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WWE 2K24 Review

I often find it challenging to muster any real enthusiasm for yet another yearly release of a sports game , or a sports entertainment game for that matter. The journey of game development is a tough one, irrespective of the talent and resources available. How much can you really achieve with a new game released every year? However, 2K22 was an impressive return to form for 2K, so I was hopeful for another stellar release in 2024.

Despite a rocky beginning to the decade, developer Visual Concepts managed to completely revitalize the experience, making WWE 2K22 the most enjoyable wrestling game I’d played in years. New game modes, improvements to existing modes, the best in-ring action for a very long time, I was eager to see the improvements put in place in 2K24, and especially the new Showcase.

Where do I even begin with the game modes? WWE Showcase, MyFaction, MyRise, MyGM, Universe Mode, Online Mode, a creation suite that’s quite simply the best the genre has ever seen. It’s the epitome of throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks, except all of it sticks.

WWE Showcase

Discussing 2K24's WWE Showcase mode

WWE Showcase, despite telling stories we’ve heard for decades, reliving moments we’ve all lived before, feels so fresh and engaging. It puts players into the heart of these iconic stories in a way only possible in a video-game. 2K’s Slingshot Tech is such an incredible storytelling tool, offering near seamless switches between gameplay and WWE’s impressive archival footage. I’ve seen Hogan’s Andre slam more times than I can count. I’ve watched the first ever Wrestlemania ladder match between HBK and Razor Ramon a dozen times, but the Slingshot Tech combines playing through those moments as a player and then instantly reliving them as a fan, with all the heart and emotion that comes with it.

The Showcase mode begins its journey at the 1987 Wrestlemania III encounter featuring the Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat, culminating in the epic clash at Wrestlemania 39, featuring a total of 22 matches. It may well be a path well travelled but the greatest stories never die and there has never been a better way to experience these stories than the showcase of the immortals. It’s also the only place in the game that let’s you play as Brock Lesnar, which immediately killed a lot of my interest in MyFaction.

MyFaction

Discussing the boss battles of MyFaction

In previous games, I haven’t dedicated much time to MyFaction mode, largely because I dislike card-based microtransaction-driven modes found in yearly sports game releases, thanks FIFA. However, I was determined to give it a proper shot this year.

I’d chosen my faction before I’d even installed the game. Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Triple H, and Batista. I was intent on grinding through every challenge, every match, every grueling card pack opening, and then I learned both Goldberg and Brock are not featured in this years WWE game. Goldberg, assuming is some Legend Contract issue and Brock, well, I would guess it’s due to recent controversies but he’s playable in other modes? It’s confusing.

Analyzing the cards of MyFaction mode


So, initial disappointment aside, I laced up my boots and got stuck in. You create a male and female version of your faction with two teams of four superstars. You assign a manager, choose your faction name, customize a few visual components, and the start the grind.

That’s very much what MyFaction is, it’s a pure combat grind of earning currencies to buy and unlock new cards whilst upgrading existing cards with new abilities (badges) and buffs (sideplates). You can jump into Faction Wars, a series of escalating conflicts against various AI controlled factions, complete Weekly Tower challenges, enter the Proving Grounds, complete Live Events, played both Ranked and Quick Play against other players, it’s never-ending grind and constant injection dopamine-infused rewards promise endless hours of entertainment and one that I very much look forward to exploring more post-release.

MyRise

Reviewing The MyRise Mode Of WWE 2K24
I don’t enjoy checking my social media in real-life, I don’t need a virtual social media to-do list either

MyRise is probably my favorite of all the game modes WWE 2K24 has to offer, but it’s not without its problems. Offering two distinct storylines, WWE Unleashed and WWE Undisputed, following the journey of an up-and-coming male or female WWE Superstar, it puts players into the heart of their own WWE story.

It’s a narrative driven adventure with WWE’s typically over-the-top storytelling and explosive twists and turns. Swapping brands, Forging factions, getting betrayed, scheming and plotting, dealing with Miz and his trademark douchebaggery, branching decisions that lead your wrestler down a different path, it really is the ultimate story mode. Most of the problem with MyRise occurs outside the ring with an unnecessary focus on a clunky social media UI that has you checking post after post between matches, and loading and entrance sequences that can sometimes be longer than the actual match. Its this frustration that makes it unlikely I’d struggle through multiple story attempts, exploring each of the diverging paths, but the initial playthrough is well worth the time.

MyGM

Discussing the Booking aspect of the MyGM Mode

Last year, when I reviewed WWE 2K22, the MyGM mode stood out as the highlight for me, reminiscent of the a favorite game mode from the peak Smackdown Vs. Raw era. Excited to delve into the newest version, I embarked on the journey once more to elevate WCW as the premier brand on WWE TV. Although I would have preferred ECW, the absence of a women’s title was a killer. What’s a wrestling show without The Queen? Similar to last year’s experience, I relished in constructing and executing rivalries, nurturing tag teams, and sabotaging my competitors’ efforts. There have been some fantastic improvements but the rivalry system, the core of the entire thing, still feels a little behind.

Analyzing the Logistics options of MyGM mode

Rivalries often feel constrained, failing to capture the grandeur of the WWE universe’s most iconic and long-lasting narratives. They have added the ability to contest singles titles in more than just one-on-one matches, and matches involving multiple wrestlers can elevate individual rivalries, but the rivalry system still remains too simplistic to really capture the flavor of WWE.

