WWE 2K14

[Developer Chat] 2K Games Cory Ledesma on WWE 2K14

No kayfabe here as we get the straight dope about some new features.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: October 14, 2013
Last year WWE ‘13 took us deep into the Attitude Era with a well-produced story that allowed players to recreate many of their favorite moments from that beloved period. Everyone from Stone Cold to D-Generation X got the royal treatment and the presentation rivaled the WWE’s best broadcast work. On top of the that one of the most full-featured customization suites ever seen in a console game let would-be promoters create entire new series from scratch if they wanted to.

After the fall of THQ the fate of the series and developer Yuke’s was briefly up in the air, but 2K quickly snatched up both and brought along Project Director Cory Ledesma to ensure the series would continue to bring the same level of polish to market. On Friday we conferenced in on a call with Cory as he talked about some of the new features in WWE 2K14 and then took a few questions from the press.

We learned quite a bit on the call. We learned that the Miz isn’t really that good at video games, that Mark Henry doesn’t think the developers rate him highly enough (and he isn’t afraid to “campaign” for better stats) and that the deep customization is getting even deeper. If you were one of those lamenting that inability to make a Diva-only championship in past years your patience is about to payoff because for the first time ever you can solely focus on the female side of wrestling. Expect expanded character creation options and even more fine-tuned tools for creating your own intros, arenas and championships.

The real meat this year though, the replacement for the Attitude Era, is “The 30 Years of Wrestlemania” mode. With close to 50 matches reprising the best moments from the original major event of the WWE it promises to have any fans favorite moments. It’s cool to see the series continue to focus on recreating historic series rather than inventing fictional careers. I’ve always found that to make the experience more relatable to me.

Don't call him "Thunderlips"

Of course any Wrestlemania fan knows that the iconic image is The Undertaker’s winning streak that spans almost the entire series. It’s a ritual as timeless as Mean Gene Oakerlund himself. Cory was really excited to tell us about the new modes that let you take your own part in this epic setup. Players will be able to choose to either “Defend the Streak” or “Defeat the Streak” depending on their allegiances in this matter.

Those that choose to defend the streak will play as The Undertaker taking on a series of opponents one at a time as you attempt to defend the streak and recreate the same unassailable portfolio of victories. It won’t be easy as the AI will be cranked up to recreate the intense emotions that come along with these historic clashes. If you instead decide to defeat the streak you’ll step into the shoes of one of the classic foes that tried to end the streak over the years. As if that wasn’t intimidating enough, you’ll be facing The Undertaker using his unique “streak” AI that will likely be too much for all but the most hardened warriors out there.

This looks like it's going to hurt. For both of them.

Listening to Cory’s infectious enthusiasm it was easy to see why WWE 2K14 is clearly a project rooted in a passion for the WWE that runs through the entire team. Their ability to capture the whimsy and wink-and-a-nod spirit of the WWE (which is secretly a pretty serious corporation) makes it so even a barely-casual wrestling fan like myself still finds the same joy in sweaty guy grappling that I once found in my youth.

Check back with us in a few weeks for our review of WWE 2K14 that’s sure to be filled with tales of our valiant attempts to take down the streak and our joyous giggles at recreating the time Mr. T tried to take on the WWF with his friend Hulk Hogan.