This past week I was able to grab an interview with Bryan Williams, who is one of the lead developers on 2K Games soon to be released WWE 2K14 game. Bryan had led a special preview of the game, showing off many of the game’s unique features before sitting down for a one on one interview to discuss the game in depth. As you’ll see in the video I talk to him about the game’s new modes including its much touted ’30 Years Of WrestleMania’ mode, the games increased roster of legends including newbies Bill Goldberg and The Ultimate Warrior and looking forward what we can look forward to from WWE 2K15 when it inevitably launches on the next gen PS4 and Xbox One.
Following my chat with Bryan I was able to get some quality time to grapple with the game itself, and try out some of its new features. I should point out that this was a preview build of the game that only gave access to some of the game’s huge amount of features and modes. Despite a fair amount of time with the game it has to be said that I felt I was only scratching the surface of what this game would have on offer, and as has been the case in previous WWE games the more time you put in the more you’ll get out of it.
To start with I jumped straight into the game’s Undertaker themed Streak mode. A huge selling point of this game is the 30 Years Of WrestleMania mode, and perhaps the biggest selling point of WrestleMania each year nowadays is The Undertaker and his seemingly undefeatable win streak on the grandest stage of them all. This game gives you two ways to challenge the streak. You can either play as anyone on the game’s roster and attempt to defeat the streak, or you can play as the last outlaw and try to defend it in a gauntlet style match. If you decide to challenge The Undertaker you’ll have to defeat him, and since its never been done in real life, you can bet the game doesn’t make it easy either. In this mode The Undertaker is effectively a boss character with much better stats then you’d find in the rest of the game, and whilst I wasn’t able to beat the Deadman, I was assured it is possible.
Having faced defeat by The Undertaker I decided that if I couldn’t beat him, I’d be him! Defending the streak sees you face an ongoing stream of superstars one after another. First up I was disappointed to see the game threw Heath Slater against me, and much like his glorified jobber real life counterpart is easily defeated on Raw and SmackDown each week I quickly dispatched with the leader of 3MB. Thinking that the game may purposely guide you through several weaker opponents before putting you against a real challenge I was proved wrong as my next rival was The Beast himself Brock Lesnar. This was followed by challenges from Sgt Slaughter and Bill Goldberg before I finally got put down by Randy Orton. This proved to be a very addictive mode and I hope its one that is expanded on in future releases. It would be great if you could take on every one of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania foes in order, although this game has a couple of gaps such as the absent Psycho Sid.
Other new features of the game include improvements to the create a superstar mode which doubles the number of Superstars you can create, and the ability to alter costumes of actual superstars on the game. This gives you a great starting point to make new costumes for existing wrestlers, and potentially allow for dozens more slots for your own creations. You could in theory create very different looking versions of guys like John Cena or CM Punk and save them as alternative costumes. That way you could create new additions to the roster such as Los Matadores without taking up other precious free CAS slots. Sure they’d wrestle like John Cena or CM Punk (Or Epico and Primo as you should logically use seeing as Los Matadores is them repackaged) but you get my point.
The slight downsides to the game are that some of the cooler historical moments the game recreates are merely cut scenes or QTEs and not as interactive as you may hope, and also the graphics. Now don’t get me wrong the graphics are great… mostly, but there are a couple of weaker points. Firstly, the new facial expressions are fairly weak compared to the facial expressions you get in other games these days. Also some of the WWE legends in the game are a tad off. Hulk Hogan is more muscular then ever and the Bret Hart model in particular looks like a good effort that a player has made in create a superstar rather then what you’d expect from the actual game developers. It’ll be most interesting to see what the games look like next year on the Xbox One and PS4.
WWE 2K14 is released on November 1st, 2013. For any wrestling fan of the past or present, the game looks like it will totally deliver.
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This article was first posted on October 14, 2013