Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

WellPlayedWellPlayed

Review

WWE 2K24 Review

Wrestling has more than one royal family

WrestleMania XL is fast approaching. Roman Reigns is still holding the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship hostage, and The Rock and his expensive shirts are positioning themselves for a high-profile match at the event. Amidst all the commotion, the talk about finishing stories has been reignited, with Cody Rhodes once again making a play at realising his late father’s dream. There’s another story that’s been playing out over the past five years that also deserves to be told though. After the calamitous 2K20 and the undercooked Battlegrounds, the WWE 2K series has been rebuilding, with 2K22 reinventing the brand, and 2K23 refining it. It’s fitting then that WWE 2K24 features The American Nightmare on its cover because, after years of climbing back from the brink, the series is once again holding the title high.

Much like last year’s iteration, 2K24 doesn’t overhaul the combat system, instead opting to tighten the excellent foundation, while adding some new options that heighten immersion and make grappling more fun. A new minigame has been added, allowing you and your opponent to trade blows in a yay/boo spot, with timed button presses dictating whether you successfully return fire. Unlike last year, you can now perform diving moves to a group of opponents at ringside, letting you recreate just about any modern-day match involving more than two wrestlers. A new Super Finisher option lets you bank all three finishers to then unleash an elevated version that, when hit, disables Resilience kickouts and all but brings the match to a close. Some take the move to the middle rope, like Rhea Ripley’s Avalanche Riptide, while others unlock new moves, like Randy Orton’s Punt Kick. They take a while to build to, but they’re oh-so satisfying to land.

I have no idea how this was missed last year, as Roman had two belts at the time, but double title entrances, animations, and matches have been made available, so my Drew McIntyre could hold all the gold (as he should). Among other minor tweaks, like being able to throw weapons, there are now seven real-life referees that will call matches, replacing the generic nobodies from previous years.

Am I trading blows with Dirty Dom, or is Wells The Player hitting a 2015 dab?

The moment-to-moment gameplay itself is almost identical to 2K23, but that’s far from a bad thing. Strikes are split between light and heavy, with blocks, dodges, and counters all being viable defensive options, while throws, submissions, and named strikes are all initiated by first grabbing the opponent and then hitting a face button. It’s not as arcadey as the offering from over the pond in AEW (see our AEW: Fight Forever review here), but the control scheme doesn’t expect you to have a Dean Douglas-approved degree to understand it, either. It’s a well-balanced mix of simulation and fun, and, with the additions on offer this year, it’s never been easier or more enjoyable to reenact the action from SmackDown, Raw and NXT.

If you come back to the WWE 2K games annually, you’ll likely be looking for some fresh match types, like the addition of War Games from last year. This time around we have a trio of stipulations, with the Ambulance match, Casket match, and Special Guest Referee match. The Ambulance and Casket matches are chaotic and novel, with the objective being to throw your opponent in the back of the ambulance, or straight in the coffin, before fighting with them in a submission minigame to close the door. They’re equally ridiculous and entertaining, but it’s the Special Guest Ref match that wins out for me.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.



Donning a black and white striped shirt, you take on the roll of a WWE official, counting pins, breaking up submissions when the rope is held, and warning wrestlers when they play fast and loose with the rules. But you’re still a wrestler yourself, and with a tap of a button, you can target and attack one or both sanctioned fighters, enacting your own will on the match. If you want to be a true dirty heel, you can even employ a fast count, or ignore cheating altogether. Calling it down the middle will keep things civil but get involved too much and you’ll be replaced. I had way too much fun with this match type, and playing locally with someone makes it all the more entertaining.

Even action figure Cody wants to send Stardust to a local medical facility 

Being that we are about to witness the 40th WrestleMania, it seems fitting that this year’s Showcase mode would look back at the best matches from the Showcase of the Immortals. In this mode, you’re asked to recreate 22 of the most iconic matches from WrestleMania’s past. Always playing as the eventual winner, you’re given a series of tasks to complete that mirror what took place. As you play through the match, real-world footage is spliced in using what 2K refers to as Slingshot tech. While I love Rey Mysterio and John Cena, this year’s Showcase mode greatly benefited from a more general theme, giving us more variety than simple career retrospectives. Spanning from Macho Man versus Rick Steamboat in 1987, right through to WrestleMania 39, there are some all-time great matches to get through, but some other classics are missed. I know we can’t exactly include Daniel Bryan, seeing as he’s in AEW, but not playing through his WrestleMania 30 struggle feels borderline criminal.

