When it comes to extra features to prolong its replay value, WWE 2K14 comes fully loaded. There's no shortage of stuff you can do with the game, whether it's with established wrestlers like Triple H and Daniel Bryan or ones you create from scratch. You can defend – or defeat – the Undertaker's Streak; relive 30 Years of WrestleMania match-by-match; or just have an Inferno Match because you feel like being surrounded in a ring of fire.
One of the most in-depth modes making its return to the game, however, is the Universe mode. Here, you can set up a number of options to create your dream pay-per-view event, detailing everything from highlighted championships to hosting a customized arena to setting up a rivalry for the ages. Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage's feud doesn't have anything on what you can create in this mode.
Let's break it down part by part in order to create your own wrestling extravaganza.
What can I do with arenas in WWE 2K14?
When it comes to arenas, it's a pretty good size that always holds a full crowd, so you're sure to get a strong reaction no matter where you go. WWE 2K14 offers a number of settings from its programming, whether it's weekly shows like Raw, Smackdown or NXT, or special pay-per-view events such as Survivor Series and Hell In a Cell. If you wanted, you could even set up your own WrestleMania, with all the grandeur and fireworks thrown in for good measure.
That's just the start of it, though. WWE 2K14 gives you the option to create your own arena settings, from the entrances to the designs. It doesn't cover every single nook and cranny – like seating an exact number of people or whatnot – but if you ever wanted to tinker with the fundamentals of a pay-per-view extravaganza, this is a great place to start.
How can I change the line-up of a WWE 2K14 pay-per-view?
There are several things you can tweak in Universe Mode to create the ultimate pay-per-view.
First up, you can assign certain titles and how they'll be defended at the show. If you want to highlight a WWE Divas match between A.J. Lee and Lita, for example, you'll have the option to move that around – even to the main event, if you prefer. A number of titles are available, and you can assign them to wrestlers and pit them against key opponents. Ever want to see what the Shield could do against the Paul Heyman crew of Ryback and Brock Lesnar? Here's your opportunity.
Next up, you can set up matches however you please. You won't be able to crisscross male superstars with females – they have to compete with their own gender – you'll have free reign over everything else, for the most part. Whether you want to put Zack Ryder – "Woo woo woo!" – back into the main event, or let John Cena compete for an intercontinental title for a change, the decisions are yours to make. You can even plan a calendar ahead of time for shows leading up to an event, to build momentum for highly anticipated matches. It'll take a while, but for wrestling fans, it's sure to be worth it.
How does WWE.com work in WWE 2K14?
WWE.com, named after the website of the same name, keeps track of all your statistics in Universe Mode. It keeps track of wins and losses of wrestlers during shows, and also keeps tabs on who the current champions are, including WWE champion, World Heavyweight Champion and otherwise. It also keeps track of rivalries, which we'll get to a little later in this article.
It's a simple "one stop shop" to get an overview of how your federation is doing in general, and may give you an idea of who to line up next for a championship shot. Keep tabs on it as often as you can.
NOTE: it doesn't actually connect to the website, but it presents a layout similar to it.
How do Rivalries work in WWE 2K14?
Rivalries are the bread and butter of wrestling. After all, if you don't have a good guy competing against a "heel" (or a bad guy) to some extent, what's the point? With the rivalries feature, you can set up a custom rivalry between two wrestlers, choosing from three types of length – Short (four weeks), Medium (eight weeks) or Long (12 weeks).
Short means that a rivalry concludes in a "one-and-done" deal after a single pay-per-view. Long, however, spreads out over several weeks, with the building of a storyline that could offer a twist or two, such as a betrayal by one of the "face's" friends. A good example of this in real WWE events would be the rivalry between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, which started at Summerslam and recently came to a close last week on Monday Night Raw. As a result, Orton is the WWE champion, while Bryan moves on to something else – for the time being, anyway.
You can always rekindle a rivalry if things don't quite pan out the way you expected, but being able to plan the steps of a rivalry, with match-ups and interactions through shows over several weeks, could lead to an epic match-up at a pay-per-view – maybe even WrestleMania. The choice is yours.
Try out different rivalries to see how they pan out. Ever want to see John Cena go after the Undertaker? Maybe pit the "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels against Daniel Bryan, even though he's retired in real life? Have fun with it – you might even create a better rivalry than WWE's writers. Maybe.
WWE 2K14 is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.