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- WWE 2K14
Don't worry, people. The only thing that's changing is the 'K'.
For a franchise that's been rather predictable for the past decade, the WWE series might now just be the most unpredictable it's ever been, in a year when it's transitioning from the now defunct THQ to the hands of 2K. Apart from several in-house reveals via 2K's Twitch channel, many details surrounding WWE 2K14 were being kept close to the chest. Both fans and press, especially with 2K's absence at E3 2013, were understandably concerned about the development of the title, so it's a huge relief to see WWE 2K14 have its own booth at PAX Prime 2013, replete with ring ropes surrounding the demo area and a station where fans could get their faces painted a la The Ultimate Warrior.
But first, let's get the elephant out of the room: 2K has not, at least for this installment, made any significant changes to the production of WWE 2K14 from its former WWE '14 roots, apart from its name of course. The producers on-hand assured that the transition was pretty much as smooth as possible; besides, interrupting the development would have severely hampered Yuke's ability to meet its standard for quality as well as its deadline. With how expensive the WWE license is, there's little reason for 2K to delay it any further.
The main campaign mode dubbed "30 Years of WrestleMania Mode" will pay tribute to the soon-to-be historic WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans on April 6, 2014 by capitalizing on the classic matches that were so popular in the previous WWE titles. To highlight this mode, The Rock is emblazoned on the cover, the collectible Phenom Edition has the disc encased in a tin of Undertaker's coffin, and any pre-orders for WWE 2K14 will come with a code to unlock The Ultimate Warrior.
Similar to last year's roster, this year's will have both classic and current superstars clashing once more, with the likes of John Cena, CM Punk, Big Show, Goldberg (yes, he's finally back!), Sgt. Slaughter, Yokozuna, and both past and present versions of Brock Lesnar. As usual, each match in the main campaign will challenge you to follow the moments that made it legendary, though this time around the objectives are more lenient and more in line with what you would do anyway in a match.
Apart from the graphical upgrades, particularly the sheen of "Macho Man" Randy Savage's heavily sequined coat, the grapple system has been improved, making the windows for reversals wider and counter-grapple matches between veterans longer. Matches can end in more OMG! moments, similar to the entire collapse of the ring, and catch finishers can be setup more offensively by sending your opponent into the air.
WWE 2K14 will release for Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 29, 2013.