E3 2014: WWE 2K15 Showcases the Power of NBA 2K Tech
Visual Concepts' first full development cycle on the WWE franchise will see the introduction of NBA 2K-level detail.
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Last year's entry in the WWE franchise--WWE 2K14--was in a weird spot. 2K secured the WWE license and essentially shipped the game that THQ and Yuke's were finishing before the former company closed its doors, giving Visual Concepts little time to put its mark on the 2K14 product. That's not the case with WWE 2K15. This year, the team at Visual Concepts wants to apply the same level of care it takes with the NBA 2K series to its WWE games.
Unfortunately, it's too early for 2K to show the game in action for any platform, but we did see some examples of the NBA 2K influence. For starters, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game will use the same head- and body-scanning techniques Visual Concepts used for NBA 2K15. 2K showed this in the form of an ultra-detailed model of John Cena's head--various bumps and scarring were immediately visible. While impressive by itself, seeing it side-by-side next to Cena's head model from last year made the leap in detail that much more apparent. There was also a brief demonstration of Cena's facial expressions that were bordering on uncanny valley levels of detail. 2K said that around 90 percent of the people planned for the roster have already been scanned, including WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan (who was announced as part of the roster at E3, along with Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, and Cena).
The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game won't have the benefit of the head- and body-scanning tech since it, according to 2K, was developed specifically for the PS4 and Xbox One hardware. Wrestler models will still see a major bump in overall detail, as evidenced by another side-by-side comparison between John Cena of 2K14 and the Cena of 2K15.
Visuals Concepts will also bring its extensive expertise in high-quality commentary to the table. The development team managed to not only get Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler on for the play-by-play, but also recorded both of them in the same room at the same time, creating an opportunity for natural banter that mimics what you might hear on TV. Indeed, according to 2K, this means the duo has about 50 times more lines than in previous games with about 30 to 35 hours of dialogue recorded in total.
And that's where things left off. No discussions of modes or gameplay specifics quite yet. 2K also teased some improvements in animation, so we're anxious to see that, as well as how improved character models and commentary will all come together before the game's release on October 28.