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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Gaming review: WWE 2K14 is for every wrestling fan

Gaming review: WWE 2K14 is for every wrestling fan

November 23, 2013 10:08 IST

Gaming review: WWE 2K14 is for every wrestling fan

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Murali Venukumar

But that’s about it. Perhaps next year’s version will be better. Here’s hoping, says Murali Venukumar!

Murali is a full-time marketing exec, part-time writer and a life-long gamer.

Platforms: Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3

Price:  Rs. 2499

Developer: Yukes

Publisher: 2K Sports

Distributor: E-xpress Interactive Pvt. Ltd.

Genre: Pro-Wrestling

Age Rating: 18+

With its focus on recreating marquee moments in Wrestlemania history, WWE 2K14 has something for (almost) every wrestling fan. Those who loved the federation’s 80s and 90s glory days will get a kick out of the period presentation complete with authentic to the era TV graphics. More current WWE fans will find an accurate current roster with every TV and PPV arena recreated with exacting detail.

Unfortunately, the gameplay itself hasn’t changed a whole lot since WWE 12 barring the addition of a few new OMG moments inside and outside the ring.

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Photographs: Courtesy: 2K/Yukes

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Murali Venukumar

It’s disappointing that Yukes’ move from the now shuttered THQ to the safer climes of 2K Sports hasn’t resulted in anything more than a logo switch on the box and the splash screens. Perhaps next year’s iteration will give them enough time to overhaul the creaking engine and up their game, but it would probably be best not to bet on it happening. And the engine really is a massive problem. The legacy animations and the transitions between them are looking increasingly archaic as the years go by. Get more than a couple of wrestlers on screen at the same time and it’s hard not to marvel at how little things have changed from the Smackdown vs Raw games on the PS2. 

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Photographs: Courtesy: 2K/Yukes

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Gaming review: WWE 2K14 is for every wrestling fan

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Murali Venukumar

 

Some of the presentation aspects haven’t really been improved either. The commentary is barely passable, but worse is the middling sound effects that kill the impact of in-ring moves. The AI is as moronic as ever, and the ludicrously small window for reversals only makes the whole experience worse.

Fans will also miss the original voiced and acted storylines last seen in WWE 12. Your only option here is the Universe mode, which is great at generating a calendar chock full of events and fight cards to play through, assuming you aren’t too worried about storyline consistency as matchups can be all over the place. The revamped rivalry system fixes this to an extent, and the whole mode does include new features that let you play around and customize your universe experience a lot more. That said, it would have been great if they had included a lot more storylines and cutscenes.

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Photographs: Courtesy: 2K/Yukes
Tags: WWE

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Murali Venukumar

The game also has the now standard creation modes that you let you build anything from superstars to arenas to whole storylines, and you can also download fan creations from the internet once you’ve activated your online pass. In addition to the 45 or so re-created Wrestlemania matches, you also have a disappointing Beat the Streak mode starring the Undertaker. Rather than recreate his win streak - opponents and all, the mode is nothing more than a gauntlet that pits you against increasingly difficult superstars from the roster. It’s a massive missed opportunity, as is cranking up Takers’ difficulty to an obscenely cheap level when you try to beat his streak.

There’s no denying that there’s some fun to be had with the base game (especially in local multiplayer), but that doesn’t make it any easier to forgive the galling lack of innovation that will kill the experience for long-time fans. Perhaps next year’s version will be better. Here’s hoping.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Courtesy: 2K/Yukes

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