The big story in the production of this game was the shift from THQ to 2K Sports. Everyone thought that this change was going to be a huge uphill for the WWE video game series, but was it? I don’t think it was, but I don’t think it was a downhill either.
As I always do when I first boot up a new wrestling game, I played a singles match as my favourite Diva on the roster – in this case it was Aksana, a video game debutante – going up against another debutante in Kaitlyn, I was expecting some pretty big things. Despite the cool entrances for the new Divas plus the looks, I wasn’t too impressed. The gameplay was pretty much the same as WWE13 with only one real new change (that I noticed anyway) which was the grapple-drag-and-lean shtick which is pretty cool. May I also just take this time and say that unless there is some easy way of doing it that I am not aware of yet, putting someone into a groggy position on the second rope in a 619-ready position is DIFFICULT.
One of the main modes and features of this game is the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode, where as a player, you go through every Wrestlemania since the first and play key matches from each of them. Just like WWE13’s Attitude Era mode, to unlock everything and make the most of your nostalgic experience, you have to do some key things throughout the match. For example, you will have to Sweet Chin Music Ric Flair three times at Wrestlemania 24 (and subsequently cry as the cutscene takes place). This mode is definitely a nice touch to the game and I found it very entertaining reliving all the old moments, even if they were a bit historically off (NOTE: Stephanie McMahon does get Rock Bottom’d at WM 2000).
One portion of the 30 Years mode is the “Streak Mode”, where you either Defend the Streak as the Undertaker in a slobberknocker, or Beat the Streak as a wrestler of your choice against the Undertaker. Beat the Streak was, dare I say, fantastic! As witnessed at every Wrestlemania the Deadman has participated in, you just can’t put the man down for the 3 count, no matter how hard you try. In the game, it is the exact same. As Ryback, I had to hit the Undertaker with at least 4 Meat Hooks and 4 Shell Shockeds before he would finally stay down – and this was after I rage-restarted about six times.
The roster in WWE2K14 was alright, however the big issue I had with was the notable omission of FAAAAANNNDAAAAANNGOOOOOOO. He was a big star of 2013 and won a match at Wrestlemania 29 against Chris Jericho, so you’d assume he’d be included. Nah. As a Diva fan, it’s also important to point out that they have gone down to the infamous “Seven Diva Rule” where only seven original Divas are included in the game, and two of them are Legends, leaving five current Divas. They also missed out on the Usos, sadface. I love them.
I haven’t dabbled that much in Universe Mode because I found that quite similar to WWE13’s Universe Mode as well, although the rivalry portion of this year’s mode is quite fun, even if you can only do 3 per show. Playing a Diva rivalry on Universe Mode is #totesamaze.
Creation is – I sound like a broken record – very, very similar to WWE13. Creation parts in Create-a-Superstar are pretty much the same with no new cool hairstyles or short skirts to add to your Diva. The only cool thing I liked about this game’s superstar creation is the “Social Name” part where you can put your CAW’s Twitter handle in their ring entrance. Other than that, not really impressed with any of the other creation modes. I do have to make mention of how much I love the “Top Diva” generic theme.
While I’m at sounding like a broken record, graphics are pretty similar as well. I mean, the same Lita and Stephanie McMahon models have been used. Really?
Overall experience: 6.8/10
While I find it fun to play for a solid hour or so, I don’t see anything that will keep the casual gamer from sticking around for that long. It’s too similar to WWE13 to note any major improvements and I’m disappointed that the change to 2k Sports hasn’t had a major impact on game development. Hopefully, the DLC of Summer Rae and Fandango will change my mind because I luff them 4eva.
– by Noah La’ulu