WWE 2K15 signifies as the start of a "new generation", which focuses on turning the franchise into a true wrestling game rather than "a fighting game with WWE Superstars in it." The new chain wrestling mini-game has been implemented (exclusive to current generation consoles and PC only) to make matches play out more realistically. Pressing the grapple button at the beginning of the match will initiate a collar-and-elbow tie up. At the beginning of the tie up, each opponent will press one of three face buttons to place their opponent into a side headlock, a wrist lock or a waist lock with a rock-paper-scissors style outcome. (Headlock beats Wrist lock, Wrist lock beats Waist lock, Waist lock beats Headlock.) Whomever wins will place their opponent in the corresponding hold, while both players rotate the right analog stick (space + movement keys on PC) to find a "sweet spot". If the attacker finds it first, they'll perform a move, if the defender finds it first, they'll gain the upper hand. Additionally, the attacking wrestler can strike or wrench the opponent's limb, making it harder for them to find the sweet spot. This mini-game only happens 2-3 times during the match and can be turned off via the options menu. Strikes have returned to their normal speed, with the improved collision and selling animations from the opponent. Unlike in previous games, superstars will not stand up immediately, after taking a bump or slam. They will occasionally stay down for seconds based on their stamina.
This game also introduces the three-tier stamina meter, which controls the pace of a match. Through each move the player performs, especially striking and running, will drain the stamina meter. During the first tier, the wrestler will be full of energy and perform moves easily. During the second tier, the wrestler will begin to slow down. In the third tier, the wrestler will be completely exhausted, even being unable to perform their finishing moves should it drop too low. The stamina meter can also be turned off or adjusted to drain more slowly, and will slowly regenerate as long as a meter is not depleted. The game's submission system has been revamped. The "Breaking Point" gauge has been replaced with a two part circular gauge. The mechanic of the system remains mostly the same, but players only have to mash a single button rather than all four. Wake-up taunt finishers are now known as "Charged Finishers" which combines the taunt & finisher into a single animation by pressing and holding the finisher button when the opponent is grounded and then releasing it when they're on their feet (whereas on PC, holding the key is not necessary). Signature moves can now be stored as well. Catch and Catapult finishers have also returned. Both fighting styles and skill sets have been brought in to ensure that the characters behave more like their real-life counterparts. For example, high flyers like Rey Mysterio will not do power moves and will focus on diving and springboard moves while giants like Big Show cannot climb the turnbuckle and will focus on power moves. Superstars who cannot climb to the top rope can climb to the second rope and deliver moves such as Bret Hart's elbow drop or Big Show's slingshot body splash.
Gameplay on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions remains largely the same blueprint as previous entries in the series. However, new rosters, new arenas, new championship titles and new contents have been introduced.
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