Electronic Theatre Preview: WWE 2K14

In WWE 2K14, Yuke’s have produced the best looking WWE videogame there has ever been. Of that there is no doubt, however – as with many titles wrestled back into action after the THQ fallout – there’s more going on behind the scenes with this […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageIn WWE 2K14, Yuke’s have produced the best looking WWE videogame there has ever been. Of that there is no doubt, however – as with many titles wrestled back into action after the THQ fallout – there’s more going on behind the scenes with this one. 2K Games have certainly pushed for the investment in numbers, with more wrestlers, costumes and gameplay modes than ever before, but whether that’s enough to keep the ardent fanbase happy remains to be seen.

Certainly, for a first crack at the whip, 2K Games appear to be providing Yuke’s with the support they need. There’s plenty of refinement in WWE 2K14, from the visual design to the combat system, most of which are obvious improvements. The basics remain the same – reversals require very specific timing, damage is accumulated on character physique rather thanElectronic Theatre Image artificially via an energy bar and blows act as stun attacks rather than inflicting significant damage – but there have been some fundamental changes that make WWE 2K14 far more flexible.

The most noticeable change is in that of the grapple system. WWE 2K14 returns to the classic directional input system where throws are no longer determined by location but rather by the precise commands of the player. This allows for far greater awareness of the resulting impact and the location you’ll find yourself in once the chosen manoeuvre has been completed. It’s a vital component of any wrestling videogame that Yuke’s have seen fit to chop-and-change more than any other, and while it’s still not perfect the grapples are now better than they ever have been before.

The preview build made available to Electronic Theatre featured more than a dozen returning superstars playable in One-On-One or Triple Threat matches, or through the brand new 30 Years Of Wrestlemania gameplay mode. An interesting addition, presenting the option to recreate some of the most famous matches in Wrestlemania history, 30 Years Of Wrestlemania invests in some new gameplay mechanics that may seem at odds with the immediacy of the typical WWE videogame formula.

As the player is tasked with recreating matches there are a number of specific objectives given in each, some open from the start and other unveiled as the match continues. Furthermore, some are essential to completion while others simply offer bonuses. Upon setting yourself up for one of these objectivesElectronic Theatre Image a cutscene will take over, acting out the specific moment just as it originally happened on the television show. Having the control pulled away from you in such a drastic manner can be a little jarring at first, but Electronic Theatre is willing to believe that this drastic design change is for the better, especially in isolation in the 30 Years Of Wrestlemania mode.

It’s not long now until WWE 2K14 is with us, and given the variety of special edition packages and downloadable content already announced it’s clear that 2K Games are expecting big things. Given the example of the software presented to Electronic Theatre its hard not to believe that they’ve got it right, both in terms of the gameplay and the likelihood of the videogame achieving success, but fans will be able to find out for themselves in a little over a week.

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