WWE 2K14

Posted On: 11/17/2013  Publisher: 2K Games

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The future of WWE in videogames was in question for only a short period of time when THQ shutdown last year. 2K quickly swept in and grabbed the license and suddenly Yukes Entertainment and many of the former THQ staff were back in business and hard at work creating the next WWE game known now as WWE 2K14. Falling under the familiar 2K Sports brand, wrestling once again has a brand new life to look forward to in the video game industry. Much of the game will seem familiar and resemble WWE 13 and there is not a ton of new additions to the game, but at least the game has not regressed in quality after the acquisition.

Thankfully, many of the folks that worked on the game at THQ continued to work on the game for 2K and it definitely shows up in the quality overall. The theme for this yearís game falls heavily upon 30 years of Wrestlemania and former WWE Superstars. If you have any interest in wrestling or did when you were younger than this is definitely a game you could be interested in and love. I know I have enjoyed just watching some of the WWE produced video segments in the game.

Visually, the game is top notch throughout with the exception of one thing. The crowd. Now, at a distance the crowd looks fantastic even with the repetition throughout but when you get a close up shot of crowd members itís not such a pretty sight. But the wrestlers look amazing from a distance and close up. I love how you can actually see their true personalities shine as they stroll to the ring or showboat in the middle of the ring. Every entrance looks and feels like something you would see on the WWE. Even the old school wrestlers like Andre the Giant lumber to the ring as they did back in the day.

 
 

So as I stated, with most of the original folks working on the game WWE 2K14 does not miss a beat when it comes to gameplay. Over the years, the game has significantly got better and better each year in terms of smooth and realistic wrestling moves which makes each and every match fun and very believable. Now as with real wrestling there are some things that are just over the top but that is what makes this game fun. Combining some of the arcade style gameplay with realism definitely bodes well for this game and it gets away from feeling monotonous. Now unfortunately the AI is pretty unpredictable in this game as to whether or not it will be good or not. At times, the AI reacts as you would expect and pulls off some spectacular moves but there are other times when I just scratch my head and wonder what the heck is going on. Theyíll also go on quick bursts of activity and put you down for a while even if you were dominating the match. Ok, so yes that happens in real life but it just doesnít seem to fit here sometimes. Overall though, the AI and gameplay is definitely solidified and has made some progress forward. That makes for a much more enjoyable game for sure.

Each wrestler uses default controls to pull of standard moves as well as special moves. Some wrestlers, such as the old school folks donít have quite the extensive library of moves as the newer generation but thatís the way it should be. There are moments in each match when you can pull off Signature moves fluidly with the press of a button and then an awesome Finisher that presents itself as a cool cinematic as you pummel your opponent. I especially enjoyed the addition of 2-man moves in the game as well which looks pretty darn cool. Again, there are some things that are a bit over the top but thatís professional wrestling folks so it works. At times the game seems to teeter on trying to be realistic and trying to be an arcade style fighting game.

Creation mode is back once again and its relatively untouched for the most part. Some subtle differences are found here and there like the fact that you can now create your own belts from scratch rather than editing and working off of an existing belt. You can also clone wrestlers and change up their appearance to give you various options like creating your own band of goon to torment the WWE. Other than that, most of the options for building a wrestler remain the same and while you can get pretty in depth with what you have it would be nice to see a host of new styles, designs, etc.

 
 

There are plenty of game modes throughout for you to play. You can choose to jump into a Quick Match that allows you to choose your conditions, match type and the wrestlers. Be aware that youíll have to play through a lot of the Wrestlemania mode to unlock many wrestlers but youíll have quite a selection to choose from in the beginning. Youíll also have the WWE Universe mode, online play and the brand new 30 Years of Wresltemania mode.

The Wrestlemania Mode, known as 30 Years of Wrestlemania, replaces the Attitude Era mode from last yearís game and is actually quite fun. It spans across every Wrestlemania giving you precise moments to relive in WWE history. There are over 40 matches to play in this mode that span the last 29 Wrestlemania events and while much of it is predictable on how it plays out itís still a lot of fun to relive those moments you may remember as a kid. This mode also allows for a much more diverse and deep roster of wrestlers from Randy ďMacho ManĒ Savage to the Ultimate Warrior. All of them are well depicted on the screen and the grainy appearance of matches from years ago makes you feel like everything is authentic. Youíll definitely get many hours of enjoyment from this mode. Youíll want to try and make sure you play out the matches as they played out in real life and complete the objectives given to you.

 
 

Xbox Live gives you access to the to an online world where you can dominate the virtual WWE. Set up matches, tournaments and more online with your friends or jump into random matches with your favorite wrestlers. There are plenty of wrestlers on the way via DLC and you can purchase a season pass to make sure you donít miss out on any of them. From what we understand, each DLC pack will contain one free wrestler to download for everyone which is great news.

WWE 2K14 is headed in the right direction and thatís great news for fans. This game may not be leaps and bounds ahead of WWE 13, but it definitely moves forward and not backwards. We all held our breath for this yearís game since the license changed hands but both 2K and Yukes have not lost a step at all. Whatís even more exciting is that next year we should get a next-generation version of the game which has no reason not to be one of the best wrestling games ever. Despite some of its technical issues here and there in the game I have to say that WWE 2K14 is definitely worth a purchase if you are a fan of the WWE or a fan of the game franchise. Donít be afraid of the fact that the game changed publisher hands. In fact, be excited as 2K takes us into all new territory in the future. Well, at least we hope so. For now, this game works and it works well.

 
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