Call of Duty is a series that's getting stagnant. This latest edition is a solid shooter, with highly tuned mechanics, an addictive multiplayer offering, and a plethora of content to play through – but it very much feels like a familiar game with a few minor adjustments. The new Extinction mode is particularly good, but it's the highlight in a title that's following a tired recipe. Fans of the series will enjoy Call of Duty: Ghosts regardless, but those of you looking for something new will have to dig out those night vision goggles and search elsewhere.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes would undoubtedly make a powerful introductory mission to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, so it seems a little insidious of Konami to hold it to ransom. That being said, we really can't fault what little we played – as far as the mechanics and design are concerned – but although the additional content does go some way towards sweetening the pot, we find it difficult to recommend this on those merits alone. Although long-time fans of the series are likely to pick it up regardless, we believe that this single mission should never have been released on its own.
With a career mode that's well executed and a presentation style that's almost without fault, EA Sports UFC comes out swinging on Sony's newest console. Sadly, the title's complicated controls make this a difficult title to pick up and play, but with the groundwork well laid, this new challenger hints at plenty of promise for the future.
Despite great advances in graphical fidelity and core gameplay, there's not enough here to make up for WWE 2K15's stripped back features, teensy roster, and mind numbing My Career mode. The series' PS4 debut is very much a case of one step forward, two steps back – and while it lays the groundwork for a great game, 2K Sports has a lot of work to do to unlock it.
From start to finish, Bloodborne revels in its unique – if somewhat masochistic – approach to entertainment. There are very few games that cause you to curse their developer one minute and sing their praises the next – but this is one of them. It is, quite simply, a sensationally designed and superbly refined offering.
WWE 2K16 definitely makes some strides in the right direction, but with Showcase mode becoming a little stale and Career Mode somehow taking a step back, it's clear that 2K is very much still getting to grips with the series. The gameplay is getting better and presentation-wise there's not a great deal that needs improving, but it's going to be a while before we see the publisher with championship gold around its waist.
Perhaps as much as anything else, we feel angry at WWE 2K20 for robbing us of precious time as we circle the swirling vortex of death. It's completely bewildering that a game of this magnitude has been released in such a state, and whether you want to pin the blame on outgoing developers, poor management, or a rushed development cycle, there is absolutely no denying that this title needed more time in the oven. We initially wondered why 2K weren't that keen to send us their latest WWE title, but after playing one of the highest profile flops of 2019, we're starting to understand why.
WWE 2K22 is the return to form the WWE 2K series has desperately needed. Skipping 2K21 and delaying the release by five months may have caused the roster to be largely outdated, but the game is stable, plays great, and is practically bursting at the seams with content. An excellent Rey Mysterio Showcase really bolsters the experience, and every other mode (perhaps with the exception of MyFaction) sets a strong foundation for WWE games to come.
After a tumultuous few years of WWE releases, 2K and Visual concepts have finally been able to begin building on the solid foundations of last year's game. WWE 2K23 isn't a huge step up from 2K22 with long load times and a surprisingly unpolished Showcase Mode for John Cena, but the series has still shown growth, considering War Games is pure chaos and MyRise is much improved. The future is once again bright for WWE and 2K, and so WWE 2K23 should be celebrated by fans as though they've just won their first world championship.