Wrestling & MMA

Stone Cold Steve Austin, WWE divas, superstars at ‘WWE 2K16’ event during SummerSlam Weekend

A packed house for a ‘WWE 2K16’ video game promotional event during WWE SummerSlam Weekend at New York’s Capitale. Media from around the world lined-up to interview WWE superstars, including The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young).
A packed house for a ‘WWE 2K16’ video game promotional event during WWE SummerSlam Weekend at New York’s Capitale. Media from around the world lined-up to interview WWE superstars, including The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young). Photo By Nick Mayberry

The superstars and divas of WWE walked the red carpet at New York’s Capitale in celebration of the upcoming “WWE 2K16” video game and season two of “WWE SuperCard” for mobile devices.

Stone Cold Steven Austin -- who is featured on the cover of “WWE 2K16” and is highlighted in the 2K Showcase -- was the guest of honor for the event on Friday, Aug. 21 during SummerSlam Weekend in NYC.

The iconic WWE Hall of Famer spoke to media from around the world in attendance for the first-impressions event. He was excited to look back at many milestone moments in his career through the game. Austin was also happy Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler provided the commentary for the matches, as they did back in the “Attitude Era.”

Austin was joined that evening by big name talent such as WWE world champion Seth Rollins, the Bella Twins, the Prime Time Players, NXT champion Finn Bálor, King Barrett, Sheamus, Xavier Woods, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose and Lilian Garcia.

The game features more than 120 characters (not including DLC), which is the largest for a WWE game, ever. Mark Little, senior producer, been a part of the sports entertainment juggernaut franchise since 2K took over from in 2014. It has been full-steam ahead ever since.

“It was a double transition,” Little said. “We had different design sensibilities and ideas of what we wanted to do. On top of that it was a platform transition. So a lot of it the last couple of years has been making the right changes to the game and taking it in a direction we are excited about it going in. ‘WWE2K16’ is definitely showing the path that we are on and expect moving forward.

“…One of the things we really focused on is doing a lot of things and doing them really well. We don’t want do a lot and not do a good job with it. So this year with the huge roster we have that was one of the conversations we had upfront. How are we going to be able to do this and improve the gameplay and push the other features of the game? A lot of it came down to our approach to staffing and going about building the game. In the end its hard work and you got to have that passion and really want to build the best game possible.”

Given the short time picking up the controller and playing, it’s mission accomplished. The Finn Bálor entrance as the Demon is one example of the incredible detail the developer went to raise its own bar and push boundaries like never before. There are endless possibilities when it comes to matches, as well as a new level of realism the game brings. There are small nuances with the chain wrestling, reversals and other elements to add to feeling you are in the ring. That is besides actually taking bumps yourself.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is gameplay,” Little said. “We talk about the three pillars all the time and it’s visuals, presentation and gameplay. For me, I always want the game to play amazing. So for me, a lot of the changes made with the reversal system, submission mechanics and just the overall play style of the game. It’s really good. It’s really positive. I think a lot of people are going to like it when they get their hands on it. “

Harley Howe, co-studio head at Cat Daddy Games (which developed WWE SuperCard in conjunction with Visual Concepts), answered questions at the event and welcomed attendees to play the game with an expansive roster. Much like “WWE 2K16,” the deck of cards has a roster of new NXT superstars and divas to choose from like Samoa Joe and Hideo Itami. The popularity of the game has led to 7.5 million downloads and counting.

Here is a rundown of all the new features in the latest installment of “WWE 2K16”:

