• Language
  • £
  • Login

WWE 2K14 Review

There was some uncertainty surrounding the WWE franchise following the downfall of its publishers THQ, but thankfully for fans all around the world, 2K Sports took over the licence and with Yukes still in the developer chair, fans could be optimistic that it is now in the hands of arguably the best sports game publisher around and that they would do their best to take the game to the pinnacle of its ability. WWE 2K14 had some big boots to fill as WWE 13 had done an outstanding job of providing one of the best experiences of the action that takes place in, and surrounds, the infamous squared-circle.

WWE 2K14 brings with it a solid, if not a little bit untouched, choice of game modes to the table including the expansive WWE Universe mode, online play and exhibition matches as well as one of the deepest creation modes that I’ve ever seen in any game before. There are some new game modes in this iteration, with two of them surrounding The Undertaker’s famous WrestleMania streak. The first is Beat the Streak which has you taking control of any of the WWE superstars, or one of your own custom creations, in order to beat the deadman in a no holds barred matchup. The other mode surrounding The Undertaker is Defend the Streak which is a survival type mode where you take control of the man himself and try to defeat as many opponents as possible before finally being beaten. As you can imagine, the computer AI in both modes is suited towards the Undertaker coming out victorious. So when you’re coming up against The Phenom expect it to be the hardest matchup you’ve ever had, and when you’re defending the streak the difficulty starts off rather easy and then builds as you obtain each victory.

The final (and best) new game mode that replaces last year’s well received Attitude Era mode is 30 Years of WrestleMania, and it is exactly as it says. The mode covers five different era’s throughout the WWE/WWF’s WrestleMania history including the Hulk Hogan era, the 90s, the Attitude Era, the Ruthless Aggression era and the Universe era, taking 46 of the greatest ever matches from those era’s and allowing you to relive/replay them. Chuck in some of the original video footage, specific re-recorded commentary, costumes, etc and you’re already on to a winner. What really stood out for me were the in-match sequences that replicate the events of the real-life fight, whether that be completing a small one button mini-game to initiate an event or even just witnessing an automated scene being rendered in-engine, it felt like I was watching the fight and storyline unfold in front of me. The presentation of this mode is spot-on and Yukes have done a fantastic job of capturing the essence and feeling of the matches, whether it is the screen filters to replicate 80s television, the copyright marks or specific font, it really does a fantastic job of drawing you into the atmosphere.

The game plays almost identical to last year’s version, barring the slight changes to speed and reversals. Strikes are quicker to perform and gone are the days where two players could endlessly pull reversals on each other’s moves if they know the reversal timing. Now, pulling a reversal often leads into your superstar into automatically performing one of the many moves in their repertoire. I still feel like the actual matches feel kind of clunky, like you’re just piecing together different moves rather than them having a real flow. The matches you watch in the WWE have fluidness to them that run off of emotion and momentum and I’ve always felt that Yukes, although trying their best, have never relay been able to capture that in the WWE games. Some of the player animations/physics can be frustrating at times, especially when there are more than two wrestlers in the ring, and the AI can be a bit up and down.

The WWE games never have been ones for their graphics and the same can be said this year. Not much has really changed. Overall, the superstars and the arenas are represented well (most of the time), with items such as the finishers and entrances being particularly impressive and smooth areas, but there are still some elements that leave you wanting more. There can be times where the models and the game look completely off. As I sit here and write this, I’m thinking of all the amazing player, arena and crowd visuals we’ve seen come out of the next-gen version of NBA 2K14 and how well they could be implemented into the WWE franchise. Seeing every bead of sweat on The Rock’s head as he lands the People’s Elbow on a blooded John Cena in front of a packed Madison Square Garden crowd? Now that is something to get you excited for the future of wrestling games under 2K Sports!

Also returning this year is the commentary team of JR and The King and, like many other sports games, that also means the return of the same boring, repetitive audio. Although some good work has gone into the custom commentary for 30 Years of WrestleMania, outside of this mode it’s all pretty much the same as what we’ve been given for the past couple of years.

Online play is still an area that needs some work. I was hoping that a switch to 2K’s servers (although they’re not even that great for NBA 2K) would provide at least a small improvement over THQ’s poor offering. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The matches are still playable, but don’t expect a smooth experience as the lag really drags down the action and still provide huge issues for timings of reversals and pin kick-outs.

2K’s first foray into the WWE licence is a solid offering that doesn’t really do much to change the core mechanics of what fans of the series have come to love over the years. The addition of 30 years of WrestleMania is an ingenious decision that offers many hours of enjoyable and nostalgic fun. I, like many others, am eagerly waiting to see what 2K and Yukes can do with the series on the next-generation of consoles.

Words by James Grantham.

(Version Tested: Xbox 360)


+ 30 Years of WrestleMania mode
+ Expansive creation mode?+ Solid gameplay and mechanics


- Same old commentary
- Lacking in the visual department
- Online still needs work

Edited On 11 Nov, 2013

( 1 )
Artemisthemp's avatar
Artemisthemp 3 years ago
I only recognize Yokozuna and was the guy with special beard Hulk Hogan? Where is rest of the guys, I remember?

Please describe the nature of the abuse: