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Courtesy of LordsofPain.net:

IGN.com has published their first look at the new WWE 2K14 video game, which is available now for pre-order at WWEShop.com. After spending several hours playing the latest build of the game, here are some highlights of what writer IGN Richard George said about the changes to this year’s installment of WWE’s re-branded video game franchise:

– For the most part, WWE’s new video game developer Yukes is keeping the gaming engine seen in WWE ’13 in tact. Unlike arcade-style games, WWE 2K14 remains more of a wrestling “simulation” game, focusing on the same light-and-heavy grapple system that was overhauled back in 2011.

– The big change to the engine has to do with the reversal system. Attack now reverse into other attacks, which speeds up the action. Reversing an opponent that is transitioning between moves will still result in your character moving into a similar transitionary state. IGN says the changes “significantly improve” the pacing of matches.

– Wrestlers now move slightly faster, with more fluid movement animations. Additionally, running speed accelerates, instead of being a constant speed.

– ‘Catch Finishers’ are being expanded, with 10 new ones already being added. Finishers can be performed on running opponents or opponents that are in the air. Environmental ‘OMG’ moments are back, with many new additions. Specific characters, like John Cena and Ryback, and perform their finishers to multiple wrestlers at the same time (ie. Ryback having 2 guys on his back for Shell Shocked).

– Confirmed playable characters include Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior, who is available as a free download when you pre-order the game in advance. The full roster is expected to be released prior to SummerSlam.