|System: Xbox 360, PS3*|
|Dev: Yukes, Visual Concepts|
|Pub: 2k Games|
|Release: October 29, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
So there’s a lot that is good about WWE 2K14, but unfortunately, one of the most important parts of the game isn’t one of them: the gameplay. WWE 13 has some questionable gameplay choices, and WWE 2K14 does nothing to fix them. The game still revolves around counter moves, which you have a short window to perform every time the opponent tries to do almost anything to you. Unfortunately, timing never really plays into these moves, so you’ll find yourself just mashing on a trigger any time the enemy gets their hands on you. Not only that, but the AI has a superhuman countering ability, meaning almost every single throw or hold you try will be turned against you.
So, to avoid these counter moves, you will be relying on strikes throughout most of your matches. Unfortunately, the striking game isn’t very fun. It’s about as button-mashy as you can get, as you throw your arms and legs at your opponent and hope he doesn’t do anything to stop you. The AI also fails here, as a little bit of running in a circle and a few strikes are enough to take down many computer opponents to the danger zone. Of course, they will counter you as soon as you grab them, so all that striking doesn’t mean a whole lot.
Even against another human opponent, the pace of matches in WWE 2K14 is stale and slow. You don’t get to see the awesome back and forth swings that you do in actual wrestling matches. Instead, wrestlers play this awkward tootsie game with their strikes before someone grabs someone; both wrestlers spend ages just jockeying for position as counters are traded, and then, finally, someone gets a throw off… or the hold just anticlimactically breaks. You also don’t get the cool cutscenes and cinematic moments from the 30 Years of WrestleMania mode in normal matches, which does reduce the game’s spectacle a bit. Not to mention, any mode with more than two wrestlers in it is bound to have plenty of moments where you whiff grapples because you aren’t perfectly facing the character you wanted to grab.
Overall, the best way to play WWE 2K14 is the 30 Years of WrestleMania single-player mode on a moderate to low difficulty. This way, the opponent won’t counter you much, and you can lose yourself in the classic WWE footage and storylines. It’s also worth it to fool around with the character creation a bit, but after taking your custom wrestler into a match or two, you’ll probably get bored. Simply put, this isn’t the next big VS game sensation, and after the 30 Years of WrestleMania mode is complete, you’ll simply be left with the same options you had in WWE 13 again. The replay value of WWE 2K14 is dubious, but it’s still a decent game nonetheless.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: October 29, 2013