It surprises nobody that the popular WWE franchise is getting another heap of downloadable content for this year’s installment, and for the most part things look nearly identical to last year’s offerings. Some new playable characters, some short new campaigns revolving around a particularly popular WWE star, and some new moves for both the iconic wrestlers in the title and the created characters present in the MyPlayer mode, a created character campaign (say that three times fast) that improves upon the MyCareer story from 2K15. 2K Games has revealed what exactly will be included in the $24.99 Season Pass for the title, and today we’ll not only review the contents of this bundle, but also what the contents within may mean for gamers and wrestling fans alike. I’ll be taking the released information about the Pass and presenting it to you piece by piece, giving my opinion on what this newest example of DLC culture has to offer.

Take note that all this information is taken from the Take-Two Interactive website, and is subject to change at any time. I am simply showing you the current plans for DLC and giving my opinion on each piece of it:

Accelerator

  • Players will gain instant access to all unlockable content available in the game (excluding downloadable content);
  • The Accelerator will be available for a suggested price of $1.99.

Right off the bat we have something a little foul, although not entirely unexpected in this day of plentiful DLC offerings. I may sound a bit like an old codger here, but back in my day we either unlocked things the old-fashioned way (ie. actually playing the game) or used a cheat code to get everything we wanted, both of which seem like reasonable ways to unlock stuff. For the gamer with lots of time on his hands and a hankering for that feeling of accomplishment once a special character is unlocked, they can just play through the title and get things naturally, but for the gamer who doesn’t have much time to sit down and meet the criteria for their favorite wrestlers, or those that just want to get into some cool match-ups with friends, they can hit some buttons in sequence and get all the content immediately. Locking this function behind a paywall might make sense for developers, as it allows gamers with little time on their hands to just pay their way to fun times with friends, but for something that’s been present in games for decades now to be so callously relegated to DLC is a shame. Like I mentioned before, it’s nothing new, but it’s still just as sad as the first time it happened. At least it’s not Battlefield 4’s paywall for unlocking content, which could cost nearly eighty dollars if you wanted to skip your way to the end, but it’s still something for 2K to milk players for, and people will likely buy it if they’ve got extra money in their pockets and not a lot of time to play. Thankfully, this is actually present in the Season Pass, so if you planned on buying all the DLC anyways, you pretty much get the Accelerator here for free considering the small price, and that’s a small consolation for players planning on getting downloadable content in the first place.

 

MyPlayer KickStart (PS4™ system and Xbox One Exclusive)

  • Players will gain instant access to boost created Superstar ratings and attributes in the game’s MyCareer mode;
  • MyPlayer KickStart will be available for a suggested price of $9.99.

This, however, is something far worse. Not included in the Season Pass (for obvious reasons, can’t have everybody paying to win, because then nobody is paying to win,) this KickStart DLC seems to be aimed towards those who want to buff their create-a-character in order to crush the opposition in online matches. It’s still unknown how the ratings and attributes exactly work, but for ten dollars it’s easy to assume that your created wrestler will get some unfair advantages in the early online play, likely putting them beyond the attribute levels of most of the included wrestlers and allowing you to take home some easy victories against those who didn’t pay up or put in the time required to actually improve your character’s skill level. This is purely speculation, but to have a DLC that is almost positively going to give some people an edge in online play is pretty despicable, and both the company and whoever buys this DLC are endorsing what may very well be cheating in exchange for dough.

Legends Pack

  • Playable WWE Legends: Big Boss Man, Dusty Rhodes, Lita, Mr. Perfect, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Trish Stratus;
  • The Legends Pack will be available for a suggested price of $8.99.

Now, I’m not a huge wrestling fan myself, but I know goddamn well who Rowdy Roddy Piper is. Slayer of aliens, friend of Keith David, the man immortalized as a costume set in Saint’s Row 4, Roddy Piper was a national treasure before his untimely death earlier this year, along with the moderately well-known Dusty Rhodes. Upon further research, all but the two female members of the Legends pack are deceased, two of which have died this year. These are some classic names being locked behind a paywall, but my main complaint here stems from those that have died in 2015. Keeping those iconic names behind a paywall when they’ve gained popularity in this past year because of their death just seems dirty, sullying the memory of these classic names and using them as objects to rake in more dough instead of wrestlers whose memories are to be respected, at least for a few years. Give Roddy and Rhodes some time to rest before you use them to sell more copies of WWE 2K16, yeah? They are legends of the wrestling world, but there are plenty of other wrestlers to draw from for this title that don’t have skin on their bones anymore.

