Why You Shouldn’t Buy WWE2k14

I’m sure you’ve all heard that quote from Albert Einstein; the one where he defines insanity as “…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

By that logic, my brother is insane.

Every year he pre-orders the newest WWE video game, every year I implore him not to, reminding him that the previous year’s edition was shite and yet every year he does it anyway.

I thought he was joking when he said he’d pre-ordered WWE2K14, I really did. But he wasn’t.

He told me he was sure it would be better this year, since 2K Sports had a full year to work on it having taken over from THQ after the latter company went bust.

I did remind him that it was still developed by Yukes, so he shouldn’t expect miracles.

But still, there he was, playing through the much vaunted “30 Years of Wrestlemania” Mode, WWE’s trump card for this year.

Let’s just say that in one afternoon of playing it, he’d already got himself as far as Wrestlemania 22, so I doubt that mode has legs.

Same Old Shit

Same Old Shit

And so once again, any long-term playability rests within the match engine itself.

So he convinced me to have a go of a Royal Rumble to see what I thought.

I did, and I was left with a mixture of smug satisfaction knowing I was right, anger at WWE for putting out yet another sub-standard game, and a mild sense of pity for him and every other sucker who has been swayed into buying this ropey product.

Now I’ll admit that my experience with the product only extends to a handful of matches, a Royal Rumble and watching him play the Wrestlemania mode a bit, but that’s enough for me to make my mind up on it. It’s quite clear that my thoughts from last year, the year before that, and hell, 10 years before that will still be the same.

So here are my big issues with Why You Shouldn’t Buy WWE2K14

Presentation

I had a quick skim of some of the reviews this game has been getting. And yes, these reviews – like every year – give it a glowing bumming up by people who either have been paid off or just haven’t played a good wrestling game before.

But anyway, to a man, they talk about how the presentation is out of this world.

It’s not.

And this is a massive bugbear of mine.

Within five minutes of playing it, I’d found the following issues…

  • Sgt Slaughter doesn’t have his correct theme music. Before anyone tries to say “That was his music at Wrestlemania VII”, it wasn’t. His theme music when he was a heel started with him shouting “Attention”. How hard would it be to just use that particular MP3 file in their collection or ask him to re-record it?
  • Big John Studd doesn’t have his theme music. Again, I accept that he didn’t have music in his Wrestlemania I match, but if you’re going to insist on giving him music, why not give him his proper theme from his 1988/9 run?
  • The likes of Andre the Giant and King Kong Bundy do have music when they shouldn’t.
  • Randy Savage doesn’t have the right music. And this to me is probably the biggest blunder of all. I mean for crying out loud, the version WWE used back in the day was a generic license free version of one of the most famous pieces of music in history. They could have spent 2 minutes finding that.
  • Bret Hart was called “The Excellence IN Execution” by Michael Cole on commentary. Surely Cole knows that’s wrong, and even if he doesn’t, there must be quality control somewhere along the line?
  • Wrestlers like Big John Studd don’t come out in their entrance gear. Laziness.
  • The Ultimate Warrior’s entrance graphics make him look about as threatening as Charles Hawtrey, as he camply pumps him first in the air.
  • The Royal Rumble camera angle has changed so that you don’t see the entrance of wrestlers before they come in. To me, that’s actually making what is already a dodgy game worse.

I’m sure there are plenty of good things about the presentation of this game – especially for the current roster – but for the Legends that are such a strong selling point of the product (after all, the main marketing for this game has been for The Ultimate Warrior) it’s riddled with basic errors.

It’s not like I’m some sort of autistic who sees minutiae problems as deal breaking. No, these are fundamental complaints with the presentation of one of the game’s key selling points. If I – as someone who can tell these problems simply from remembering them from my childhood – can easily spot issues, why can’t someone in Quality Assurance at Yukes, 2K Sports of WWE do the same?

It reminds me of the problem they have with Rick Rude in these games. I understand he’s DLC for this one, but when that DLC comes out, you can bet that he’ll have that crappy theme tune he had for about 2 months in 1987 and not the one everyone knows him for and would prefer for him to have. And moreover, when he comes out to the ring he won’t have a robe either, nor will his hands touch his head when he does his hip swivel.

WWE might well say about theme music issues that they don’t want to pay for the rights to certain artists work, but at the same time, they are happy to take all our money to buy a product that isn’t as good as it could be.

In terms of presentation, all I ask is that if they want to use Legends as a selling point, that they actually do them properly.

The Same Gameplay Problems

I would struggle, but I could forgive the presentation problems if the game was fun to play, but again, it’s not.

