How many of you playing WWE 2K14 have noticed its similarities to games of the past? For the past three months, I have been glued to this game and it continues to surprise me with nods to previous titles. When I first began playing a few months back, the game's main attraction for me was the Wrestlemania mode. After a few DLC packs and some custom creations I have a new outlook on the game that I felt needed sharing.
WWE 2K14 Re-Visited
WWE Universe Mode
The WWE Universe mode is a different mode from games of the past. First off, it plays more realistically and consistent than before. The Rivalries are a great addition to the mode and can be short term or extended. From the jump, the mode has a John Cena/Dolph Ziggler rivalry and believe me the matches are spread out and alternate from week to week with momentum building up for the big payoff. If you had stables who did not like each other, matches would be set up for weeks on end. In one match that pitted Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes on Main Event, the match was scheduled for a standard match but right before the bell rang the General Manager changed the match to a No Holds Barred which bewildered both Superstars. The issues I have in the match set up is often faces are pitted against each other as well as heels versus heels. Although a fair balance of heels and faces can help the situation, it doesn’t always work. Also, if they are in a Rivalry, when you go to edit the match the game often freezes. In my Universe Mode I have every day of the week filled with shows. From Ring of Honor on Tuesday, Impact on Thursday, and Ring of Honor on Saturday, I have storylines going at all times. WWE Universe Mode on WWE 2K14 is a large improvement and at times I can’t put the game down because of it.
At first I wasn’t pleased with the controls of the game. But after a few time of playing the game I got accustom to the mechanics of the game. Most gamers do not like the reversal scheme of the gameplay. I prefer it because as in wrestling not all matches are one sided. I don’t even get upset when I lose a match because my kick out bar doesn’t stop when I want it to. The response time is a tad off but the grapple scheme works well. The only aspect I would add would be the ability to hit L or R button to enhance a standard move into a power move. Imagine having the ability after an opponent is worn down to change a body slam into a running slam? I feel the control aspect is much better than games past and hope for the controls to step up in the future.
So, my wife walks into the room and says “Why didn’t you tell me wrestling was on?” At that moment I had to explain to her I was playing the game. The games are more detailed and spot-on than games' past. The only thing that creeps me out in not only these games but other games as well is the “doll eyes” the wrestlers have. The eyes often look like souls and can be creepy to the fullest. But other than that the wrestlers show pain and grimace, breathe heavily and sweat during and after the matches. Also, the movements of the wrestlers look more fluid and natural, for example, wrestlers look as though they are walking rather than skating on ice. The collision recognition is almost exemplary and the wrestlers set up position-wise as if they were in a real wrestling match. Sometimes the wrestlers would move in position for a natural movement without direction so it looks smoother when transitioning into chained maneuvers. Visually it is taking the right steps to make the game look and play more realistic.
DLCs and Online
I’m not much of an online player because I would prefer to enjoy my video gaming experience alone, but just for the sake of this review I played quite a few games online. The matchup is pretty good and has a solid awareness of the player’s abilities. Although I did experience quite a few dropped matches, I did hang on long enough to play in some intense battle but did have some drop out issues. The Creation Community is probably the best aspect to the online mode. I have to say many of the individuals in the Creation Community should work for 2K for the amazing creation they make with limited tools. The DLC was okay so far. The NWO and Legends Pack were okay but I honestly believe Virgil was put in the game because someone felt bad for him and wanted to cut him a check. The additional move sets, roster additions and creation tools are giving me a glimmer of hope of the next gen series having some sort of weekly update as we see in sports series.
These days, I only have a small window of opportunity to play video games. As a kid, I was able to run through a game in a day or put up the highest score in a few days. With work and family life consuming my time I try to squeeze at least two hours a day in for gaming time. My game rotation these days is five and some on standby I can honestly say I feel I give at least an hour of that gaming time to WWE 2K14. Around this time, I start looking forward to 10 months down the road in wait for the next WWE game, but for this one I am pleased and set with what was presented to a true wrestling fan. But, I have a strong feeling the next gen game will be mind blowing and revolutionary.