When I first installed WWE 2K on my Android tablet, my mind couldn’t fully grasp how exactly 2K games translated a wrestling game to a format that calls for touch screen controls. Then I started playing the game and realized to my disappointment: the worst thing about this game are, in fact, the controls. Obviously playing a wrestling game on a console with a controller is a fairly straight forward affair. On the touch screen, executing wrestling staples like Irish Whipping someone into the ropes or reversing a grapple move becomes a real headache.
Even playing for as long as I did, I never really got a handle on how to control my character. Matches often degenerate into frantic screen-tapping and swiping in order to reverse moves. (Which only seemed to work about a third of the time) I found that the best strategy was basically to beat the living hell out of my opponent with my fists and never letting them get a move in. Once they, did, it was pretty much downhill from there. I found myself celebrating minor victories like pulling off a simply signature move.
That isn’t to say the game has nothing to offer. It’s certainly the most graphically intense android game I have ever played. I was admittedly a little worried when I saw the wrestler’s abbreviated entrances because they were very choppy on my tablet, which gave me the idea that the graphics may have been a little too good for the likes of a mere mobile device. However, the matches I participated in were quite smooth affairs in comparison.
The game is comprised of a Career Mode, in which you take control of an established WWE superstar (or on that you create) and set goals for them as they piledrive their way to the upper echelons of the wrestling card. You can also play multiplayer matches, which I attempted a couple of times, but if you find the computer to be a formidable opponent, then you will no doubt have several squash matches against more experienced players online.
For first-time players starting a career run, I highly suggest picking an established WWE superstar for the first time. Your created wrestler will start with much lower stats than everyone else and most likely get beaten down through the mat if you don’t have a firm grasp of the controls and the various delays that they suffer from. However, there is a grove that I settled in a certain point.
The create-a-wrestler option of WWE 2K is a heavily stripped-down version of what you would expect to find in console version of the game. You can choose between a few faces, hair styles and attires. While it may lack depth, it is somewhat refreshing, as the console versions of the creation modes required a lot of time and effort to work through. This version is stream-lined, and you can create a character in less than ten minutes.
While the game is far from perfect, after playing it for about a half-an-hour, the wonky controls become less of a problem by virtue of experience and the career mode has more depth than you would expect from an android game. It’s worth a try if you are a fan of wrestling or the competitive fighting genre in general.
An interesting mobile game idea that could use a little bit more work in the controls department, but still rather well-produced.