Screenshot by Prima Games

WWE 2K24 Review | An Underdog Story Come True

Wrestlemania reigns supreme in this edition of WWE.

While it has been admittedly far too long since I’ve paid proper attention to the currently developing storylines of the current-day WWE, my childhood was formed on the backs of these muscle-clad mad-men. Absorbing any wrestling content that I could back in the day, it’s long since been the hay-day of their interactive counterparts, with matches taking place by action figures having more depth and excitement than some of the more maligned titles in this franchise. However, since WWE 2K22, Visual Concepts has been pushing the boundaries for Wrestling games, and this entry is one for the WWE Hall of Fame.

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Regarding The Removal Of Superstars That Make An Appearance in Showcase and MyRise

Before I begin my review of the latest WWE experience, I would like to take a moment to speak about the removal of two wrestlers from the overall roster who still appear in the game during pivotal moments.

Two particular Superstars who had helped develop the WWE into what it is today are not available as playable characters on the roster, regarding a lawsuit filed by a former WWE employee. When asked about the removal of these characters, a source close to the development of WWE 2K24 provided me with the following information;

“We are always in lock step with the WWE on how our game reflects what’s happening in the WWE universe. Certain personalities play a role in the historical 2K Showcase and in the narritive-driven MyRISE expeirence, but are not available on the playable roster”

A Source Close to the Development Team of WWE 2K24

While we may be able to see these specific Superstars during pivotal moments in Wrestling History, they do not appear as playable characters on the roster and have no plans to return in the future as free or paid DLC. It is unclear if there have been any decisions to remove their avatars from these modes, either.

Beauty Isn’t Only Skin Deep Here

Wrestling has always been one of the most electrifying entertainment sports, and WWE 2K24 brings that to a fever pitch. While graphical quality continuously improves with each numbered edition, it’s hard to deny that WWE 2K24 isn’t a (Stone Cold) stunner. Each wrestler on the roster has seen numerous tweaks, helping to lend a sense of reality and helping to blur the lines even further on these digital interpretations of fan favorites.

The attention to detail is, frankly, staggering. From the 1980s superstars to those of today, seeing someone like Macho Man Randy Savage make his way down to the ring at the same time as Pomp & Circumstance blares in the background helps evoke a sense of nostalgia that I didn’t know I was craving, especially now that he’s looking closer to himself this year more so than ever before. It’s easy to tell that Visual Concepts is aiming to make this the most realistic sports title on the market, or even just one of the best-looking games available on any system.

With the largest roster of playable Superstars in any WWE-branded wrestling title to date, each character looks fantastic, with great attention to little details that make them pop off the screen, especially on current-generation hardware. There are a few blemishes here and there, but the overall package is a sight to behold on a 4K display.

Animations have seen an increase in quality, as well. Watching a wrestler gasp for air after a punishing attack or wince in pain from a heavy blow, alongside tweaks to the hair and clothing flow and billow sells the illusion of realism even further. Signature moves and Finishers once again steal the show here, however, as they are beautifully animated and help broadcast the raw power of these men and women when paired with dynamic camera angles.

On PlayStation 5, I was treated to a strong-performing game that not only looked great but ran great, as well. While entrances are still capped at 30 frames per second to help boost the graphical quality to its fullest potential, matches ran at a silky smooth 60 frames per second to keep the action feeling fluid and exciting. Even in some of the most technically pressuring modes, like the Gauntlet Matches and Elimination Chamber, dips in performance were not a thing. Do note, however, that during backstage matches, there is a chance for the game to drop back into 30 FPS if these characters get too far away and the screen splits into two, but bringing them together again will bring those FPS right back up.

On a technical forefront, WWE 2K24 continues to impress — much as 2K22 and 2K23 did. I’m excited to see what kind of graphical updates we’ll see once development shifts to current-generation consoles only, but regardless, for a cross-generational title, it’s at the top of the class when it comes to sports titles available on the market.

Wrasslin’ Ain’t Never Felt Better

Not only is WWE 2K24 easily the best-looking wrestling game on the market, but it’s also the best to play. Additional modes, enhanced movement, and retooling of basic movement make this entry feel smoother to play than ever. General movement controls are the same as they’ve always been, making the game fun to play for button mashers or combo masters to make the match of their dreams.

Not only is WWE 2K24 easily the best-looking wrestling game on the market, but it’s also the best to play. Additional modes, enhanced movement, and retooling of basic movement make this entry feel smoother to play than ever.

The Irish Whip has been completely retooled this year, giving players better control of how much force they’d like to put behind a whip so I could always ensure that I’m sending my opponent into the ropes or corner as hard or soft as I’d like. And don’t worry — if you’re struggling to find out how to perform a move, the development team has added a reminder of how to do things in the pause menu during specific requests for moves during MyRise and Showcase modes.

