'WWE 2K14' and '30 Years of WrestleMania' analyzed by WWE Hall of Famers

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August 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES — The Conga Room at L.A. Live played host to a memorable Saturday night as WWE Hall of Famers and current Superstars joined together to usher in a new era in WWE’s video game history. On the eve of SummerSlam, the WWE Chairman himself, Mr. McMahon, helped to officially unveil "WWE 2K14’s" "30 Years of WrestleMania" Mode and immediately set the tone for the evening’s affair.

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“It’s all about fun,” Mr. McMahon said. “’WWE 2K14’ is a blast … It’s all about celebrating the special moments and great matches in WrestleMania history.”

Allowing gamers the opportunity to relive more than 45 classic WrestleMania matches — including Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania III, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI, Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a WrestleMania X Ladder Match, and Mick Foley against Edge at WrestleMania 22 — “WWE 2K14” and its “30 Years of WrestleMania” single-player campaign promises to be the most authentic sports-entertainment video game experience ever.

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2K’s creative director, Cory Ledesma, took to the podium after The Chairman, and called the game “a complete and comprehensive celebration of WrestleMania.” In an effort to “totally transport the user into different time periods,” developers painstakingly recreated each classic match, even adding a vintage filter to older bouts to make the video appear as it would have on television sets in the 1980s.

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Along with improvements to gameplay and an overhauled reversal system, 2K considerably beefed up the game’s audio and sound effects, an aural adjustment that is especially apparent when Superstars crash to the mat.

Ledesma then showed some highlights of the new single-player campaign, including game footage of Hogan battling Andre the Giant in the WrestleMania III classic and Flair staring down retirement as he engaged in an historic bout against Shawn Michaels (where developers caught every detail of the match, down to The Nature Boy’s tears). Teasing the crowd with more big announcements to come in the near future — including the highly anticipated full roster reveal — Ledesma then handed things over to WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross.

“WrestleMania is bigger than the Super Bowl,” Good Ol’ J.R. stated, simply, to kick things off. The media-packed Hollywood hotspot was then treated to a star-studded panel consisting of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The "Nature Boy," Mick Foley, Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman.

The night’s discussion focused on the history of WrestleMania and about what The Show of Shows has meant to each grappler on the stage.

“WrestleMania is a proving ground,” Stone Cold said emphatically, and it was a sentiment that was shared by others on the panel. Heyman added that performing at The Shows of Shows means that “you’ve made it.”

The panel members reminisced about favorite moments upon The Grandest Stage of Them All, told tales of days gone by, talked about the future of WWE and had a few laughs along the way. The evening’s stories may have eventually come to an end, the moments themselves will live forever in “WWE 2K14” thanks to “30 Years of WrestleMania.”

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