Saturday, October 25, 2014
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What they're saying: WWE 2K14 is good, but suffers from some old issues

The latest WWE video game was released Tuesday, ending months of hype and anticipation.

What they're saying: WWE 2K14 is good, but suffers from some old issues

(Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for 2K/AP Images)
(Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for 2K/AP Images)

The latest WWE video game was released Tuesday, ending months of hype and anticipation.

WWE 2K14 marked the first title released under the 2K Games banner, making it a crucial addition to the long-running series.

2K Games and developer Yuke’s packed in everything and the kitchen sink into this one, with the “30 Years of WrestleMania” and “The Streak” modes and an expansion on an already massive creation suite.

I love playing video games, but I’m no video game expert. I’ll leave the technical reviews to the experts.

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Here’s what they had to say about WWE 2K14:

Vince Ingenito of IGN believes that the game suffers from some age-old problems, but is an overall positive addition to the series.

On the game overall, “Though it continues to suffer from many of the same AI and commentary issues that have plagued the series for years, it also builds on its many successes, delivering a sports-entertainment extravaganza that can easily steal dozens of hours of your time.”

Ingenito believed that “The Streak” was a “mild disappointment,” but still found tons of enjoyment out of the “30 Years of WrestleMania” mode.

“That mild disappointment aside ‘30 Years of WrestleMania’ is still a meaty and varied single-player mode that would justify my purchase all on its own.”

Ingenito applauded the developer’s choice to do away with the endless reversal system that plagued previous games, but believes the new strike system has been sped up a little too much and doesn’t look good next to the more methodical grapple system.

That little hiccup aside, Ingenito is wildly impressed with the game’s creation suite that expands on a yearly basis.

“It’s easy to complain about a few trees, but this forest is vast and dense. WWE 2K14’s creation suite, for example, is dizzying both in terms of breadth and detail.”

At the end of the day, Ingenito handed the game an 8.7, which is considered great by IGN’s scoring system.

“Old issues still linger, but WWE 2K14 celebrates wrestling’s past while giving you the power to shape its virtual future.”

Tom McShea of Gamespot.com is also a fan of the “30 Years of WrestleMania” mode, but is not all that in love with the rest of the game.

“WWE 2K14’s celebration of its prestigious history is very well done. We expect entrance themes and costumes to be ripped from archives, but the game goes even further than that. By completing historical objectives within each match, brief cutscenes are cued up that mirror what happened in real life so many years ago.”

McShea, like Ingenito, isn’t a fan of the quick strikes in this year’s game. He also doesn’t like how much of the action is reliant on counters.

“When WWE 2K14’s wrestlers mimic bar-room brawlers by throwing haymakers, the game’s relationship with reality crumbles away. The wrestlers punch and kick so quickly that there’s no weight behind them.”

“Furthermore, the core action is so reliant on counterattacks that it’s closer to a sequence of quick-time events than a body slam ballet.”

McShea had nicer things to say about the game’s creation suite, which is seemingly universally praised.

“At least there’s on element outside the ring that anyone could enjoy. Creation mode let’s you design an unholy monster to be your champion, which is absolutely riveting if you have a maniacal disposition.”

But overall McShea was unimpressed with this year’s installment and handed the game a 6, which is considered fair by Gamespot’s scoring system.

“It’s a shame the wrestling isn’t up to par in WWE 2K14 because the elements surrounding it are so interesting.”

Alex Navarro of GiantBomb.com believes the game feels very familiar to last year’s WWE ’13, which is good and bad.

“It logically, and mostly builds upon what this series has been for the last couple years. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

“If I sound a bit more muted in my praise compared with last year’s WWE ’13, it’s mostly by virtue of how familiar much of 2K14 feels.”

Navarro is also a fan of the “30 Years of WrestleMania” mode, but said that the matches that cover the last decade or so of the event are, well, uneventful.

“Few of the matches included from the first few eras are in any way questionable choices, but as the game wanders into the doldrums of the ‘Ruthless Aggression’ era and on into the current ‘Universe’ era, the matches become decidedly less memorable, and occasionally just plain irritating.”

Navarro points out the same gameplay issues that other reviewers noted as well, including the sped up strike attacks, but said for the most part the game hasn’t changed all that much.

He hopes that the next edition that will be released on the next generation consoles will be a noticeable step forward in the series.

“WWE 2K14 is as solid a wrestling game as this team has ever developed, but it does highlight a growing split between an apparent desire to craft something closer to the product one generally sees on TV week to week and the sometimes brainless, but basically entertaining fighting game Yuke’s has been churning out in various forms for a decade and a half.”

“The hope, again, is that 2K14 marks the last time we’ll see this particular version of the game, and that with the bump to new consoles, 2K will grant its developers the opportunity to start fresh.”

Navarro was generally impressed with the game, however, and gave it four out of five stars.

Game Informer’s Dan Ryckert enjoyed his experience with game overall, but stated in his review that the game felt very familiar to last year’s game as well.

“Most of 2K’s focus was on the campaign mode, because the game is similar to last year’s offering once you venture into other options. Universe mode feels identical outside of minor options like setting the duration of rivalries and applying themes to pay-per-view events. Even the core gameplay feels familiar, as additions like the catapult finishers rarely come up organically in matches.”

Ryckert gave the game a fairly high rating with an 8.0

The Metacritic score is about that range as well as it has garnered a 79. Although the user score on Metacritic is a lot higher at 8.8.

For those who have the game, what do you think? Is it worth the purchase?

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
About this blog
The Squared Circle is a one-stop shop of pro wrestling news, recaps and observations. You can also enjoy interviews with some of your favorite stars from the world of professional wrestling both nationally and locally. Reach Vaughn at vjohnson@philly.com.

Vaughn Johnson Sports Producer
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