Published on November 10th, 2013 | by Tony2
Review: WWE 2K14
“Stone Cold, Stone Cold” echoes through my headphones from the great Jim Ross, my childhood and teen years start flashing before my eyes, this can mean only one thing, the latest WWE game is here and in my disc tray.
With 2K putting a Million Dollar Dream on the sadly now long gone THQ, the purchase was never in question of making a return in profit, but more where does the series go from the last game?
As a fan of wrestling games since my younger days, I have seen them all, I even played the TNA game for a while. Sorry about that Vinnie Mac, but nothing has changed in all those years.
There have been both good and bad things coming out of the series in the past, but the genre has never had a moment of change I don’t feel that made fans go “Oh my gawd”, we could maybe hope now would be the time.
WWE 2K14 offers once again numerous amounts of things to do as you play, but the mode many fans were excited about was the 30 years of Wrestlemania, myself included.
In WWE 13 I think it’s fair to say that the Attitude Era mode in the game stole the show, so any new mode in this new game would have to at least equal it, if not top it.
With a back catalogue of many classic feuds between top superstars over many eras at their disposal, it got more to the point with fans with what they left out rather than what got put in.
With some new faces to play with most fans will be happy, but there will always be that 1% that will be annoyed that (enter missing wrestler name here) never made the cut.
So does WWE 2K14 fail to reach the ropes after being put in a sleeper, or does it come out victorious waving the championship belt standing on the turn-buckle with confetti streaming from the rafters? Let’s find out.
Matches and Modes:
While WWE 2K14 has some of the same modes we have come to expect in every release, it also has a new mode outside of 30 years at Mania with the new Streak Mode.
If you happen to see the special edition to WWE 2K14, you will have seen that they were going with the Undertaker theme with the whole edition being based around a special tin coffin to celebrate the Deadman.
This mode does just that as you either try to defend his streak or try to bring it to an end with a superstar or created wrestler of your choosing.
While that sounds easy enough let me just say that while I ended the streak a few days ago it was actually bloody hard to do so, as Taker reverses and pummels you and treats you like a rookie.
The option is always there to return for pain more than once as well as your rank on an online leaderboard, with the score you finish with depending on a few factors like excitement, finishers, drama and so on.
Defending the streak is just the same kettle of fish, but this time playing as the Deadman and trying to keep the streak running.
The streak can go on as long as you can last for, but for me I got to around the 34 win mark and I had had enough of giving people a chokeslam so gave in.
Now while you think defending it may mean facing off against all of the previous opponents of the Deadman, sadly it is not.
What lets it down a little is that you’re just given a bunch of randomly picked superstars to defend it against, so it takes away from what I imagined the whole mode would be about, and in the end it just feels like a never ending match rather than the mini mania mode I wished it could have been.
The other thing to talk about is the ability to unlock classic streak photos by defeating Taker with victims that have fallen to the streak previously.
Play as guys like CM Punk, Triple H, Kane, HBK, and you will unlock for them all manner of classic pictures, and if you do them all you get a nice shiny achievement with points to show off in your gamerscore.
So in ending “The Streak” mode is a decent addition to the game, but it could have added a whole lot more.
Defeating it is a good challenge, but can be annoying when you get so close only to be beaten to a pulp by the Taker in the next 2 minutes, but overall a very good mode.
The next mode we shall talk about is the main mode which is the much hyped 30 years of Wrestlemania.
This mode kicks off with Wrestlemania 1 with Studd Vs. Andre in 1985 facing off in the body slam challenge match and going right through to present day Wrestlemania.
Over the course of time there have of course been some classic Wrestlemania moments and matches, which this mode (kind of) covers in all its glory.
While I knew of all the matches in the game, I felt that some matches were put into the game for moments rather than being an actual classic match, and it shows in some matches.
While matches like Hogan Vs. Savage, Hogan Vs. Andre, and Austin Vs. The Rock may not be classics in some eyes, they were huge match ups featuring two icons of that era.
The issue I start to have is when matches like Cena Vs. Batista slip in to that list, and even Foley Vs. Edge, which to me was put in their for the burning table moment and nothing else.
The 30 years of WM mode always had tough shoes to fill from the start as the fantastic Attitude Era mode from WWE’13 was one of the best modes in a long time, and it does come close to matching it, but not close enough sadly.
