The year is 2013…THQ is no longer a company after bankruptcy and the WWE games are now published by 2K Sports. With 2K Sports first WWE game, they decided to take us through 30 years of the grandest stage of them all…Wrestlemania. If you’re a wrestling fan from the 80’s till now, this game is perfect for the nostalgia factor. WWE 2K14 brings a few new things and a big roster of some of your favorite wrestlers to the home gaming consoles.
Like I mentioned before, WWE 2K14 is all about the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania, much like WWE 13 was all about the Attitude Era. Wrestlemania is celebrated with the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode that recreates over 40 epic matches that have taken place at the event. While the nostalgia is great, some of the small details were missed in this mode. Some entrances aren’t entirely the same and some events have been altered to possibly keep some groups off their backs (Wrestlemania 2000 anybody). While some may not approve of certain events being altered, the mode serves up these matches pretty well. This is also the only part of the game that has the best commentary track thanks to Jim Ross and Jerry “THE KING” Lawler.
While the nostalgia is good, it’s all about gameplay. This year the A.I. Is more aggressive while facing you in exhibition and other modes outside of 30 Years of Wrestlemania. They will pummel you if you let them and they love reversals, it can be dodgy at times during the Wrestlemania Mode. The sound in this years game has also improved greatly. This includes commentary during 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode and even during matches and story designer mode. You can clearly hear cheers and boos as well as the crowd interaction while a match is in progress. Animations are smooth and motions along with some of the moves that have been re-animated look great when executed.
The last thing I will talk about is the creation modes. While some new moves and new options were added, it’s pretty much the same Creation Suite in terms of Creating a Wrestler. Out of the new options available , you can now put Chris Jericho’s head on CM Punks body. You have more arena style options for Creating an Arena which is always welcomed. The championship creator lets you use your own custom paint tool logos for championships as well as pre-made logos that are provided in the game. While some of the additions are great there are downsides. One of them being a size limitation put on custom paint tool logos in custom arenas. Last year you could have a logo that stretched pretty far across the ring, that has been reduced this year. Along with that, crotch blur is still present in this game. As someone who likes creating guys and doing all sorts of crazy designs, this continues to limit where and how I place designs and logos for my created guys tights.
In the end, this is a pretty good game for those who want another hit of nostalgia and some new schoolers. The gameplay has changed for the better but might get annoying after a while if you’re playing on higher difficulties. Wrestling fans should definitely pick up this game if you can overlook some of the lingering but small A.I. issues.