Last year the WWE franchise went back in time and gave us the Attitude Era Mode in WWE 13. This year, with new publisher 2K, WWE 2K14 follows up with the 30 Years of WrestleMania Mode as the centerpiece of this year’s game. This mode allows you to recreate historic moments from key bouts throughout WrestleMania’s history. This is a deep mode with 45 total matches. Some of the great matches you’ll be able to relive include: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III, Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII, and The Rock vs. John Cena at last year’s WrestleMania.
WWE 2K14 does a great job with the classic WrestleMania arenas, presentation, and commentary. When you play the matches at WrestleMania III the wrestlers will come down the aisle in the mini ring carts. During Andre the Giant’s entrance you’ll even see the fans throwing debris at both him and Bobby the Brain Heenan. When you play the early WrestleManias you see the basic plain graphics and people holding signs that say “I’m on VHS.” It’s interesting to watch the progression of the production value from Wrestlmania I, where you just see name, weight and height on the screen during intros, to the current WrestleManias that include Twitter handles as part of the package. With the commentary, Jerry the King Lawler and J.R. will even repeat some of the classic lines from past WrestleManias. For example, during WrestleMania VI you’ll hear Jerry the King Lawler repeat Jessie Ventura’s comment on how the Ultimate Warrior shouldn’t be running to the ring because he needs to conserve his energy for his battle with Hulk Hogan. This attention to detail makes 30 Years of WrestleMania one of the best game modes I’ve ever played on a WWE game.
Also new in WWE 2K14 is The Streak Mode. This mode was done in honor of The Undertaker’s undefeated record at WrestleMania. In this mode you have two options: Defeat the Streak and Defend the Streak. In Defend the Streak, you’ll play as The Undertaker and try to beat as many WWE superstars as you can. After you pin an opponent, or make someone submit, another superstar will come to the ring. The longer the streak, the more points you’ll accumulate, and the higher you will be on the leaderboards. In Defeat the Streak, you’ll have the daunting task of defeating The Undertaker and snapping his historic WrestleMania winning streak. This is not an easy task. The WWE 2K14 team made The Undertaker almost unbeatable in this mode. You will have to play a near-perfect match to beat the streak. I have tried about 10 times and have lost every single time. I came close with Andre the Giant, but lost. I came even closer with Hulk Hogan, in his WrestleMania IX gear, but lost again. In that match I was about to give The Undertaker a fourth Hogan leg drop, but when I went to do it the lights went out. When they came back on, The Undertaker was behind me and hit me with the tombstone. Game over. Part of me thought “wow, that’s pretty cool.” The other part of me was cursing in my living room. If you can beat the streak, you will have your score uploaded to the leaderboards. Your total score is based on your offensive moves, match drama, and other factors.
WWE 2K14 has made slight improvements to gameplay and the Universe Mode (WWE 2K14 career mode). WWE 2K14 also has one of the deepest set of creation tools of any video game out there. You have a variety of options when it comes to creating your own wrestler, ring introduction, arena, etc. WWE 2K14 is a game that is deep enough to please the hardcore wrestling gamers and provides enough nostalgia to appeal to a large number of casual wrestling gamers. If you haven’t played a WWE video game in a while, this one is worth picking up.
SCORE: 9 out of 10