‘The Phenom,’ ‘The Deadman,’ ‘The Demon of Death Valley,’ whatever name you choose to call him by, Mark Calaway’s Undertaker character is an undeniable icon in the world of sports entertainment. As a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, the former ‘American Badass’ has inspired no end of fear and adulation throughout his storied career, and starting this October, fans can get their hands on a small piece of that ‘Phenom’ mystique.
While The Rock is the cover athlete for the standard edition of WWE 2K14, The Undertaker takes the spotlight in the just-announced Phenom Edition.
The ‘WWE 2K14 Phenom Edition’ arrives this October featuring an array of exclusive Undertaker goodies, including —
- A tin coffin-shaped collector’s box w/ regular copy of the game
- An art card signed by The Deadman himself
- The ‘American Badass’ era Undertaker as an in-game character
- An Undertaker-themed adhesive skin for gamepads
- Disc #1 of WWE’s Undertaker — The Streak on Blu Ray & DVD
- Access to The Ultimate Warrior in-game character (also available with standard edition pre-orders)
Given WWE.com’s suggested $100 price tag for the set, (many retailers have yet to reflect the announcement in their listings) the collection does appear to offer negligible value for money when judged against the game’s $60 standard edition. Disc #1 of the well-received Streak anthology, detailing the Undertaker’s spotless Wrestlemania record would set fans back by as much as $5 to $10 if sold alone, while the inclusion of the likely soon-to-be-DLC ‘American Badass’ character pack is worth perhaps $0.99 (given WWE12’s DLC pricing structure).
Of course, the limited nature of the collection may well see its value skyrocket over the coming years, especially when considering the scarcity of the phenom’s public appearances (signed merchandise could become something of a rarity). To see for yourself whether the WWE 2K14 Phenom Edition merits its additional $40 price tag, check out our gallery below, featuring fresh pictures of the ‘American Badass’ in action.
As the new ‘General Manager’ of the WWE license (following THQ’s loser-leaves-town match with bankruptcy back in January) 2K has made a concerted effort to paper over the cracks in developer Yukes! aging game engine. Without the time necessary to rebuild the series from scratch, the publisher has been largely restricted to signing up longtime series no-shows in order to appease grappling fans. The Ultimate Warrior’s return as a pre-order bonus is another example.
This latest announcement may well serve to please fans, but how long can the franchise really hope to remain relevant without making wholesale change? Yearly iterations don’t tend to gel well with notions of innovation, though given 2K’s vast experience with annualized titles, next year’s WWE 2K15 may step up with a few interesting surprises.
WWE 2K14 will rise from the grave on October 29th (USA) & November 1st (Internationally) for Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 consoles. The game’s Phenom Edition is now available for pre-order from select retailers in the United States. WWE.com has priced the title at $99.99.
You can follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo