WWE 2K14 – The road to 30 years of Wrestlemania begins here

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Let me tell ya somethin’ brother! In this industry of man on man action with tight spandex trunks and enough violence to make a parental group keel over, there’s only one main event that matters! And what’cha gonna do, when 30 years of Wrestlemania runs wild all over you? Answer: CHAIR SHOT!.

30 years of Wrestlemania will take players across a tour of the history of the main event, an annual line-up of matches that Paul “Triple H” Levesque referred to as the Superbowl (Think Currie Cup or relevant big SPERTS tournament) of the industry.

According to 2K Sports Creative Director Cory Ledesma, 30 years of Wrestlemania will be a “nostalgic journey allowing players to relive Wrestlemania glory with more than 45 matches”.

For 2K14, the biggest feuds and matches from those three decades of sports entertainment are being cherry-picked for the game, fights that will see the return of TNA regular Hulk Hogan when he took on Andre the Giant and The Rock at Wrestlemania 3 and 18 respectively, through to last year’s main event when John Cena fought the Rock.

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According to Ledesma though, this will be more than just a simple job of slapping some rendered WWE superstars into the ring, as the 2K14 version of the annual WWE title will be going to great lengths in order to recreate those classic fights. “We wanted to construct the greatest roster ever assembled in a video game,” Ledesma said.

To fully immerse our players in WWE history, we spent a great deal of time recreating each match. From ring attire, crowds and vintage screen effects, we even recreated the video quality of back then to transport you back in time.

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Those Wrestlemania matches will also be packed with in-game goals, which when completed will unlock a “treasure trove” of rewards, archive footage and more WWE legends. Ledesma and Levesque were keeping mum on which matches would be included exactly, but for those goals I’d imagine that players would have to accomplish certain actions such as body-slamming Andre the Giant or throwing Ric Flair’s patented figure four leg lock onto the Undertaker from that rather vicious Wrestlemania 18 match.

Triple H then spoke about the history of the event, comparing the big iconic fights of those pay per views to the build-up of a Rock match. “We want you to relive that moment, live that big match and participate in that big match,” Triple H said. Even though he may be a Hollywood regular now and go by the name of Dwayne Johnson, also expect to see plenty of the Rock in WWE 2K14. “Everything he touches, turns to gold,” Triple H said.

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It’s not just Hulk Hogan that will be joining the Rock though, as the Ultimate Warrior himself has finally returned to the company, following years of silence since he left. And not on the best of terms either. According to Triple H though, the time was right for Warrior to finally return to the core WWE video game franchise alongside Hulk Hogan.

I’m a big believer in this industry, I sit in my office and I’m a 6 year old kid watching wrestling on my TV on a Saturday,” Triple H said.

Hulk Hogan, Warrior, these are the guys that I grew up watching, they should be a part of it, they should participate in it. And in the bigger picture, can’t we all just work together?

What our fans want to see, they want remember their childhood, remember their past and participate in it. In this game coming to be, we had discussions and Warrior was excited to return to the fold. It was the right time, him jumping into this game was the right time.

One aspect of the recent WWE games that gets flak though, is that they tend to focus more on older performers, than the current roster. Is there too much of a reliance on the history of the WWE instead of its future? According to Ledesma though, going back to the past is something that the fans are always wanting.

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We had a tremendous response from our fans, and it was a big success for us,” said Ledesma about the Attitude Era mode that had players battling it out in the more notorious age of the franchise.

We were able to relive some of the great moments of the attitude era. When we looked back, we looked at ways that we could build on that. This big milestone coming up with Wrestlemania 30.We thought that it would be a perfect time to celebrate that event and those moments. Fans want to relive those matches, see those matches in the game.

Appeal to all fan types, cover such a great time in WWE history, what a great opportunity to do that. relive that history. Hulk Hogan, Randy Macho Man Savage, these are all names etched in history, this is the best roster that we’ve ever put together.

We took a hard look at the current roster, we wanted it to be a simulation of WWE programming. We are happy to report that the current roster is complete and strong, accurate and deep.

“That’s the history of our business,” Triple H added. “That is the one thing everyone asks you. Who would win? Austin vs Bruno Sammartino? Warrior vs Giant?

To have those moments, to have those contests, how can anyone see that as a downside, taking away from today’s roster? Taking a  character from 30 years ago and plugging him into todays environment, seeing how he performs that’s the beauty of the game.

But one thing that I wanted to know, in regards to the 30 years of Wrestlemania, was just how far was 2K going to go in order to make these matches feel as big as they did when they played out. You’ve got to remember, the majority of those matches were months in the making, as Superstars traded banter back and forth, surprise attacks and chair shots to the head.

Read  WWE Super Showdown 2018 – Every match happening this Saturday

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That led to a fever pitch of expectations for the showcase of the immortals, when those two superstars finally clashed. How do you insert that momentum into a Wrestlemania match on your console?

“Players will be able to watch exclusively-produced WWE videos of the rivalries and storylines that transpired leading up to the WrestleMania matches,” Ledesma said. “This will give players the backgrounds to each storyline and help them appreciate the gravity of these matches.

No one tells a story better than WWE, and we appreciate the great production work they’ve been known for these past three decades to tell these amazing stories.

Also, many of the rivalries spanned over multiple WrestleMania events, which allows fans to play out those rivalries through the course of multiple generations and WrestleMania events. The vision was to celebrate the best WrestleMania moments and matches that define what WrestleMania is all about.

And hopefully without the Stone Cold stunning difficulty of the previous two WWE games, which had in-ring AI that bordered on wrestling gaaaaawd-like at times. Hell, I’d have better luck trying to beat the Big Show in a height contest than dealing with that ridiculous game difficulty. According to Cory though, this year will see a much more balanced level of ruthless aggression that ties into the new reversal gameplay system.

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“We spent a good deal of time tuning WWE2K14’s AI to cater to both casual fans and hardcore players,” Ledesma said. “This is always a fine balance to strike in order to provide multiple experiences that are competitive for all skill levels.”

We’ve tuned both the aggression level and reversal rates of the AI on the default Normal difficulty setting to give users who may not be as familiar with the series an opportunity to engage in a competitive battle right off the bat.

We recommend that first time or casual players to try the Easy difficulty level at first, in order to reduce the learning curve of adapting to the controls and reversal attack timing in the game. This difficulty level offers a far less stressful environment to hone your skills. We would recommend our experienced and hardcore players try out the Hard and Legend difficulty levels to offer the most difficult of challenges.

Along with these AI changes, the new reversal system changes also swing the difficulty level in the player’s favour as well. Now when successfully reversing a grapple attack, you will automatically perform a reversal attack on your opponent, whereas previously grapple reversals would lead to a back-and-forth chain reversal that would give the AI an opportunity to reverse your counter attack after a reversal.

This change gives players more opportunities to get the upper hand on the AI after reversals and gives the match pacing a little more back-and-forth, ultimately providing a more exciting experience for the player.

There’s a lot of history involved in Wrestlemania, and if WWE 2K14 can pull off enough OMG moments that’ll have virtual Jim Ross shouting out Stone Cold Steve Austin’s name with an improved AI and reversal system, then this could be the start of a new era for WWE games. WWE 2K14 is out on November 1 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Last Updated: August 12, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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