 

2015 Hall of Fame Showcase

  • Playable matches include:
    • “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts;
    • Rikishi vs. The Rock;
    • Alundra Blayze vs. Paige;
    • Larry Zbyszko vs. Arn Anderson;
    • Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Ric Flair;
    • The Bushwhackers (Butch Miller and Luke Williams) vs. The Natural Disasters (Typhoon and Earthquake);
    • The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray);
  • The 2015 Hall of Fame Showcase will be available for a suggested price of $9.99.

Like Randy Savage, for instance! It’s been around four years since the Macho Man left this world to fight off interdimensional warmongers in the next, and his legend has had time to grow and develop. People remember the Macho Man now more than ever, and his confrontation against Jake Roberts is one even those who don’t follow wrestling culture (like myself) can remember. It was a highly-touted and popular match-up, and it remains as one of the only instances of wrestling I’ve ever seen because of it’s popularity. 2K16 is the perfect time to call back to that match, and is one of the only instances of this Season Pass where I can agree with it’s inclusion. The rest of this, however, looks to be a little more lacking for the ten dollar price tag. There’s an excuse to sell The Rock on there, along with ways to shill Ric Flair and Booker T, which is around five well-known wrestlers for ten dollars, coupled with around thirteen more unrecognizable names. Those who follow the wrestling world to the death will likely find plenty to like in this pack, and it’s definitely one of the ones to recommend if you actually do decide to pick up DLC for this year’s WWE game.

New Moves Pack

  • More than 30 new moves, including the Corner Enzuigiri (made popular by WWE Diva Nikki Bella), Avalanche Ram (made popular by WWE Diva Paige), Sidewinder Suplex (made popular by WWE and NXT Superstar Kevin Owens), Standing Crossface Chickenwing (made popular by WWE Superstar Stardust) and Dragon Sleeper (made popular by NXT Superstar Finn Bálor);
  • The New Moves Pack will be available for a suggested price of $3.99.

This one is relatively harmless, I think. While the earlier instances of DLC shown here ran the gamut from disrespecting the dead in favor of more moolah to some decent names and match-ups in wrestling, this one is primarily for those wrestling fans that want to play around with more techniques for their created wrestlers. I don’t understand why the aforementioned Paige’s moves are included in this DLC instead of the previous one, as including the signature techniques of the included Hall of Fame cast seems like a given, but one move restricted off seems no more harmful than the downloadable content for Dragon Ball Xenoverse, where the playable characters in the game had their own unique techniques that were only unlocked in the DLC, and although it may cause a stir in the community it will likely end up forgotten in the sea of other unlockable moves for your MyPlayer.

Future Stars Pack

  • Playable NXT Superstars: Samoa Joe, Diego, Fernando, Blake and Murphy;
  • The Future Stars Pack will be available for a suggested price of $7.99.

Well, uh, as somebody who follows wrestling culture very, very infrequently, I guess I don’t really have anything to complain about here. I don’t know what WWE NXT even is, much less who the wrestlers included are, so this one is the most harmless of the bunch. If you like these characters and want to play as them in 2K16, buy them, otherwise, there’s plenty more on offer. I’m honestly quite neutral towards this one, although I’m not sure if that’s because of my lack of knowledge of wrestling culture or because this is honestly the best DLC pack of the bunch, at least in terms of business morals.

So that’s what this year’s WWE game has to offer in terms of downloadable content, along with my opinion on the varying pieces contained within it. One thing people may notice is the lack of Hulk Hogan, which is unsurprising considering his blatantly racist remarks earlier this year and subsequent detachment from WWE, but some players may still be saddened at his loss considering his prominent position in the annals of wrestling history. I think that the concept of a Season Pass is a waste of time as is, but this one seems quite lacking aside from a few well-known names contained in the Hall of Fame Showcase and the Legends Pack. I would recommend the Hall of Fame and the New Moves more than anything else here, considering how they add in some reasonable content with a decent price tag, but avoid the Accelerator and the KickStart like the plague, as they are clearly detrimental towards gaming as a whole and will only become more prominent if supported.

Also, locking the Terminator behind a paywall is garbage. Nobody DOESN’T want to play as the Governator, 2K, just make him a delicious piece of bonus content instead of a separate purchase or pre-order.

Source: Take-Two Interactive