I remembered how when we were still in secondary school and the school bell rang. The boys would then hurriedly put aside the tables because it was time to do the figure 4 leg lock, the pedigree, the rock bottom and tomb stone pile driver. There was a time where every kid idolized hulk Hogan and HBK. As such the video games were huge and ever since then we would connect up a PS2 with a multitap so that we could have a 3 v 3 tornado tag match or last man standing in smackdown 5 here comes the pain. Wrestling games have evolved over the years and since 2003, I’ve played them each year over multiple platforms.
Traditionally WWE games were published by THQ but guess what, this year 2k games have taken over. Is this a good thing? Did they do the game justice? Well, that is what this review hopes to uncover.
Apart from the usual modes, I spent most of my time trying out the new and heavily advertised 30 years of WrestleMania and for the non-wrestling fans. WrestleMania happens every year and is the biggest event that pro wrestling has to offer. People from all over the world would catch it either live or via Pay Per view and WWE 2k14 has 30 years of it to offer and over 46 match ups. Jumping right in, I was like a little child zapped back strapped into a time machine and was ready to rumble. Right from the very first WrestleMania, I started to work my way through it when Hulk Hogan faced Big John Studd to many of my favorites like HBK and The bad guy Razor Ramon which epitomized the intercontinental championship in WrestleMania 10.
Each of these matches had its atmospheres re-created carefully and I could tell the designers and developers paid close attention to the little details. Each match entrance and commentary would carefully be in sync. Now, each match up would then have a couple of objectives which you would have to accomplish to unlock certain unlockables like arenas, wrestling outfits etc. This mode is extensive and does well to recapture the memories you once held dear. Afterall, who could forget the Rock vs Austin moments of wrestlemania 17 and 19. The one issue I had was that you had to play each WrestleMania sequentially and each year would then be unlocked. Seeing that there are 30 years to play through, it took quite a long while for me to get to Brock Lesnar vs Triple H at WrestleMania 29.
Coupled with 30 years of wrestlemania is also undertaker’s “The Streak” mode. As you know by now, the undertaker is undefeated at wrestlemania. Hence you get the chance to challenge his streak. Think of it like a boss mode and trust me, it’s incredibly tough as taker counters 90% of your moves and puts you away with the tombstone pretty quickly.
The wrestling system this year is much like WWE13. Controls and modes have remained largely similar to WWE13 and it generally holds up well. While fans of 2kgames were probably wondering if there was a completely new engine, I would say if it isn’t broken, you shouldn’t fix it. After all, since smackdown 5, the system has been continually evolving since. However, I am personally quite interested to see how this translates to the next generation systems PS4 and Xbox One, which boasts much better hardware capabilities. Game modes from previous wrestling games are all present including create a wrestler.
In Summary, this year’s Wrestling title does well at capturing the essence of wrestlemania whom many wrestling fans have many fond memories and WWE 2k14 does well in accurately depicting it. However, the streak mode could have been better by allowing you to actually defend each match up in the Undertaker’s actual 21 winning streaks. If wrestlemania is important to you and you want to relive it’s greatest matches, I suggest picking up this title. However, I do come away feeling that WWE2k14 can offer more in terms of its gameplay and I look forward to seeing them make their appearance on the next-gen systems as well as the vita one day.
Ratings 3.5 out of 5 stars
By Kenneth Choong
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