It was a rollercoaster few weeks for senior game designer Bryan Williams and the rest of the WWE 2K14 video game team late last year.
They weren’t even sure there was going to be a video game after developer and publisher THQ was headed for bankruptcy.
“We were all kind of nervous,” Williams said. “The whole THQ situation was bad. It was you’re going into the office everyday wondering…We all saw the writing on the wall. I was at THQ since 2003. So we knew. I knew. The company was bleeding out for so long. It was like getting a gut shot. There isn’t really much you can do.
“I was hopeful that something or someone would come pick up the game and take the team. It just so happens 2K, Take-Two were the ones who wanted to be involved with WWE and the business side of it. They wanted to be making these games. So, for me, I found out in early November that 2K Sports was going to talk to us about what their intentions were.”
Williams described that day as a good one and a hopeful one. He was fortunate he and other members of the team working on the game were part of a fairly smooth transition. The longtime wrestling fan has been involved in the design side of WWE games since “SmackDown vs. Raw 2006.”
There wasn’t much lapse in game production during the acquisition because 2K Sports made arrangements to stay in the THQ building and continue working until the new offices were ready for the team.
“The visions, the designs and our entire focus for this game when we were still at THQ all came to fruition,” Williams said. “We didn’t have to cut anything or reduce scope on anything. It’s amazing that with all the stuff we’ve gone through in the span of the production of this game that we are still going to hit our street date of Oct. 29. More importantly than that, we are still going to be delivering a high quality game that blows our left effort out of the water, and that was a good game. It is. We are covering 30 years of WrestleMania.”
The creative team wanted to build on the success of last year’s focus on the “Attitude Era.” They certainly did in a big way. The “30 Years of WrestleMania” mode is an amazing trip down memory lane for longtime fans and a history lesson for new ones. The videos between the matches are well put together and provide a nice backs story to the matches.
There is so much attention to detail, from the entrance ways to the rings to the old superstar themes and everything in between. Jim Ross and Jerry The King Lawler reunite to provide the soundtrack to these iconic collisions gamers. With Ross no longer contracted to WWE, it may be the last time we hear his legendary voice calling matches. The mode itself truly is addicting. There is motivation in unlocking superstars like Razor Ramon and Eddie Guerrero and other goodies.
The “Streak” mode within the mod is a fun tribute to The Undertaker. The gauntlet style match has you play as the Deadman tries to rack up victims. Players can make it a competition among friends or themselves to see who can defeat more opponents in the ultimate battle of endurance. There is also a chance to face the legendary figure and try to end the most legendary win streak in WWE history. I tried numerous times, and it’s easier said than done.