Another returning mode is MyRise, the more traditional campaign-style story that sees you create your own wrestler to take to superstardom. This year there are two unique storylines; Undisputed for male and Unleashed for female superstars. Unleashed plays out similarly to past MyRise offerings, with your wrestler making a name for themselves on the indies before breaking into WWE, while Undisputed sees you taking advantage of a power vacuum as Roman Reigns vacates his championship to pull a Rock and head to Hollywood. Both have branching storylines and writing that’s often goofy but in a self-aware way. As with The Lock from 2K23, I had a fun time with MyRise, and the inclusion of two separate stories is appreciated for repeat playthroughs.

If you’re more interested in booking than brawling, then you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained in MyGM this year. After being reintroduced in 2K22, MyGM has grown exponentially, with new content, deeper strategy, and new mechanics over the last few years. 2K24 sees even more championships, match types, and managers added in, alongside trades between brands, Superstar rankings with XP earned through matches and more. What started as a fun reminder of a bygone mode has become a deep and engaging experience that had me busting out a notepad to keep track of rivalries and feuds. Disappointingly, however, MyGM is still stuck to local play, which is a huge bummer now that it’s finally firing on all cylinders.

Mami is always on top

Being the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, WWE has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to its roster, and so too does 2K24. Modern stars like Bianca Belair, Seth Rollins, and Gunther alongside legends like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart are all rendered with impressive detail. Even those lower on the card, such as Noam Dar and Joe Coffey find themselves looking sharp this year, with no monstrous standouts as per usual. A special shoutout needs to be made to the overall presentation, with camera cuts and movements during entrances being further enhanced, making them more lifelike.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.



Final Thoughts

The soft simulation style that the developer Visual Concepts has built can be a little daunting for newcomers, but when it comes to recreating this over-the-top spectacle of a sport, this approach can’t be beaten. WWE 2K24 makes meaningful adjustments that continue to deepen the immersion and enjoyment had when taking to the squared circle, while also adding in a handful of noteworthy new matches and mechanics. A far more satisfying Showcase, another solid MyRise offering, and a gargantuan roster of great-looking character models further elevates a wrestling franchise that’s going from strength to strength.

Reviewed on PS5 // Review code supplied by publisher

Click here for more information on WellPlayed’s review policy and ethics

WWE 2K24 Review
We The Ones
Riding the momentum of the past two entries, 2K24 brings with it enough new content and meaningful changes to easily be considered the best wrestling game on the market today.
The Good
Solid tweaks to a great existing combat system
Three banger new match types
A massively improved Showcase mode
Added depth to MyGM
A noticeable boost to the overall presentation
The Bad
The Showcase lineup has some notable omissions
No online option for MyGM
Logan Paul has the same rating as Gunther
9
Get Around It
  • Visual Concepts
  • 2K
  • PS5 / PS4 / Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One / PC
  • March 8, 2024

WWE 2K24 Review
We The Ones
Riding the momentum of the past two entries, 2K24 brings with it enough new content and meaningful changes to easily be considered the best wrestling game on the market today.
The Good
Solid tweaks to a great existing combat system
Three banger new match types
A massively improved Showcase mode
Added depth to MyGM
A noticeable boost to the overall presentation
The Bad
The Showcase lineup has some notable omissions
No online option for MyGM
Logan Paul has the same rating as Gunther
9
Get Around It
Written By Adam Ryan

Adam's undying love for all things PlayStation can only be rivalled by his obsession with vacuuming. Whether it's a Dyson or a DualShock in hand you can guarantee he has a passion for it. PSN: TheVacuumVandal XBL: VacuumVandal Steam: TheVacuumVandal

Comments

Latest

News

Get your hands on the ninja kid in Las Vegas

News

Games like Street Fighter 6 and Mortal Kombat 1 are offered to encourage good behaviour

News

Prime Gaming will offer you a scant 48 hours to claim the title

Podcast

Australia's juiciest gaming podcast

Review

Kicking is good for the sole

Latest Podcast Episode

You May Also Like

Review

Kicking is good for the sole

Review

Mento’s Mori

Advertisement