Building (Critical) Consensus: WWE 2K14
There’s a whole pile of games coming out today. There’s the current-gen and PC releases of Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The North America release of Sonic: Lost World is today. And only one major release didn’t have a review embargo that was on the day of release. That would be the latest game in the long running WWE franchise (well, long running in its various iterations), WWE 2K14.
I could tell you about what the critics said but whether you buy it will come down to the same reason I pre-ordered it: Nostalgia. The 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode brought back many of my childhood favourites and some iconic wrestling moments. Apart from that addition and some improvements to the Universe and creation modes, the in-ring action in more of the same for long-time fans of the series. So, like I said, this one is mostly about the nostalgia.
P.S. Do as I say, not as I do, and don’t pre-order games… Even if The Ultimate Warrior is the pre-order bonus.
Destructoid (90%): WWE 2K14 lets me be creative, it told me a wonderful story of titans colliding, and gave me the gift of being a kid again. 2K Sports really picked the ball up and ran with it. I’m looking forward to the WWE franchise to continue to grow with 2K. With a Roster of 84 Superstars, from Legends to Current, creation modes, and reliving some of the best moments in wrestling history, this game truly is “what’s best for business.”
IGN (87%): It still lacks the brains to deliver competent AI and commentators, but WWE 2K14 has more than enough brawn to make up for it. 30 Years of Wrestlemania provides the strongest campaign backbone the series has had in a long time, the in-ring action is faster and more fluid than it’s been in years, and thanks to WWE 2K14’s continually expanding creation suite, we’re swimming in more options than we ever knew we wanted. It is indeed “time to play the game.”
Giant Bomb (80%): 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. As the developers build out these lovingly detailed story modes rooted in wrestling history, they end up highlighting exactly how goofy and out of sorts much of the in-game action looks compared with the many tightly scripted sequences built into 30 Years of Wrestlemania.
OXM UK (70%): Anyone expecting a fresh new lease of life for WWE games now the license has been prised from THQ’s cold, dead hands may be Stone Cold Stunned by WWE 2K14… WWE 2K14 is a more than serviceable goodbye to an engine and mechanical base that has been doling out grappling action since the turn of the century… It’s mechanically almost identical to last year’s game, but the huge and nostalgia-fuelled 30 Years Of Wrestlemania mode is just about enough to justify reinvestment.
GameSpot (60%): It’s a shame the wrestling isn’t up to par in WWE 2K14 because the elements surrounding it are so interesting… When WWE 2K14 does work, its because of its recreation of history. For anyone who grew up loving professional wrestling, be prepared to be swept away in a tide of nostalgia. If only the core action could have been as compelling.