The much-hyped WWE 2K14 hits store shelves in two days, and the first batch of reviews is out. The general consensus is that, though the game offer a plethora of new options and benefits from 2K's superb presentation, the same gameplay problems that plagued the last few WWE releases persist.
Let's start with the best review. IGN.com gives WWE 2K148.7 out of 10, praising the game's 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode, but knocking the game's dumb AI:
It still lacks the brains to deliver competent AI and commentators, but WWE 2K14 has more than enough brawn to make up for it. 30 Years of Wrestlemania provides the strongest campaign backbone the series has had in a long time, the in-ring action is faster and more fluid than it's been in years, and thanks to WWE 2K14's continually expanding creation suite, we’re swimming in more options than we ever knew we wanted. It is indeed “time to play the game.”
GameSpot is much more critical, giving the game a 6 out of 10, mostly because they consider the game's action to be "clunky":
It's a shame the wrestling isn't up to par in WWE 2K14 because the elements surrounding it are so interesting...For anyone who grew up loving professional wrestling, be prepared to be swept away in a tide of nostalgia. If only the core action could have been as compelling.
Game Informer, meanwhile, also praises the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode but says the game's objective-driven single player mode becomes tedious:
WWE 2K14 has some issues, but I still enjoyed the majority of my time with it. THQ attempted similar historical themes in the past with Legends of WrestleMania and WWE All-Stars, but 2K14 complements its historical angle with deep mechanics. 2K’s first stab at sports entertainment is a lot of fun (especially for history buffs), but the feeling of déjà vu left me wanting the developer to move the full experience forward with the same enthusiasm that it embraced the past.
Gaming Age gives the game a B+, crediting the game's myriad of modes and customization options. But says the game's graphics are sub-par:
Visually the series hasn’t been what you would call a “looker” for quite a while now, but honestly I’ll take slick game play over visuals any year. Sometimes WWE 2K14 looks brilliant, but there are times when the game and even player models look downright wrong.
In the same review, Gaming Age also calls the AI "spotty".