Before you could ‘Smell what the Rock was cooking’, big time wrestling was a much simpler affair, you carried a 2×4, snake, hair scissors, or $100 bills. You came out to the ring and smashed up an opponent in a fantastic fashion and then humiliated them with said prop. No soap opera side shows, no padding with out of ring antics, it was all about the bouts. It was even still a sport not an ‘entertainment’. School kids across the nation were body slamming and suplexing each other on a daily basis. But now, it seems the WWE has lost its roots, maybe it is just the PC brigade destroying yet another part of our youth so this generation of kids can’t have fun with submission holds…
So true to form as a 2K title, WWE 2K14 has a wealth of game modes and options but being as old school as I am I was drawn straight into the ‘30 Years of Wrestlemania’ mode. Because lets face it, none of these modern day clowns have anything on the likes of Andre the Giant and his peers. 30 Years of Wrestlemania lets you relive some of the greatest matches from the WWFs early days, even if the WWF logo is now fuzzed out, would want you confusing two grown men rolling around on a mat together with two panda bears mating now would we…
These classic matches are set up with original video footage and commentary and require you to replicate the original outcome for maximum reward. Having the correct wrestler win will get you through to the next match but to unlock the classic wrestlers in the other modes you need to tick a few more boxes. Wrestlemania Moments are cut scenes activated via a quick time event when you meet certain criteria during the fight and performing signature moves or kick outs at the right time will also be needed.
One problem with pretty much any and all hand to hand combat games is dodgy collision detection and until now I hadn’t even given this a second thought while playing WWE 2K14. So that tells you how good it is. The punches and kicks feel like they really carry some weight, and big time moves look great as well as being relatively easy to pull off. It is pretty damn satisfying to carry out one of the big fellas signature moves along with all the ringmanship and bravado that comes with it. The only time I did notice a bit of dodgy collision detection was when attempting to strike an opponent that was on the mat and starting to get to their feet.
Generally most of the character models are pretty good but every now and then they take on the look of a gimped Ken doll, for some reason The Ultimate Warrior is particularly susceptible to this fate. But overall WWE 2K14 is a decent looking game in all aspects. Given the little variation in arenas and crowds it is nice touches like personalised signs in the crowd that help mix it up a bit. Hearing all the original entry music had the old memories flooding back, especially Hulk Hogan’s, Real American. But again there is a lack of variation with much of the commentary being repeated when the same move is pulled off.
My biggest gripe with WWE 2K14 is really only a small one, but every time I had to do it, it annoyed the hell out of me, and this is the timing bar mechanic to do something like climb out of the cage in a cage match. It is just painful. I understand the requirement to these moments but surely there is a better way to carry this out. So that aside, I love the ease at which I could just get into a great match and do well, but still suffer the consequences if I got to cocky and tried to pull off a fancy move too early in the match. All your favourites are there, even if I don’t know half of flashy new fellas on the block. I still have a way to go to unlock all my favourite old school wrestlers but even just the act of going through the years of Wrestlemania is great fun.
Wrestling fans young and old will get plenty of mileage out of WWE 2K14, and with the decent showing we have here, I can’t wait to see what comes out for the next generation of consoles.