Real Talk By: KJ
Here is the first WWE title officially underneath the 2K branding. 14′ is a game that ill admit, seemed like the same game. At least on paper anyways. The promo videos, graphics, all screamed ’13 to me. Is that the case? Did Yukes include enough content this time around?
The game’s roster, while missing a few current stars and some from the past, is pretty large. This is possibly the best Wrestler list in history. Not only that, this is the first time where wrestlers from all era’s, have been taken care of. Older games featuring legends felt out-of-place. I guess because the other titles were so up to date with their presentations, throwing older grapplers into the mix seemed awkward. Now we have special themed stages that are true to specific time periods.
The development team remade Wrestlemania sets from every year of its existence, incorporating old school screen filters. You can wrestle as Hogan against Sheamus in an 1980’s setting, making “what if” scenarios more satisfying. Another thing handled well, is the music. Depending on the character’s gimmick at that time, their theme music could have changed. Hulk Hogan’s “Real American”, or Hollywood Hogan’s “Rockhouse”. Lots of sound choices. It also gives Created Wrestlers more theme options.
30 Years of Wrestlemania is a lengthy single player mode. If you remember the attitude era part of WWE ’13, it plays the same way. You can simply win the match to progress. If you want to unlock alternate costumes, characters and more venues though, everything on the match checklist should be completed. It’s worth it. Seeing classic moments reenacted in video game format is pretty cool. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s blood soaked face as he refuses to give up to Bret hart’s Sharpshooter. Or Ultimate Warrior Capturing both Titles in the classic champion vs champion match.
It wouldn’t be Wrestlemania without Undertaker. This is the games biggest mission. There is a “Defeat the Streak” challenge. Pick any character you want, and win at WM XXX. He will try everything under the sun to defeat you. He could be on his way towards defeat, then the screen goes black. Suddenly Taker has a new burst of energy. Expect to get owned on the first few tries. The other Deadman themed mode, is “Defend the Streak”. Players will run the Gauntlet taking on superstar after superstar. How far did you go?
Overall control is almost identical to last year’s game. If you didn’t like match pacing, or the counter system, there isn’t anything that’s going to change your mind. I will say the transitions between moves has really tightened up. Graphics have improved slightly. You’ll notice the WWE’s Marquis players just look better than the rest. Cena, Rock, Orton, ext. I expect next year’s game to be Next-Gen with NBA 2K14 caliber visuals. Cause, well, it needs to be.
Online remains a mixed bag and it still requires a ten-dollar online pass. Some rooms are smooth, others are shaky, making it infuriating to land reversals at times. I did expect more since 2k is now running the show.
WWE 2K14 in theory is last year’s game, but has just enough content to feel worth it. The game takes into account the past and present of this profession. In doing so, puts together a quality mode in 30 Years of Wrestlemania. The overload of features may offset the gameplay deja vu. At least for the hardcore wrestling fans. Others should rent, to see which side of the cage you land on.
WWE 2K14 Gets
Out of Five
+30 Years of Wrestlemania Mode/Undertaker Streak missions
+Great Roster even without the season pass
-Core Gameplay feels the same