Royal Rumbles are the same as ever. All I have to do to win it is throw someone towards the ropes, press A and then press a series of buttons faster that the AI or my friends (which isn’t difficult) and the opponent has been eliminated. I came in as number two after my brother, and once he’d been eliminated (and strangely was unable to come back in again) there was never really a point when there was more than one AI opponent in the ring at a time. It was tiresome, and it was incredibly dull.

That aside, many of the same basic problems remain the same. Opponent switching means that you can attempt an elbowdrop on a standing opponent, top rope moves are sketchy at best, and throwing someone into a corner where someone else is already standing results in the wrestler jogging on the spot for a while.

Why do they never change any of these problems?

Moreover, there are still these silly cutscenes that interrupt play, but only for the human player. So for example, when my brother was eliminated from the Rumble, I had to watch a cutscene for 10 seconds while the AI kept on punching and kicking my guy. Crap.

But then that’s really what WWE games are these days; cutscenes. You’ve just got to maneuver an opponent into a certain area, press one button and watch a sequence of moves play out. That’s just garbage; there’s no difficulty level there at all.

Wrestlers of course also have ridiculous move sets as well, especially the legends who end up doing moves you’d never have seen them do in the past.

The Same Roster As Ever

Now as many of you will know, I work for Sports Interactive, who make the Football Manager series of games. I’m also a big fan of the FIFA series.

So I understand that sports games are released year on year, often – in FIFA’s case – with only minor tweaks and roster updates, and I’m fine with that. The changes in roster are important.

But WWE games very rarely even change that.

I’m not sure how many wrestlers in this game weren’t in the last one or two games, but I doubt its many. Less than 10 and certainly nobody important.

So we’re expected to pay out year on year for a game that hasn’t changed in terms of gameplay or indeed wrestlers.

And the ones who are in it – in terms of the current WWE roster – are barely represented properly. It always seems out of date, whether it’s costumes or theme music. Tensai for example has his Japanese style theme which I don’t think he’s used for a good 6-8 months.

Also, who really cares about playing as “Young” Brock Lesnar when he’s the same bloke with the same look and mostly the same moves? Or old school Kane when the one in the game has his mask again?

Playing To Tell A Story

The 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode is a nice idea, but as I said, it can be conquered in a day.

That aside (and that’s a massive flaw in itself), what annoyed me from watching my brother play it is that the game demands that you lose for a while.

What sort of game asks the player to let the AI beat him up for a spell so he can make a comeback? You’ve got situations where to beat certain matches, you have to allow your opponent to do his finisher on you so you can kick out of it. So basically, from the off, you may as well just sit back, let the other wrestler beat you up to the point where they’ve got their finisher, and only then start your comeback.

That’s just got gaming the wrong way round if you ask me.

How Could It Improve?

So there you have my main concerns with this game. There are others, such as the Create-A-Wrestler mode which is overcomplicated & unwelcoming, and the clumsiness of other modes like certain Gimmick matches that don’t flow well, but those are the main ones. And that’s saying nothing for the supposedly crap and limited Universe mode.

What frustrates me the most is that the wrestling game genre could and should be far better than it is.

You ask most gamers who have played wrestling games since their childhood and they’ll likely tell you that games of the ilk of Fire Pro Wrestling, Virtual Pro Wrestling, King of Colosseum and the much-loved No Mercy were simply a lot more fun to play. Less frills of course, but you could have a better structured and more engaging match.

But thanks to Yukes, this particular sub genre of the gaming world is rotting away from a creative standpoint. The gameplay isn’t a patch on what it was, and while the likes of football games and First Person Shooters have advanced in the last 10 years, wrestling games have gone backwards.

The thing is though, as long as they get these puzzlingly good reviews and people still buy the product, there will never be change.

And that is eerily reflective of WWE as well.

What’s more, there’s no alternative to buy, so it can’t be like when people migrated away from the stagnant PES and moved to FIFA.

A real shame.

Now fair enough if you like it; that’s your call. But ask yourself two questions…

Have you played any other wrestling game before?

and

Do you have any real interest in playing a straight forward, 1-on-1 exhibition match on WWE2k14?

I doubt it.

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19 Responses to Why You Shouldn’t Buy WWE2k14

  1. […] If you read by article on Why You Shouldn’t Buy WWE2k14, you’ll know why. If you haven’t, check it out here […]

  2. akshay bajaj says:

    I totally agree with you. Right from the rumble to the brock and kane issue etc..

    I really suggest you try Wrestling Revolution in your Android/iPhone. Its the best wrestling game of this generation. A simple 2D game with awesome gameplay! Pls try it.

