Another year another WWE game, but there is a twist this time around. THQ is gone as the WWE series publisher after over 10 years and in comes 2K, who joined pretty much after the end of 2K14 development so it was expected that 2K14 wouldn’t have such a different feel as this years game was mostly a THQ work. Like pretty much all WWE games there is much fun to be had with 2K14.
Following the footsteps of WWE’13, this years “Story Mode” gives players a history lesson of past WWE events. Last year was the Attitude Era and in this years game it’s all about 30 Years Of Wrestlemania. Like the Attitude Era mode, you play significant matches, although this time it’s throughout the last 30 years of Wrestlemania. You will play through such legendary matches like Hogan/Andre, HBK/Hart, Austin/Rock and relive historical moments like seeing a legend retire, an era end, a match that is once (Twice) in a lifetime, the rise of stars like Hogan, Austin and Cena, and finally playthrough parts of Undertakers 21-0 Wrestlemania streak.
Each 30 Years Of Wrestlemania match has a list of objectives to complete to fully recreate the match to its real life counterpart. The objectives in the game are not mandatory, and you only have to actually win the match to complete the match but you will not unlock any of the unlockables tied to the match. Also before some of the matches there is a video package giving players a recap on how the match they are about to play came to be, the video packages are very well done and will give players a good idea on how the match came to be but sadly there isn’t a video package for every match which was disappointing. The actual matches are fun to play through and I thought the development team did a solid job of recreating the matches and presentation of the Wrestlemania matches although in some matches there are some historical errors but again I thought they did a good job.
WWE Universe mode, AKA the sandbox mode of 2K14 returns again this year with many improvements like the addition of a rivalry system to try and fix past problems of rivalries messing up and not make sense. The rivalry manager system allows you to set your rivalry (Single or Tag) and also add how long you want it to last for with the option of one, two or three months. I thought rivalry manager was a much needed addition to the mode as it did help improve rivalries in Universe Mode and also upped the increase in cut-scenes which will please many fans of the series who had seen the same cut-scene in Universe five times and not any others. Other improvements include setting default attires for superstars and also The King Of The Ring match being added to the mode. Although the mode is decent, there is still a ton of potential the mode could reach if they added certain improvements, I recently did an article with what needs to be added to help improve the mode at this link.
With this years theme being Wrestlemania, it seemed right that we finally got a mode for The Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak. “The Streak” has two separate game modes, one were you try to defeat the streak and also one were you play as The Undertaker and defend the streak. In Defeat The Streak mode you choose a character to try and beat The Undertaker but there is a twist, the devs of 2K14 created a brand new “ultra hard” AI just for this mode to make it much more harder to actually beat the streak. During the game Undertaker can catch you in the Hells Gate or get you in a chokeslam from out of nowhere when you go for a grapple or pin when he is on the ground. The lights can also go out during the match, and Undertaker reappears behind you. After you finish the match you will have a score which is earned by how exciting the match was along with other stats, you can then upload the score to online leaderboards.
In Defend The Streak you will play as The Undertaker, and you have to beat as many superstars as you can which is similar to the Slobber Knocker match in the older Smackdown games (Slobber Knocker can be unlocked too) and like Defeat The Streak you will get a final score upon completing the match, and you again you can upload your score to the online leaderboard.
WWE 2K14 continues from last year to have an amazing amount of customization which allows you to create your own superstar, arena, finisher, story, entrance, moves and belts. Along with all those features there are some brand new customization features this year. Editing current WWE superstars has been a very big demand from fans of the WWE games series now for many years and this year it’s kind of been added but with a twist. You can now create a superstar as normal but you can add a current superstar head to the creation, so for example you can add John Cena’s head to a created superstar and customize it to your liking. Although there is some limitations like you can’t edit the heads meaning you can’t add clothing to the head, cover the head with clothing (Hooded jackets), edit hair/facial hair so anything associated with heads can’t be edited and not every superstars head is in the game (Some are DLC) but the real positive is that this is another step forward to a full character customization feature.
Although most of the review so far has been positive there are quite a few negatives to be found in this game like how dull and repetitive the commentary is in WWE 2K14, the commentary has stayed pretty much the same since SVR 2011 and hasn’t really been improved much. There are times when the commentators say nothing at all or mention something totally irrelevant to the match. Then there are the graphics which still look like very early current gen graphics and then finally you have the many, many bugs and glitches that are mostly caused by a bugged physics system which can cause superstars to warp into weapons or character models to stretch off screen. These glitches have been apart of the series for many years now with little signs of improvement.
The Final Verdict
WWE 2K14 is a fun but flawed game, you have the fun content like the 30 YOWM mode, Universe and the wide range of customization but you still have the many problems that have plagued the series for multiple years now like how horrible the commentary is and how gameplay can be full bugs, the worst part is that there looks to be little change on these problems every year. Then you have Universe Mode which is good but isn’t reaching that amazing potential still after being in the game for 3 years now. I can’t put the blame on 2K because 2K14 was mostly done under THQ and was near the end of its development when 2K bought the franchise from THQ earlier this year. 2K14 is a worth a try but 2K15 next year will defiantly be the one to look out for.
+30 Years Of Wrestlemania is good but I think it’s time to go back to Season Mode
+Tons of things to do
+/- Decent audio improvements but some audio is bugged
+/- Universe Mode is good but needs major improvements, it’s not reaching it’s massive potential
-Horrible and repetitive commentary
-The series is still plagued with physics glitches and character model glitches
Leave a comment below and tell us what you think should be improved in 2K15.
Universe Improvements article: http://thisgengaming.com/2013/10/16/826/