Additional Championships keep rivalries fresh and engaging, trading options between brands allows for important shakeups for tired or over utilized superstars, trading scouts can help track down the next big thing and, probably my favorite addition, the Superstar Journey feature. Superstars in MyGM mode can now progress and advance through an XP system, unlocking new benefits and perks such as increased ratings during certain match types.

Looking at the new feature of MyGM, Talent Scouts, and analyzing it's importance compared to last years

One of my biggest complaints with last years MyGM mode was the lack of incentive to continue playing past the first year. With the addition of the new leveling system, upgrading the production levels, I was well into my 4th year and loving it.

I did struggle with some of the GM intervention methods. Almost every PVE event I had Eric Bischoff forcing three of my most popular champions to take the week off, and despite winning all the awards at the end of the season, all of the other GM’s and Triple H chastised my performance.

Overall, the improvements to MyGM mode add a lot of much needed depth and sets a really exciting foundation for future releases.

Universe Mode

Rating the Universe mode of WWE 2K24

The Universe mode features two styles of play. You can either control a single superstar or the entire brand, choosing who wins and who loses, scheduling title matches, resolving rivalries. For me, this mode scratched a very similar itch to MyGM but for those wanting to dive a little deeper, it’s a robust set of tools that really puts you in control of your very own WWE universe.

Want to take The Hart Foundation to new heights? Revive the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection? Create entirely new stables and dominate the PPV’s. It’s a high-effort game mode, requiring a lot of micromanagement and navigating of menus, but this is the kind of game mode we dreamt of as kids.

Creation Suite

Analyzing and discussing the Creation mode in WWE 2K24

Whenever I’m discussing the greatest wrestling games of all time, I will always throw back to the wrestling games of yesteryear. No Mercy, Smackdown Vs. Raw, even Backyard Wrestling gets a mention, games were the gameplay was the core of the entire experience. I still feel those games provide a certain magic missing from today’s much grander visions but if there’s one area where the modern game completely dominates nostalgic competition, it’s 2K’s creation tools

Building a wrestler from their boots to their hair dye. Tweaking entrances to pull off that perfect persona. Customizing move sets to be both competitive and thematic. Messing around with arenas, match types, belts, it’s an incredible suite of tools that only gets better once the community gets involved and begins sharing creations. As soon as this goes live, I’m downloading Vince McMahon as a manager for MyGM and getting me a Brock to cause total carnage in the ring.

Gameplay

Discussing the gameplay of WWE 2K24

WWE 2K24 continues Visual Concepts efforts to create in-ring action as close to the real thing as possible. It’s a fast, fluid, and responsive combat system that works nearly flawlessly. The reversal system is fantastic, a far cry from that old stamina/tick based rubbish we suffered with for a while. A complete skill-based, timing reversal system that creates for a dynamic combat environment in every battle.

In one-on-one matches, it’s the best in-ring action of any wrestling game, ever. Once you start adding some chaos to the ring, be it additional wrestlers or one of the many toys WWE Superstars love to deploy, it does start to struggle.

The inability to switch targets during certain animations makes addressing threats and dealing with multiple targets a chore, and something that really falls flat when playing ladder matches and the likes. Interactions with the referee don’t feel very natural, and trying to figure out the controls for tag partners in the heat of the moment is a complete gamble.

It’s a fantastic core and one wrestling fans are sure to love but with so much of the game based around larger matches, a better targeting system is needed.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, WWE 2K24 is the single best wrestling game on the market today, and the best one in decades. Building on the already solid foundations of WWE 2K23, the in-ring action is smooth and rewarding, the flurry of game modes offers a little something for everyone, and the Wrestlemania Showcase retells some of WWE’s most iconic stories in new and exciting ways.

WWE 2K24 Review

Blaine Smith

Official Score
90%

Summary

Ultimately, WWE 2K24 is the single best wrestling game on the market today, and the best one in decades. Building on the already solid foundations of WWE 2K23, the in-ring action is smooth and rewarding, the flurry of game modes offers a little something for everyone, and the Wrestlemania Showcase retells some of WWE’s most iconic stories in new and exciting ways.

90%
pros
The best in-ring action we’ve seen in a WWE 2K video-game
A variety of game modes offers something for everyone
The Slingshot Tech in Showcase mode is brilliant
I got to beat the crap out of Miz
cons
Important figures MIA from various game modes
A poor lock-on system makes some match types frustrating
Seemingly buggy blood system

Reviewed On: PlayStation 5 (A digital code was provided)
Released: March 4th, 2024
MSRP: $69.99 / £54.99
Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Games
Alternative Reviews: Hey Poor Player, GamersHub
Aggregate Scores: MetaCritic, Open Critic

Blaine Smith

Blaine Smith, or Smith as he prefers to be called as he doesn't have to repeat it four times before people get it, is one of the original founders of Gamers Heroes. Smith has been playing games for over 30 years, from Rex & 180 on ZX Spectrum to the latest releases on the ninth generation of consoles. RPG's are his go-to genre, with the likes of Final Fantasy, Legend of Legaia, and Elder Scrolls being among his favorites, but he'll play almost anything once (except Dark Souls). You can best reach him on Twitter

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