WWE 2K14: Hands-On Thoughts

The WWE video game franchise has been “2K-ed.”

Kind of.

Sporting improved animations, an overhaul in the locomotion system and more ways to apply your favorite moves, the first hands-on of “WWE 2K14” was a promising one, even if it doesn’t look all that much different from “WWE ’13.”

Just weeks after the trailer debut, which set the internet ablaze with criticisms of the game’s visuals, “WWE 2K14” looks better than what the trailer showed. New walking and dragging animations, along with “fidgets,” which allow characters to adjust wrist bands and play with their hair, highlight the “better-looking” “WWE 2K14.” However, that’s not the say the graphics are much of an improvement over “WWE 13.” More a polishing than a complete new coat of paint, the gameplay additions in this year’s version of the game is what 2K believes will set the game apart from its predecessors.

One of the first noticeable differences is the attention to strikes. For years, grapple maneuvers could usually be a successful deterrent to any strike. This year, 2K has done two things. The first is speed up strikes, which makes it easier to you to gain control of a match with your fists and feet. the second is cut the amount of damage they deliver. What this does is change the pace of matches and allow for more opportunities to set yourself up for big maneuvers. Unlike previous games where gamers could use strikes a whole match in order to gain an advantage, 2K has made sure that grapple maneuvers are what set the match apart in terms of damage, while strikes are a way to get the upper-hand in order to get the opportunity to perform the moves you need to get the pin.

The reversal system has also been revamped. Until the “anything you can do, I can do better” reversal system last year and in games prior, “WWE 2K14” has a much simpler reverse system that keeps the matches going at a brisker pace. Once a move has been reversed, the chain usually ends with a grapple and the match continues.

Another cool addition is that “Comeback” moments are now linked to Signature and Finishing maneuvers. 2K Games’ Corey Ledesma showed during the gameplay section of this week’s press conference a match where The Ultimate Warrior, who will be included in the game (as a pre-order gift) for the first time since the says of the Playstation’s “WWF: In Your House” using his Comeback option and then swiftly and smoothly transitioning into his trademark Splash and pin. This recreates the unpredictability of a WWE match, but also increases the authenticity of the brand.

2K also promised more moves in this year’s version including more OMG moments and “Catapault” finishers, which allow gamers to throw their opponents into the air and apply their finishing maneuver- think a Press into an RKO or a Sweet Chin Music. While this new option does hurt some of the realism 2K has developed with the better match pacing and animations, it is fun to apply some of these holds, with the new twist.

“WWE 2K14” is scheduled for an October 29 release.

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Patrick Hickey Jr.

Editor-in-Chief, Founder at Review Fix
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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