Yukes don’t really have the confidence of people who love WWE games. Years of mediocrity and repetition have established a narrative amongst fans that the studio is incapable of making a world class WWE game.
Common complaints were lack of significant updates, horrendous AI, bugs and glitches, and things that would make you wonder why you spend your hard earned money on such a product.
Well, WWE 2K14 changes all that. Almost. Losing publisher THQ would have definitely been a roadblock in creating the game but 2K Games seem to have taken up the mantle of providing a great WWE game to fans and they have delivered.
While there’s still a bunch of issues that wouldn’t fly in a typical AAA game, the sheer amount of content and improvements on offer here kind of negates all that.
You know, low expectations and all. When that bar is met there’s a sense of satisfaction which makes you content with a product.
The biggest attraction in the game is 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode. This mode has been painstakingly created with great attention to detail and lets you relive all the major Wrestlemania moments that have defined the sport over the years.
As you keep playing the mode you will unlock new characters and rings and that certainly gives a lot of motivation since the mode is quite lengthy.
There are certain optional objectives you can accomplish during matches but most matches are pretty straightfoward. If you remember how these matches panned out in real life, there’s great fun to be had due to the nostalgia on offer. Of course, you can also change history by doing ‘The Streak’ match, where you get to stop the Undertaker’s run.
Overall, this mode will offer a lot of goodies to WWE fans including authentic commentary from Jim Ross and Jerry ‘the king’ Lawler. I don’t have a favourite Wrestlemania match but I did remember most of the ones I played, which featured wrestlers like Andre The Giant, Shaun Michaels, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and most of the awesome ones from the Attitude Era.
Most wrestlers resemble their real life counterparts well but there’s still an uncanny valley when it comes to facial expressions and animations. Considering the sheer amount of wrestlers in the game you really can’t complain here since compared to previous games it’s a huge improvement.
Yukes are using the same old engine for WWE 2K14 which is a disappointment but hopefully a change of publisher will result in a change for future installment. The advent of next-gen console may make this a necessity too.
There is a sheer amount of content in the game including the Universe Mode which is your basic career mode. The game randomly creates matches and rivalries for you to enjoy but after a while it can get really repetitive.
There’s also an incredible Creation mode which lets you create your own wrestler or modify existing ones. This is one of the best things about the game as it allows you to let your imagination wild and create an incredible superstar.
However, aside from the content available for players, the AI is something that lets the game down. There are a lot of comical moments possible in the game due to the AI which sometimes gets stuck or has pathway issues. The gameplay is pretty straightforward so the extent of the AI’s failure isn’t readily visible.
You can punch, grapple, kick and reverse in the game and it will not take you a lot of time to get used to the controls. Once you get the hang of the reversing mechanic in the game, most fights can be a breeze. Fans looking for a complex and rewarding gameplay system won’t find it here as this is mostly a pick up and play game.
Exhibition mode lets you pick any wrestler you want and jump straight in the action. All these modes are pretty straightforward and will give you a lot of replayability. There’s online too and you know what to expect from that.
The cool thing I found was that your created modifications for a wrestler will show up in the Universe mode. Which means, the time you spend in the game is actually respected.
Overall, WWE 2K14 is one of the best wrestling games to have been released so far. There are minor issues like bugs and glitches and the overall production value is lesser than your average AAA game but the amount of improvements and sheer content in the game makes up for all that.