After the bankruptcy of THQ late last year and sale of the majority of it’s assets a lot of well known licenses found new homes. One such franchise was the yearly WWE title. Now owned by Take Two and 2K Sports, after dropping the Smackdown vs. Raw brand two years ago, the franchise will receive its second re-brand in three years – officially being titled as WWE 2K14 this year (I’m sure we can expect WWE 2K15 and so on in future years).
Even with new owners on the publishing side both Yukes Media Creations and Visual Concepts remain at the development helm. So with a new home and a new name but the old guard in charge of development what can we expect from the franchise this year?
Before we get into the gameplay announcements, let’s have a look at the Special Edition and Pre order bonuses.
The pre-order bonus this year is everyone’s favourite incoherent lunatic – The Ultimate Warrior. For WWE followers this is quite a big inclusion, for the first time, in the main WWE title. The Ultimate Warrior featured in WWE All Stars a few years ago, and his appearance gives an indication that one of the biggest wrestling matches of all time will be featured in WWE 2K14 (more on this shortly).
Much like the Stone Cold Steve Austin themed “Austin 3:16” package in 2013, the WWE 2K14 collector’s edition is entitled the “Phenom Edition” and is themed round the WWE’s living legend – The Undertaker. Promising to fully realise the Undertaker’s legacy in WWE 2K14, 2K’s Chris Snyder said: “The Deadman. The Lord of Darkness. The American Badass. The Phenom. In every aspect of his career, Undertaker has commanded the admiration and respect of WWE fans and newcomers alike for more than two decades.”
Available exclusively in the UK for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 through Game, the “Phenom” Collector’s Edition is currently scheduled to offer the following items:
- Exclusive tin coffin box featuring the logo of The Undertaker
- Exclusive collectible art card personally autographed by The Undertaker
- Exclusive Undertaker “American Badass” skin
- Exclusive Undertaker Themed Controller Skin
- “WWE The Undertaker – The Streak” Disc 1 (Blu-Ray / DVD)
- Copy of WWE 2K14 videogame
- Access to WWE 2K14 global pre-order offer Ultimate Warrior playable character
Building on from last years popular “Attitude Era” single player campaign which focussed on the WWE’s most groundbreaking period during the Monday Night Wars; WWE 2K14 expands the amount of WWE history in its single player campaign in its “30 Years of Wrestlemania” mode.
During this mode players will play out over 45 matches from three decades of the WWE’s showpiece event. Although the premise of competing in some of most legendary Wrestlemania matches is similar to 2009’s Legends of Wrestlemania, The “30 Years of Wrestlemania” mode is more in the same style as the main game where Legends of Wrestlemania went for a more arcade experience.
Where the “Attitude Era” Mode last year stripped down the in-match HUD to a minimal, more TV-like experience; 30 Years of Wrestlemania will feature era-specific graphic quality which utilise vintage screen effects. Helping the immersion factor, the WWE have produced video packages – much like you see at pay per view events today- for each match to remind players of the storyline that preceded the Wrestlemania match.
Currently, 19 matches have been featured in official screen shots and trailers:
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 3
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 3 & 4
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “Million Dollar man” Ted Dibiase (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 4
Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 6
Sgt Slaughter vs. Hulk Hogan (Confirmed as only possible Sgt Slaughter WrestleMania match) – WrestleMania 7
Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 10
Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 12
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 15, 17 & 19
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 18
Edge vs. Mick Foley (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 22
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 24
Triple H vs. The Undertaker (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 17, 27 & 28
The Rock vs. John Cena (Confirmed by Trailer) – WrestleMania 28 & 29
However, based on the announced 30 Years of WrestleMania roster thus far, any one of an additional 47 matches could make the cut into the games including:
Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd – WrestleMania 1
Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy – WrestleMania 2
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania 5
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania 7
“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair – WrestleMania 8
Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – WrestleMania 9
Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna – WrestleMania 9 & 10
Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 11
Undertaker vs. Diesel – WrestleMania 12
Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – WrestleMania 13
Undertaker vs. Kane – WrestleMania 14 & 20
Triple H vs. Big Show vs. The Rock vs. Mick Foley – WrestleMania 16
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho – WrestleMania 19
Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania 20
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton – WrestleMania 21
John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 23
Undertaker vs. Edge – WrestleMania 24
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 25 & 26
The Undertaker vs. CM Punk – WrestleMania 29
WWE 2K14 is due to be released on the 1st November 2013. Stay tuned to Midlife Gamer for further WWE 2K14 announcements as they happen.