  3. says:

    if you like wwe yes i am interest in playing a straight forward, 1-on-1

  4. chad toby says:

    I have played every wwe wrestling game ever made and now I’m just getting pissed. HOW HARD IS IT TO PUT OLD WRESTLERS IN THE GAME!? WHY DO I WANT 3 HOGANS FLAIRS UNDERTAKERS AND SO ON. LEGENDS OF WRESTLING CRAPY GAMEPLAY BUT GOOD WRESTLERS TO CHOOSE FROM!

  5. AJ says:

    Solid view on this and I agree with most, but one piece I have to correct you on is, 2K didn’t have these rights until after THQ went out, I dont remember that exact period but I wanna say March of this year, so 2K in fact did not have 1 year to develope, but more realistically a hand full of months inheriting a near completed game base.

  6. Andrew K says:

    Maybe I’m mis reading this but Bret hart was NEVER called the excellence IN execution. It’s always been OF execution. If you were saying it’s IN then you are the one who is wrong.

    I agree with the rest though. I bought this game. I wasn’t tricked. I knew what it was. I wanted to play with friends. Maybe don’t ignorantly insult people? This is why you don’t run a successful dot com.

    • sgmilne says:

      You’re misreading this.

      “Within five minutes of playing it, I’d found the following issues…

      Bret Hart was called “The Excellence IN Execution” by Michael Cole on commentary. Surely Cole knows that’s wrong, and even if he doesn’t, there must be quality control somewhere along the line?”

      I’d say it’s very clear that I’m pointing out him being called the Excellence IN Execution is a problem.

      Not sure where the “ignorantly insulting people” idea comes from. Maybe don’t be so precious?

    • Buzzsaw says:

      If you’re going to bitch, then getcher shit straight.

  7. Andrew K says:

    Oh my comment probably won’t be accepted.

  8. Tired says:

    It just simply *isnt exciting to play*
    There’s no urgency or impact, just a slow,draining slug through tired animations and awkward walking styles.

  9. joecaldren says:

    POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  10. Joe Hickton says:

    This is a very biased opinion, you hardly mentioned any of the good parts of the game. You played a Royal Rumble, big deal! I assume you didn’t even have it on a higher difficulty. Gameplay in normal matches is very fluent and entertaining. Universe mode, allowing the player to change, almost anything. Also, less than 10 new wrestlers? I counted 22 new superstars/divas excluding Downloadable Content and the retro versions. You’re reviewing a game that you’ve not even played properly and you’re suggesting that people don’t buy it.

    • Kerry Moore says:

      I agree with this guy. You only played a Royal Rumble, and although I dislike the new feature, with the angle the camera is at pissing me off, I really think it is a bit fun. Yes, the RR (for ease) is a bit easy, the other match types aren’t. You try to say that a 6-man ladder match is easy, and you’re full of SHIT.

      And the thing with Brock and Kane? I can see about Brock, but the old Kane and new Kane are very, very different. New Kane? He loves to talk, and goes really slow in ring. Old? He fucking destroyed people for a month before he even started going in matches, and even then he obliterated Mankind. But I’m getting off-topic… Point is, it’s the fact that you are able to be the version of someone you grew up with.

      No new characters? Andre? Hogan? ABA Undertaker (Which I’ve always wanted to see)? Yeah, they’ve been in every game, sure.

      And the Creating a wrestler? That’s the main reason I get the game! What’s better than seeing a pure black-skinned, white-tattooed guy beating the living hell out of someone that looks like he burned a skull mask onto his face? And I can even make a very realistic version of myself, and have him beat the shit out of someone, or more realistically, him getting beaten to hell.

      You watched someone who played the past version, you played the easiest type, and yet you act as if you did the whole thing.

      I was going to get the 2K15, but after looking at the roster, there to me was no way I’d have enough themes to have the amount of custom superstars I use. I rarely use the actual rosters; I make my own shit, replace everyone in the Universe, and play form there. It’s a pain, and takes forever, but in the end it’s totally worth it, at least to me.

  11. I don’t understand how anyone can honestly say this game is an improvement over last years, which was garbage as well. Starting from wwe12 to current they have only gotten worse, controls get more buggy every year, move animations look ridiculous(like floating in air triple suplexes), and overall repetitive presentations. Also the creation suite hasn’t been updated and is same since svr2011, while things like customized entrances are either moved or nonexistent. While all these things are bad enough by themselves I have had other issues with the game freezing/crashing, and now refusing to load any data that I have. This is more than enough to aggravate anyone but compile that with repeated attempts to resolve the issues with 2k and receive no help and no return messages or calls, then you can tell me what a great game it is. If I had the opportunity to play this game for a month that might be stretching it, although I played through 30 years mode and found it decent enough, and spent many hours and days in creation suite creating for a few community requests I don’t feel I should settle for what I received. I will admit yes maybe 2k didn’t have time to put into this title to make changes, but their lack of response to the existing issues sure points to a noncommittal approach to it’s development. I have heard the “Oh wait till next year when they have a full year to develop it”, but really with all the problems they have with their other titles how can anyone believe it will be different, I for one don’t.

