Friday, February 22, 2013

WWE 2K14: How 2K Sports can improve the WWE Game Franchise

For those of you unaware, while we were pouring out Saints Row 40's for our fallen homies at THQ, 2K Sports signed a 5-year deal to publish WWE games alongside their MLB games and highly-acclaimed NBA series. As an avid player of the WWE games it got me thinking about some changes the game not only deserves, but desperately need to improve the franchise.

                                        Rip THQ

1. My Player/GM Mode
For the past 3 years we have had a weird career/GM mode hybrid called "Universe mode" in which you play through an entire calendar year in the WWE, and can create/delete any shows you want. It was fantastic when it started but between the games odd match booking, stale cutscenes, and glitches, the mode has really lost its touch. 

I propose a new universe mode that is divided into 2 different game types. The first would be the "My player" mode, much like in other 2K sport titles, where you would create an original wrestler and start out in wrestling school where you work your way up to main-eventing Wrestlemania; doing everything in-between from the indys, to NXT, to RAW. The other Universe mode would be a General Manager mode, similar to the old GM modes from the 2007-2009 games. This would be similar to today's Universe mode with the addition of maintaining superstars contracts, and being allowed to book your own shows and add cut scenes. These modes would keep the Universe alive with a new way to experience the game.

2. Smarter AI & 2 Button Reversal System
This is an area that needs a lot of improvement. There have been countless times where an AI opponent would throw me over the top rope attempting to put me through a table. This would be fine if, when I got back in the ring, it wasn't done over, and over, and over, again. Simply put, the computer needs to offer more of a challenge.

One way to increase the difficulty would be reverting to the 2-button reversal system of the older games. Left trigger reverses grapples while the right trigger reverses punches/kicks. Lately in these games there has been only one button to reverse everything and once you have the timing down, you literally reverse everything. Whenever I play with my friends, the match becomes  20 minute reversal spot that is just nonsensical and really takes you out of the experience.

3. Live Roster Updates
This is probably my favorite thing that we will most likely see. It is done in every other sports game, so why not WWE? Santino Marella beats The Ryback? Update his stats. Cody Rhodes twirls his mustache? Update his appearance. Big Show and Dolph Ziggler form The Big Show-offs? Make them allies in the game.

Brief intermission to admire that mustache.

This would be an amazing way to keep the game feeling fresh, unlike THQ's "We'll give you 3 good DLC packs and then nothing for 10 more months" approach. Sorry guys but Chainsaw Charlie wont hold me over for that long.
I still can't believe I spent money on this.

4. Working Online Servers
For years THQ promised dedicated servers, and year after year I believed them and was always let down. I felt like an abused spouse who just kept coming back for more.

 The man here is THQ, I am the waitress, and the coffee is the hard earned money I spent on this game.

I'm really hoping 2K can bring some badass servers and after years of abuse I'll be able to enjoy online WWE matches, something I have never been able to do.

5. Match Pacing and Selling
One of WWE 13's worst problems is how everything is no sold. If I throw Jack Swagger off the Hell In a Cell right onto Jerry Lawler's lap, he gets up in 10 seconds. Ladder matches are impossible because these virtual supermen can't lie down long enough for me to set up a ladder. The game has to make it so that if the move looks like it killed him, he should sell it like he is dead. WWE 13 started the great option of choosing quick, normal or epic match lengths, but the actual pacing of the match did not change. I believe the longer the match goes on, and the more damage your opponent takes, the longer they should stay down, the harder it should be to reverse moves (Quicker button timing), and the easier it should be to deliver bigger slams.

I look forward to WWE 2K14 whenever it may release, and I really hope we get some new modes and features as opposed to the same old stuff we have been getting. The future is looking bright for WWE games.

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