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WWE 2K14 is a professional wrestling video game developed by Yuke's and published by 2K Sports for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The box art features The Rock as the cover athlete. It is the first game published by 2K Sports since Take-Two Interactive gained the license from THQ in a bankruptcy filing. It is the sequel to WWE '13 and it is succeeded by WWE 2K15. It is the first game in the WWE 2K series. It was released on October 29, 2013, in North America, October 30, 2013, in Japan, October 31, 2013, in Australia, and November 1, 2013, in Europe and India. It is the final WWE video game that featured the scratch logo, first appeared in the Attitude Era, as the company introduced a new logo in 2014, which was originally used as the logo of the WWE Network.
Many of the gameplay features from WWE '13 have been updated. These include the navigation system, allowing for more fluid walking, running and dragging motions. Characters also move faster than previously. Before running, characters display 'starting up' animations, to prevent players from spamming running attacks. All chain reversals now result in offensive attacks, to make for quicker matches by avoiding continuous reversal stalemates. Catapult finishers can now be used offensively. Some characters can launch an opponent into the air and catch them for a catch finisher. Seven new OMG moments have been added, allowing certain finishers to be done on two opponents, and players to interact with the arena environment. The nearfall system too has been improved, with more two counts. Few new matches have been added, though a Slobberknocker Mode, adapted from The Streak season mode, had been added as a gauntlet match.
The long-standing mode, 'Create-a-Superstar' has been tweaked to have an expanded character save slot that can be filled with up to 100 created superstars. While the mode itself remains much of the same, the ability to use existing superstars as a template for new custom variants has been added. The player continues to have the option to create their own entrances and finishers. The ability to create a custom WWE championship is also available, having been made more reminiscent to previous iterations after having limited creativity in WWE '13.
30 Years of WrestleMania
WWE 2K14 features a new single player campaign called 'The 30 Years of WrestleMania', a nostalgia-based gameplay mode that recreates nearly three decades of WWE history, including 45 matches, classic WWE footage and many legendary characters. Like WWE Legends of WrestleMania and WWE '13, the campaign revolves around historical stories rather than original ones. The mode features a distinct roster of wrestlers and alternate gimmicks, who wrestled at WrestleMania (especially in main events).
In Wrestlemania mode, matches have primary objectives, required to beat the game, and bonus historical objectives, which result in recreated WrestleMania moments. Sometimes, the player must follow a guided sequence of inputs, rather than freely control the character.
In 45 primary matches, the player competes through storylines of various lengths, switching predetermined characters as they are completed. Each chapter has its own title and focus; 'Hulkamania Runs Wild' focuses on Hulk Hogan and early WrestleManias, while 'The New Generation' showcases the rise of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in the mid-1990s. The 'Attitude Era' chapter brings back some matches from WWE '13's 'Attitude Era' mode, as well as some not covered before. The 'Ruthless Aggression' chapter focuses on the departure of The Rock, lessened focus on Triple H and rise of John Cena. The final 'Universe Era' chapter focuses on the rise of Randy Orton and the returns of The Rock and Brock Lesnar.
The Streak mode
The game has a mode that focuses on The Undertaker's WrestleManiawinning streak of 21 matches (21-0) at the time of the game's release. In 'The Streak' mode, the player chooses to defend the streak as The Undertaker, battling waves of opponents, or to attempt to break it, with any character. When facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania, the difficulty level is higher than in any previous WWE game. The Undertaker can chokeslam the player if grappled at the head, submit the player with the Hell's Gate when The Undertaker is grounded and can appear once behind the player in an animation previously used for if the Undertaker interferes in a match, if he has a finisher stored.
WWE Universe mode
The sandbox mode, 'WWE Universe', returns, though overhauled to a degree. Continuing the previous features, players get the option to customize existing WWE Shows, bring back retired series or create their own original shows and choose the superstars participating and the titles available. The ability to choose the status of a WWE superstar, whether assigned to one show, several, a legend or a free agent is also available. The ability to delete shows is once again present, as is a further renovated WWE statistics system. The ability to reset a Universe Mode, should it get too 'clunky' is once again available. Continuing the ever expanding story mode options, WWE 2K14 offers the most control in customizing a player's 'universe' by giving them more control over storylines through a new Rivalry Manager. Corroborating with the statistics tracker, the Rivalry Manager can stat-track all the rivalries as well divide storylines into periods based on dates during which period the rivalry will continue depending on in-ring decisions. All the previous storylines from earlier WWE games containing Universe Mode are present, but have been revamped to fit into the Rivalry Manager.
Marketing and release
Casey Collins, WWE Executive Vice President of Consumer Products, revealed on June 4 at the WWE Global Business Partner Summit, that The Rock would be featured on the cover of WWE 2K14. The official cover and trailer were revealed on the June 24 episode of WWE Raw. In July, The Ultimate Warrior was announced as a pre-order exclusive playable character. On August 1, 2K Games announced a special 'Phenom Edition' which included Undertaker-themed extras, including the 'American Badass' playable character.
Three DLC packs were released for the game, focusing on the nWo, new superstars, and additional moves. Additionally, pre-order bonuses for Biker Undertaker and the Ultimate Warrior were made available to buy separate as well.
WWE 2K14 received positive reviews, with the Xbox 360 version receiving 'generally favorable' reviews', while the PS3 version received 'average' reviews from critics, according to review aggregatorMetacritic which gave the Xbox 360 version a score of 75/100 based on 42 reviews and the PlayStation 3 version a score of 74/100 based on 21 reviews.
IGN gave the game an 8.7 out of 10 saying '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'.GameSpot rated the game a 6 out of 10, saying that the game was clunky, 'It's a shame the wrestling isn't up to par in WWE 2K14 because the elements surrounding it are so interesting... 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.'
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