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Liam DunneFebruary 16th, 2015BlogComments Off on Is WWE Immortals Better Than 2K15?

Is WWE Immortals Better Than 2K15?

It’s funny isn’t it? No other industry seems to be able to cross over into different gaming genres as much as Pro Wrestling. Do you think we will ever see a UFC style platformer inspired by the Crash Bandicoot games? Or football players in the FIFA games take to the front lines, Call Of Duty style.

No… because that would be dumb. And you would lose all credibility as a creative individual and end up taking a minimum wage job at McDonalds.

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Achievement Unlocked: You fucked up your dreams.

But for some reason, wrestling, and in particular WWE, seem to be able to get away with it. My first experience with a non wrestling WWE game (or should that just be WE then?) was way back on the GameBoy Color . WWF Betrayal featured 4 playable wrestlers: Triple H, Undertaker, Steve Austin and The Rock. At the start of the game you find your player and their arch rival (depending on who you choose) face off in a championship match, you’re about to win but UH-OH a third character runs in and hits you with some weapon and causes you to lose. So in an act of revenge you go off looking for the perpetrator, all the way attacking innocent referees, policemen and general members of the public with crowbars and other deadly weapons… because unprovoked assault is a-okay in the wrestling world.

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And Die Hard inspired moments… apparently

The game is heavily inspired by beat-em-up’s, particularly the Streets Of Rage series. Now you can kind of see the link between beat-em-ups and pro wrestling. I mean fighting and foreign objects and over-the-top storylines. It seems like a natural pathway to make a wrestling game that features pretty much no wrestling.

But you know what doesn’t seem like a natural pathway. A Demolition Derby style game. Welcome to the bizarre video game known as WWE Crush Hour! A game where you put all your favourite characters into vehicles with fire arms and bombs and kill the shit out of each other. Only to be resurrected like Jesus Christ packing a shit ton of nukes in a monster truck.

Now the story behind WWE Crush Hour involves Vince McMahon buying every network in America, because apparently he’s richer than Bill Gates and there isn’t a single person who has a problem with him doing this, and… well that’s it. Go kill each other. The End!

But seriously, I wish I could have been a part of that pitch to THQ. I genuinely think it was a prank, like the guy lost a bet or something and he had to pitch that as part of his stipulation for losing. Or maybe he was hung over and thought of the idea on the spot. Or maybe THQ genuinely thought there was a gap in the market for a video game involving stage combat actors and cars shooting at each other. I don’t really understand the idea behind it, and I don’t think the general public did either. Crush Hour 2 was apparently announced, because THQ apparently has amazing foresight abilities, but nothing ever came from it.

So after Crush Hour, WWE went back to doing what they do, which is Wrestling. The wrestling games for the next few years stuck to the formula that had been implemented in the first SmackDown! Game and evolved over the next dozen games since then. Yes they released WWE All Stars, but, to be honest, it pretty much qualifies as a wrestling game. Yes it is over the top but so is wrestling, and the characters look like they’ve been on steroids since the womb, but at the heart of it lies the sense that the game knows its roots, very much similar to Betrayal, a unique and different take on the wrestling industry and product.

So now, nearly 700 words into this article, I finally am getting onto the topic that I originally wanted to talk about which is WWE Immortals. That new mobile game where WWE becomes Mortal Kombat but without all the cool stuff basically.

With everything I’ve stated before, with Betrayal and Crush Hour and even All Stars you will probably assume that I’ll tear this game a brand new one for being so bizarre and over-the-top. However chances are you’ve probably read the title of this article and, thus, realise you would be incorrect and need to get your short term memory checked out by a doctor, because that shit isn’t healthy.

In particular though, I feel that this game is better than the recently released WWE 2K15. In fact I’d dare say I think it’s better than most of the games WWE has released in recent years.

The game is essentially a carbon copy of the Injustice: Gods Among Us mobile game, but swapping out Batman and Joker for John Cena and Brock Lesnar. Now I’m a fan of the former game mentioned too, and explaining why would explain why Immortals is superior to pretty much most things 2K and THQ have produced thus far. It all boils down to 1 single word: strategy.