Speaking of the MyRise and Showcase modes, players can look forward to another dual narrative experience in the form of Undisputed and Unleashed. Playing through the full Undisputed story, much as I did The Lock story in last year’s entry for the sake of review, it’s great to see the team continue to craft a fun and engaging narrative, even if it is simple. Admittedly, the first act is a bit of a bore, but the intensity and excitement continue to ramp up until its conclusion — even if the ending is just as abrupt as last year.

There are still branching paths I could take alongside my created Superstar, all with unlockable Create-A-Wrestler parts that helped keep my custom character looking as fly as ever. For those who played the previous story, some familiar faces may reappear alongside new favorites to keep this crafted universe feeling like a singular story rather than something disjointed and all over the place, and unlockable MyRise Superstars will also be available to use in other game modes.

History Is Sometimes Better Than the Present

Video by Prima Games

Showcase steals the show this time around over the standard MyRise mode. While the narrative spun in this mode is rather fun, there’s nothing quite like taking control of a Wrestlemania match and living out these dream matches in real-time. While I wasn’t altering history, getting the opportunity to make some of the biggest upsets in all sports entertainment history happen before my very eyes was exciting and felt great.

The Slingshot Technology used in WWE 2K24 has been vastly improved over previous years; even if stylistic choices such as having the screen meld from a 4:3 aspect ratio into the full screen 16:9 once done may still be slightly jarring, the swap between real-time footage and gameplay is becoming more seamless than ever.

I was in charge of pulling off some of the most spectacular change-ups that the sport has ever seen, starting with a match between Macho Man Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III. Interspersed with interviews from pro-wrestlers, commentary from Corey Graves helps sell this mode and brings extra excitement to the brand for those who may not have witnessed these events.

There are a few things with Showcase mode that are slightly off-balance, such as the overuse of blur effects that sometimes miss the mark — why was part of Hulk Hogan’s Mustache blurred out? — I found that Showcase and its commentary easily one of the most exciting additions to this year’s WWE contribution, and it has been my favorite of the group, narrowly beating out the John Cena showcase that debuted in 2K23.

I Am the Master of My Universe

The return of fan-favorite modes such as Special Guest Referee ensures that the company is starting to listen to our requests, something a few years in the making. While it’s hard to accompany every request a fan puts out for their favorite franchise, the return of this mode and the addition of Ambulance, Casket, Gauntlet Matches, and everything in between helps solidify the relationship that we can start putting back into the series. And frankly, they all feel great to play and add even more depth to an already-packed title.

MyFaction is the mode that seems to have seen the most improvement overall in this iteration, with the introduction of Persona Cards that unlock new attire useable across the entire game, online seasons, a direct card marketplace, and more improvements put in place to make fans squeal with delight. There are even login rewards to help keep players coming back for more, with the promise of free cards and other exciting goodies.

The introduction of Ranked Play in MyFaction will be a huge selling point for Wrestling fanatics, as they’ll have the chance to take their team and face off a crew of other players in both the quest for glory and for slick rewards. While I haven’t spent much time in the previous version of MyFaction, this may be the year that I finally start diving in a bit, especially with the ability to purchase cards directly.

There could be an issue with this method — players with seemingly unending pocketbooks that’ll purchase the most powerful cards without blinking an eye. We’ll need to wait for the game to go live to see how much that interrupts an otherwise improved MyFaction experience.

Universe once again put me in complete control of the WWE, letting me pull the strings behind the scenes and make the most unlikely rivalries happen. I could either partake in Superstar Mode, where I had the chance to play out some dream scenarios as my favorite wrestler or jump back into the Classic Mode with complete and total freedom. In my experience, I took some time to experience the Classic Mode and found it to be a fun addition to the game, but something I may not return to as often as others may.

WWE 2K24 continues to build upon the solid foundation of its previous iterations while adding some extra flair to keep returning fans excited about what’s coming down the line. While it doesn’t feel like the revolutionary turn for the franchise like WWE 2K22 did, it’s great to see that WWE continues to push forward on quantity while also maintaining its quality — something that could not have been said less than five years ago.

While I would love to see even more improvements in the next installment, WWE 2K24 overall is a stunning package that boasts already solid gameplay, and features get pushed to another step up the ladder.

9
WWE 2K24
WWE 2K24 continues to build upon the incredibly solid and strong foundation of its previous iterations while adding some extra flair to keep returning fans excited about what's coming down the line. While it doesn't feel like the revolutionary turn for the franchise like WWE 2K22 did, it's great to see that WWE continues to push forward on quantity while also maintaining its quality — something that couldn't have been said less than 5 years ago.
Pros
  • Stunning recreations of figures both current and past
  • Gameplay improvements are meaningful and felt
  • All modes have seen generalized improvements
Cons
  • Aggressive monetization in MyFaction
  • Some sections juggle between 30fps and 60fps when they shouldn't need to
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review. Reviewed on PlayStation 5.

Prima Games is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission.?Learn more
Author
Shaun Cichacki
As a fan of RPGs, Action & Retro titles, Shaun has been gaming since he was a young boy. With an overwhelming obsession involving Metal Gear Solid and Pizza Tower, you know you're in for a wild ride when it comes to things he's writing about.
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