Each year one of the biggest pieces of the WWE games puzzle is the theme behind the single-player campaign. When the 30 Years of WrestleMania mode was announced for WWE 2K14, it didn't immediately excite me. As time went on, though, I began to buy into the concept more and more.
After a few pre-release sessions with the mode, I started to warm up to the concept quite a bit. By the time I got my hands on the game, that was the first mode I wanted to try.
If you read my WWE 2K14 review posted on Monday, you know I wasn't disappointed. While it functions much like the Attitude Era mode from WWE '13, the 30 YOWM mode delivers its own bit of WWE history and presentation qualities.
Here's what makes the mode stand out.
In all, there are 46 matches and five eras to play through to complete the campaign. You begin in WrestleMania I and work your way all the way through WrestleMania 29.
Along the way, you are either taught or reminded about the biggest moments in the history of the Showcase of Immortals. Even if you know the stories, playing through them is very addictive. I found myself saying: "OK, this is the last match for sure, then I'm going to bed."
The struggle was real.
When it was all said and done, I had maniacally played through all 46 matches in about four days. Some of the matches were simple, some were not.
For example, the WrestleMania I battle between Andre the Giant and Big John Studd may be the simplest match to complete. You're simply charged with bodyslamming Big John Studd within six minutes to win the match.
On the other hand, the Triple Threat match from WrestleMania 24 is a bit challenging. Landing the punt kick with Randy Orton caused me to replay the match multiple times.
Each match has certain objectives like that to complete to unlock everything available. You can progress to the next match by winning, but unless you complete the objectives, you won't unlock everything.
Since that was part of my purpose, I wouldn't advance before each task was complete.
When you play that way, the mode is challenging and rewarding to finish.
It Looks Great
The NBA 2K series used filters to transport gamers to the eras of classic teams with NBA 2K12. Now WWE 2K14 has done the same thing with the 30 YOWM mode. The result is just as cool.
Grainy filters for older matches are cool to see, but you appreciate the clarity as you progress through the different eras. The Superstars, Divas and managers are rendered very nicely. Each participant looks as sharp as can be expected on current-generation consoles.
The various venues that have hosted WrestleMania are also recreated with flair. As an extra-added bonus, gamers can use the characteristics of the new arenas when creating their own arenas.
It's Authentic and Informative
In case you forgot some of the details of the past feuds and matches depicted in the mode, the presentation takes you on a quick history lesson. The cut scenes made me smile as some of the earlier WrestleManias took me back.
You can literally watch the maturation process for major stars like John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Overall, the 30 YOWM mode serves as a cool interactive look at the history of the WWE's biggest spectacle.
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