to the real thing. They even have the exaggerated entrances before every match, as well as their signature moves and finishers.
WWE 2K even offers different styles of combat. You have to pin your opponent in a traditional match and there’s a no-disqualification (No-DQ) match, where you can use chairs and sticks to pummel your opponent. There’s also a cage match where your objective is to climb out of the cage to win.
How Does It Play on a Small Screen?
Sadly, WWE 2K fails on the actual gameplay. The touch controls have a lot of variety, but are boring. It’s best to go through the Training course to learn them all.
Tap on your opponent to go close to him, or swipe in one of the four directions to run that way and bounce against the ropes. You can swipe towards any of the four turnbuckles to climb it and perform an aerial attack—but it’s best to do this when your opponent is out cold, or he will reverse your attack to cause you much pain.
To hit your opponent, tap on him repeatedly. Pinch in on the screen to grapple him, and then swipe in one of the four directions to execute a maneuver. If you have been grappled, you can reverse it by predicting which direction the opponent will swipe. Similarly, if an opponent is about to punch you, you can parry an attack with the right timing, with a two-finger tap on the screen.
You can Irish whip an opponent, drop an elbow on him when he’s down, kick out of a pin, and do most of the stuff you see on WWE TV. You need to do all of this to build up your ability to execute signatures and finishers, while making sure your health meter is good enough to keep fighting.
The combat options are actually quite varied, as you can see. However, they fail to make for an engrossing game. They feel clunky at best, unnecessarily complex at worst. There are some great mobile games with phenomenal touch controls now, so this is a disappointing effort from developer Take-Two.
The gameplay is repetitive, you’ll figure out the right combination of hits and grappling in no time to keep advancing without breaking a sweat. In fact, the AI is ridiculously easy and never feels like a challenge.
Career Mode, Multiplayer, and Other Boring Things
WWE 2K’s career mode asks you to make your own character, which has some customization options like facial hair, build, outfit, and so on. It’s nowhere near as detailed as what you get on consoles and you look quite generic in the end.
The objective of the career mode is to keep battling WWE Superstars and rise in the rankings, so that you can get into the Hall Of Fame. At any point, you will get to battle an opponent who is either the same rank as you or a couple of ranks higher. And trust me, you can win these fights without trying hard. The game is just far too easy and you never feel like you are even struggling.
You keep advancing, earning championship belts along the way, and unlocking superstars or features for your own character. The career mode feels pointless, to be honest. If I didn’t have to write this review, I would have given up on it a long time ago.
WWE tries to spice things up and give you incentive with pre-battle cards claiming things like, “Roman Reigns insulted you and the banter has gone on for too long. Let’s put an end to this.” But the text doesn’t do anything to invoke any feeling. Instead, just using a clip of Reigns would have been so much better, though some might say his mic skills would make that undesirable as well.
There’s also a multiplayer mode, to go one-on-one with your friends on Game Center. Three times, I tried to activate a battle with someone else online, but Game Center failed to find anyone all three times. There are too few players in the WWE 2K world to make multiplayer fun, at the moment. If online fun is what you’re looking for, check out the 10 best cross-platform multiplayer games for mobiles.
WW Without the E
WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment. Entertainment. Let’s say that again, for emphasis: Entertainment! Apparently someone forgot to tell Take-Two.
WWE 2K is downright boring and a complete waste of your money. Heck, it’s a waste of your time, space, and Internet bandwidth. Even if it was free to play, I wouldn’t advise downloading WWE 2K. Paying $7.99 for this? You have got to be kidding me.
(Don’t) Download: WWE 2K for iOS ($7.99)
(Don’t) Download: WWE 2K for Android ($7.99)
Instead, you are better off downloading WWE Immortals for free, or any fantastic free-to-play games that are actually free.
Have you played WWE 2K yet? What did you think of it? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.