  • Largest Roster Ever: Offering more than 120 unique playable characters, including cover Superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin alongside Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Bad News Barrett, Paige and Finn Bálor, “WWE 2K16” includes the largest roster in WWE games history
  • The roster contains an unprecedented combination of current WWE Superstars and Divas, emerging NXT talent, WWE Hall of Famers and WWE alumni from multiple eras
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator: Fans who pre-order at any participating retailer will receive two exclusive playable versions of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator:
  • T-800 fromThe Terminator and T-800 fromTerminator 2: Judgment Day
  • 2K Showcase: The franchise's popular story-based mode returns, enabling players to relive iconic matches and moments in WWE history. Along the way, they will complete objectives to unlock legendary characters, entrance and ring gear, match types and unlockables.
  • MyCareer: The franchise's career-driven mode, now in its second year, will see players define their legacies by making critical choices while rising through the ranks from NXT to WWE to earn a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. In addition, they will train, compete against others, conduct personality-driven interviews, interfere with rivals and/or form the ultimate tag team.
  • Creation Suite: Building on last year's foundation, Creation Suite deepens the player's arsenal with new feature options, including Create a Diva, Create a Championship, Create an Arena, and Create a Show. Key improvements have also been made to existing fan-favorite offerings, including Create a Superstar, Create an Entrance, Superstar Studio and Community Creations.
  • WWE Universe: “WWE 2K16” makes core improvements to stories, rivals and match card selections. In addition, for the first time, Superstars can be assigned to multiple shows, enabling players to have a broader experience.
  • Online:Completely overhauled based on fan feedback, “WWE 2K16” will provide users with multiple ways to play online with the WWE Games community, including an improved matchmaking system
  • Soundtrack: Players can customize their in-game music through the addition of Superstar entrance music to the “WWE 2K16” Jukebox. Additional in-game music will be announced later this year.
  • Gameplay Improvements: “WWE 2K16” will build upon last year's foundation, including key enhancements and innovations based on critical and consumer feedback, to deliver the strongest WWE gameplay experience to date:
  • Improved Controls: The controls and move library were overhauled to cleanly separate strikes from grapples. This change provides players with more control over the exact type of attacks they want to initiate in every situation.”WWE 2K16” also includes new attack positions, such as seated, to increase options for how players attack while experiencing greatly improved attacks outside the ring near barricades. Opponents will now react more accurately to their environment.
  • New Reversal System: The reversal system has been reworked to improve the overall flow of the match and also create a new level of strategy during the matches. Each Superstar has a limited number of reversals he or she can perform that recharge over time, meaning players might not want to simply try and reverse every attack. In addition, “WWE 2K16” introduces Major and Minor reversals for select moves. Minor reversals are easier to perform and only require a single reversal stock. Major reversals are more challenging to perform; however, they yield a much greater reward than damage. Successful Major Reversals weaken the opponent in various ways and provide a new way to swing the momentum of the match in one's favor.
  • New Pin System: The new pin system starts with an entirely new pin mini-game and offers a variety of new pin variations and reactions.If the opponent kicks out, a Superstar may react to the near pin fall and gesture to the referee in frustration. In addition, “WWE 2K16” introduces dirty pins and rope breaks. Dirty pins allow players to use the ropes to their advantage to try and pin their opponents. There is a chance the referee may see this and call off the pin attempt. Rope Breaks are another way to get out of pin attempt but rely on the referee seeing the player grab the ropes. In line with WWE live events and programming, there is no guarantee what the referee is going to see during a match.
  • Chain Wrestling: New positions and attributes allow players to distinguish Superstars from one other. There can also be ties during a lockup; during the tie, there can be a clean break from the tie-up or a cheap shot from either the player or the opponent.
  • Working Holds: Working holds are new for “WWE 2K16” and provide players with a way to regain stamina while depleting their opponents' stamina. Just like on WWE programming, Working Holds provide a way to collect one's self in the middle or late part of a match and prepare for the next plan of attack.
  • Improved AI: “WWE 2K16” sees big improvements to the AI for Superstars, referees and managers. For example, managers can now engage during matches by either trying to distract the referee or get his attention to help out in the match. In addition, significant changes are included for match-specific AI, including Tag Team matches.
  • More Match Types: Many match types of been added for “WWE 2K16,” including Ladder, handicap and tornado tag matches.
  • Dynamic Entrances: With the improved presentation flow for matches, players are now able to take control of their Superstars during the entrances and have the option to attack their opponents before the match even starts. Why wait for the bell? In “WWE 2K16”, players can decide when they are ready for action.
  • Additional Improvements: “WWE 2K16” also includes an improved Submission system and a vast number of new moves to create an even more engaging gameplay experience.
  • Overall Enhancements: “WWE 2K16” improves upon authenticity across the board, including:
  • New Commentary Team: For the first time, a three-man team is now a part of the franchise, with John "Bradshaw" Layfield, new to “WWE 2K16” joining returning commentators Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler. Thousands of new lines were recorded, primarily in side by side studio sessions, ensuring authentic interactions among the trio.
  • Visual Upgrades: This year's title features several thousand new animations. WWE Superstar and Diva appearance are also been updated, including implementation of a full cloth physics system, enabling attire to appear and respond as realistically as possible. Improved crowd variety, as well as more realistic sweat, better hair and hair physics round out the visual enhancements.
  • Broadcast Presentation: Gone are loading screens between entrances and the start of matches; instead, the camera pans the arena and over to the commentary team for thoughts on the upcoming match. Significant improvements were also made to overall match presentation and flow, including new crowd members.

- “WWE 2K16” comes out Oct. 28 in the United States and Oct. 30 internationally.

- “WWE SuperCard” season two is available now.

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