You see, in the main WWE wrestling games, it’s pretty straight forward. You go in, land a few moves, block some of their stuff, hit a finisher and win the match. But Immortals adds depths and layers to that. It starts out simple, much like its predecessor Injustice, you have a team of three characters and use them to face another team of three characters and punch the shit out of each other. But as you progress up the ladders, and your opponents get harder, you need to start thinking about how to tackle them.

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“Sweet Chin Music! The Billionaire Boyhood Dream Has Come True!”

Each character levels up in the game, when you reach certain levels you will unlock a new “Super Move”, which can deal a drastic amount of damage to an opponent. From there you can upgrade the power of these super moves with in game currency. If you get the same character twice you can combine them to give them “Legendary” status and makes them even stronger. Each character contains a special ability unique to them. Big Show, for example, can cause a small amount of damage to an opponent every time he enters the battle field because he’s fat and causes Earthquakes. Trish on the other hand, if paired with a male character, gives them a 10% boost in health because, I dunno, they’ve all been busting a nut over her or something. I didn’t make the rules okay? There is even an ally and rival system to the game where pairing two characters together will create bonus’ or handicaps. Sheamus and Big Show are allies, so if they enter a battle together on the same side, they give each other a 5% boost in health and strength. But rivals, such as Trish Stratus and Paige (who have never even met… go figure) will give each other a 10% boost in adrenaline, making them reach their Super Moves faster, but at the cost of losing 10% of their defence stat. Now from here you can either stick to your original three characters and raise them to be badasses whilst neglecting whatever characters you are given afterwards. Or level them up all together by swapping out characters but, ultimately, takes longer to progress up a ladder. And don’t forget, that the computer and even other real life players can use these tactics on you too, meaning you may have to readjust the way you battle to counter act their strategy.

The game, however, is not perfect as you may suspect. Of course one of the major issues I think we all have with it is to do with the roster. I’m not talking specifically of the size of it, yes it’s a much smaller roster compared to something like 2K14, heck even to 2K15. Injustice even has more characters, but that has been out for much longer and, due to the rich heritage of the comic books lore they can bring in different versions of characters such as Red Son Superman and Arkham City Batman. But I’m not complaining about the size. I mean did we honestly think that somebody like Heath Slater would make the cut into this? What I do mean though, are the people they chose. John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan and, heck, even The Rock make sense to use in this game. But Trish Stratus? She’s been retired for years, and the last appearance she had in WWE was at the Hall Of Fame 2014. Both Bella twins? I get they are the two top diva’s right now but they are basically the same person, just one has bigger tits that are as fake as her personality. What about AJ Lee? Just because she’s out recovering the game developers forgot she existed? Explains why Randy Orton didn’t make the cut either. I’m not even a fan of Orton’s but to consider he’s one of the top guys in the company, probably bigger than Sheamus, and he doesn’t get added?

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Sadly the fetus was not a bonus unlockable character. Maybe DLC?

Also, the story. Let’s just discuss this for a moment okay? So you thought Vince buying all the networks was a weird plot devise for a video game, then prepare yourself. This entire game is the result of Bray Wyatt’s lamp… just read that sentence again. I’ll wait. Back? Cool. Yeah, that’s the plot. Basically it’s not a prop he uses in his entrance, it’s got Comic Book Infinity-Stone-esque properties that the Authority steals to open up portals to other dimensions and… then… well… FIGHT. Yeah there isn’t much of an explanation after that as to why they are fighting each other, they just… are.

Overall though, NetherRealm Studios accomplished something that hasn’t been done in a while. They made me care about a video game. Yes it’s just as silly as something like Crush Hour, seeing Roman Reigns literally dressed like a Roman Soldier, or Daniel Bryan as a half man/half goat creature thing. But it does something that Crush Hour didn’t do, it was fun. It does something that 2K and THQ in general couldn’t do, add complexity and depth to a wrestling based game and it does something I never thought any company could do, which is make a decent game for free. In all genuine honesty, if this game was released on home consoles, like All Stars before it, I would have bought the game on opening day.

Now, can I pitch Betrayal 2 to anybody? This one involves violence against women and straight up murder!

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When he’s not complaining about wrestling or boasting that he worked on Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Liam likes to take to his twitter account to retweet Simpsons related quotes and crap nobody actually gives a shit about. Check him out @LiamDunneEditor

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