WWE 2K24 - Xbox Review

WWE 2K24 by developer Visual Concepts and publisher 2KGamesMicrosoft Xbox Series X review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Last year was a return to form for the long-running WWE 2K series, and I’m happy to say that WWE 2K24 puts on another great performance.

A few years ago, the 2K series had a sort of midlife crisis, with a couple of lackluster releases that had fans wondering where things had gone wrong. Thankfully though, last year the studio managed to right the ship and deliver an entertaining, hard-hitting experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.

For starters, the sheer amount of content here is incredible. The modes include both online and single-player, scripted stories and lots of freedom to create your own WWE landscape. From the more structured standpoint, the Showcase mode is better than ever. Generally these follow a person through the highs and lows of their career, but here wrestling fans get a trip down memory lane with some of the biggest names and matches in history. Here you wind up with a series of objectives to complete in each match. Sure, you can roll out and just try to win, but the idea is to authentically recreate how the match went, with highlights and specific moves that can sometimes frustrate due to those requirements, but often thrill as well.

As great and nostalgic as the Showcase mode was, I spent a ton of time in the MyRise mode. This is 2K’s heavily story-based mode (similar to what we see in NBA 2K games), where you can take a male and female wrestler of your creation through branching stories that lean into fictional ‘what if WWE universes. While the scenarios are made up and deviate from the reality of where the WWE is at now, the narrative still leans in heavily to the established characters and histories that have occurred and makes the whole experience more immersive. There’s some decent replay value to be had here too, as you can make choices along the way that veer the story one way or the other. It was also fun seeing past MyRise characters pop up (again, similar to NBA 2K) that again just sort of added some familiar texture to the tale.

MyFaction is another matter altogether. It’s the microtransaction part of the game (the 2K games tend to lean into these), and the format is the familiar combination of ‘fantasy card collection’ and objectives-based gameplay that serves as a play, collect, improve gameplay loop. This is never really my favorite mode, but there’s some fun to be had there as you build up and collect better versions of wrestlers here. I am not one to spend actual money on the virtual packs of cards, but I know this mode has its fans.

MyGM feels a lot like last season structurally, but some of the quality-of-life updates are appreciated and this feeling of trying to build your own roster to create a better brand than your competitors is entertaining. There’s still a decent amount of administrative grind to be had here, but improvements to how contracts are handled and roster tweaking is certainly welcomed.

Universe Mode returns as well (lacking the My naming convention), and man – this is fun. It’s such a massive sandbox of options as you create all sorts of insane scenarios using both real and created / imported wrestlers, both past and present. This is a mode that’s incredibly easy to lose hours of your life into, though it perhaps has seen the least amount of change from last year’s release. There’s some new cutscenes and I enjoyed the new ‘Special Referee’ sub-mode (which shows up in some other places as well), but there’s still a lot to do here.

So outside of all of these modes, how does the game play? Pretty well overall. I mean, the presentation is pretty top-notch with authentic voicing and commentary and generally excellent visuals (though clothing and long hair can get a bit floppy and weird at times). Most of the core gameplay is the same as last year (which is a good thing given how much better it was than the prior couple of years), with strikes and slams feeling authentic and appropriately weighty. There’s loads of accessibility options that let you rapidly press buttons or hold on, choose mashing versus timing-based mini-games to break out of pins or escape submission attempts.

That’s not to say there’s nothing new sprinkled into the gameplay itself. There’s the aforementioned Guest Referee that may favor one player versus the other (until they tip their hand too many times and get yanked from the match), a new mini-game where you are trading strikes with your opponent that feels like something you’d see out of an actual match and the ability to store up three finishes for a sort of ‘super attack’ that launches all of the finishers back-to-back to try and close down the match. There’s even a new type of match, which is really just an alternate version of a submission or out of the ring game, but the coffin match that characters like Kane and the Undertaker made famous has been introduced.

There were a few unfortunate crashes, a couple of times where servers were unavailable (which kicked me mid-game to boot), some glitchy fine detail visuals and a handful of frustrating match objectives that sometimes took the shine off of WWE 2K24. These however, were few and far between and certainly the overall package is an impressive one that fight and wrestling fans should enjoy for many hours of play.

Score: 8.5 / 10



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