  12. Brandon Toding says:

    Though I agree with you that this game in particular was a horrible installment and I would agree that nobody should buy it. I say this as a man who is exactly like your brother selling out each year saying “it will be better”. With that being said nobody is talking about this games real issues everybody is talking about duplicate content same old animations and not enough new content. In my personal opinion as far as content and creative goes this game is of course better then the last few years. The real problem I am having is how did we produce a new game that was glitchier then it’s predecessor of two years ya this game is glitchier then 2012. 2013 is mountains ahead of it in that department. The matches flow has even admittedly got better 2k14 did that right but when I’m playing and I can’t do certain moves because I am afraid the whole match will go screwy it really takes away from that.

    All of this being said from a guy who has played wrestling games from the N64 Ecw wwe and wcw games to ps2s here comes the pain “witch you seemed to skip witch adds to me making this argument” to all the yearly wrestling games. I do not think your opinion of this game is very valid. You did not mention any of the glitching nor did you mention even a quarter of the voice issues you just picked out one and threw it at us “though it was justified because there are A LOT like that not defending the game” witch leads me to believe you just skimmed through the game and expect people to take your word at face value. This actually really upsets me and with all these reviewers that get paid too just tell you a game is good it makes me sad to try and find honest reviewers only to run into half assed reviews based on watching someone else experience with the game it’s insulting to your audience. If you are going to review a game at least try and look at all the features because there are good parts to the game it was the most horrible in the series yet and not worth the buy but don’t mislead a whole audience not to buy a game on your misconstrued out look. If a fan who actually enjoyed creating saw this they would be missing out on some great creative content which from the sound of this you didn’t look at. If you want to increase yourself as a reviewer just please look closer at your games and it’s content and try to understand. Everybody is not buying this game for the same reason as you.

    • Buzzsaw says:

      Yep. You know it. I like the creating part. I have dozens and dozens of original characters that are quite honestly great. Now it takes 3-5 hours to dial one in (4 attiresX3, move sets, entrance, convert mp3 theme music, custom logos etc.) if not longer. I must be crazy, but I do it.
      Now, I look through the create options for 2k14, and it is THE same shit. I mean, THE SAME SHIT. There’s no way I’m spending a month to literally duplicate what I’ve already got on WWE’13, just to have to do it all over again when 2k15 comes out. I hope to God, that 2k15 is actually a NEW game!!!
      Also, the “Video Editor” is gone in 2k14, Ultimate Warrior (R.I.P.)looks like he did in WWE L.O.W. (the guy painted his chest like once at WMVI, and that’s what they keep using.) Many wrestlers were half-assed like you said, and the CAW textures for Divas are shitty. I need a live feed while playing to bitch more completely.

  13. bigwigglez says:

    I am a wrestling fan and i agree with you about WWE2k14 being a total waste of time and money, however your opinion is A LOT one-sided and probably wouldn’t change if Brock Lesnar popped out of your TV screen yelling “Did you just see that shit?!”.. even then you would probably reply “Meh, that feature of people popping out of the TV is two years behind. your opinion is very biased but at least you acknowledged that you didn’t actually play the game (one or two matches is not playing a game) before you slandered it with no knowledge of the game on any level besides having your thumb up your arse.

    Here is a short version of why this game is an ACTUAL total waste of time and money:

    *The cover (and pretty much everything actually) reeks of 2K. At some point the concept of WWE should really be there or at least have a game cover that couldnt easliy get lost with all the other 2K games from this year.
    * NO ORIGINALITY WHATSOEVER!! you would think that fresh commentary or new commentators would be introduced but everything was a copy-paste job from THQ (sometimes, Lawler still talks to JR when Kane does a chokeslam… really???)
    *The graphics and gameplay has been improved and smoothed out. it this bad? NO! but its expected and should not be praised.

    I agree on the Royal Rumble entrances! i missed watching the superstars actually enter the stage.

    in short, the game was awful!! and this is coming from someone who (like your brother) pre-orders every year and can recognize whats been improved and what hasn’t

  14. WCExhibit says:

    As an avid follower of Wrestling Games from main-stream wrestling over the span of 20 years or more, this game is shit. The last decent WWE game was RawVsSmackdown 2006. Haven’t bought any after that.

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