It does capture the look of all of the arenas and on how you remember the matches being played out, but something felt like it was missing the more you move on into it.
I’m an anal kind of guy, so I feel every match could have done with a small video intro on why the match took place, as if you’re just chucked into a match with an image and text you do feel like the developers felt the same about the match being put in.
When the video montage is in place it gives you a reason to want to play the match, but the ones lacking it just made you want it done and dusted with.
Some have great moments like Flair Vs. HBK where you sweet chin Flair as HBK is in tears, to others that are a waste of your time with just “finish the guy and pin him in ten seconds” being overly used it seems.
You do have to do all these match objectives that take place though, as beating these objectives unlocks goodies like new wrestlers, attire, and arenas to play with later in the game, and do add to the game.
With all of this what sounds like negativity being typed though, let it be known that I did have fun with the mode at times, but it would be a mode that I suggest you play in stages rather than going through it on day one of purchase.
We of course have tons of other stuff offline and online to play with WWE 2K14, but nothing worth a whole paragraph as nothing has changed since WWE’13.
You have the matches we have all grown to love. Hell in a Cell, Inferno, right up to all of the basic modes.
Online is the same but easier to connect with folk this time round it seems, but this could all change once the DLC kicks into play very soon, as that was something that stopped me playing with buddies previously.
The player and ranked matches are all there to play, but I still say it is a mode best played with friends who enjoy the game for the fun rather than the win, as you will just end up playing guys looking for the boring cheap wins that drain the fun out of it all.
Take me for example, I love playing with our old pal Phranchize on these games, as we can have a simple match go on forever knowing one of us will only end it when we have done everything we can think of.
That makes the matches way more fun, and hell I would even take the loss like a man if it played well into the match story that we just played out on our screens.
This is what WWE is all about boys and girls, not the boring win of beating a guy down for 20 minutes and taunting him on repeat.
Watch the magic below and tell me I’m wrong.
Universe mode returns as well, but this is still a mode that captures my attention for about 30 minutes and then never gets touched until a lonely gaming night somewhere down the line.
Now 2K have this franchise, I would remove this mode for a more hands on GM mode come WWE 2K15, but that may just be me thinking that.
You can fight matches and tinker with rivalries in Universe, but you never come out thinking what a fun experience it was, as it just sits there with no reason behind it all
Yeah, so next year Yuke’s change Universe for something that gives the gamers something in return for their time.
By the way if you totally disagree with me here I totally get you, as Universe mode is a very Marmite mode judging by tweets from fans of the game series.
Now WWE games tend to never really change much year by year, and as fans we kind of let it slip as it does the job well enough.
I had read a few previews and such on the web and in magazines about WWE 2K14 before it showed up and was surprised to read such good things about how it felt to play and it felt all new, but I must have missed that copy of the game.
WWE 2K14 feels and looks like WWE 13, and I would go as far to say that this was just put out to please fans until next-gen brings new things next year.
You have a couple of things to try out like the new lift button before a finisher when throwing an opponent into the ropes, but to be honest with you after a while you see that it is an utterly pointless move and does nothing more than make you go ‘Oooooooh’ the first few times you do it.
The other new thing is the “OMG” move that sees you picking up two wrestlers at once to perform a finisher, which I won’t lie is pretty cool to look at, but once again after the first few times the ‘Oooooooh’ factor soon leaves.
Other than that, I could be playing WWE’13 if I’m honest with you, which as a fanboy of the series I am happy to do so, but people who are not a fanboy would not be that happy if they shelled out £30.00+ for the game.
Overall: I may have just been expecting more from the game since 2K came in to save the series, but WWE 2K14 will be a let down for some.
The mania mode will please many fans of wrestling, but for me it does not have the same impact and fun factor that the Attitude Era had in WWE’13.
That being said we saw the much less hyped “Streak Mode” come out of nowhere and with a few tweaks here and there it could have done a Wrestlemania moment itself and stole the show.
Hopefully this is noted for when 2k15 comes around and I hope to see next-gen used and we are given the best WWE game we have seen yet.
For now though WWE 2K14 will pull you through those next 12 months or so until that day, so go enjoy breaking the streak.
Summary: Seems like filler until next-gen until we see a new look with the 2K branding on it I would hope. This ticks all boxes that will please fans, but it needs something new and fresh as it makes that step forward. Streak stole the show for me, but with even more fine tweaking it could have been amazing.