WWE 2K24 Review – WrestleMania reigns supreme

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It’s that time of year again when we get back in the arena, with 2K bringing us the latest wrestling game in their series. After the highly successful offering of WWE 2K23 last year, anticipation for WWE 2K24 has been massive, and hopefully, our review won’t burst that bubble. 

For those who read my WWE 2K24 hands-on preview, you’ll know I’m a newbie to the game, with little interest in wrestling. However, I found the couple of hours I played highly enjoyable, so I’ve been looking forward to playing again – this time without a time restriction and to test out all the different modes.

Let’s kick things off with a general gameplay rundown. It took me a few matches to realise that this isn’t a button-bashing game (although there are times for that), but rather it’s all about combos, where timing is everything. Once I got into the swing of that, I found it much easier to control the tempo of a match. It didn’t take long to work out a few go-to moves that I could roll out, before working on some tricker combos. This made it simple enough for a beginner like me to get to grips with but shows it also caters to more experienced players, who have superior knowledge of all the combos, allowing them to break out their favourite moves.

Super Finishers are a new addition to WWE 2K24, giving you another way to deal damage to your opponent. By saving up your three Finisher slots, you can unleash your most powerful weapon, making it easier to complete a pin. Thankfully, although powerful, Super Finishers aren’t totally game-breaking, as you are still able to reverse them. 

Another new feature to the gameplay is the Trading Blows mini-game. When reversing certain strikes, the Trading Blows mini-game will trigger. You’ll slug it out with your adversary in a back-and-forth until one of you makes three mistakes or hits the killer blow. A circular metre appears above your wrestler, with a green target zone. You then need to hold down the required button to power up your metre and land it within the zone. A gold zone will also appear, and landing in that will instantly win you the mini-game. This is a great inclusion to the gameplay, as it gives more variety to the combat. I don’t want the matches to be taken over by these mini-games, but I could definitely see another being introduced in future releases. 

wwe 2k24 trading blows
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When you’re in the arena, the graphics are really impressive. The facial expressions particularly wowed me, so it’s unsurprising to learn that over 90% of facial expressions have been updated for WWE 2K24. I was surprised to see Silence’s face paint, the mime-inspired character, gradually rub off throughout a match in MyFACTION. However, the visuals during fights are let down slightly by certain interactions with downed opponents. When on the floor, characters often look quite boxy and static. There is definitely room for improvement in this area.

Climbing onto the turnbuckle can be quite fiddly, and I know this was something that people had an issue with in WWE 2K23. When multiple wrestlers are in the ring, it’s difficult to focus attacks. This could be seen as mimicking the carnage and unpredictability of a multi-person fight, but we don’t think that’s the way developers planned it. Also, when outside the ring during a Hell in a Cell match, the gameplay feels quite buggy, with characters not interacting with the surroundings properly, such as being unable to walk around the corner.

A final noteworthy addition to the gameplay is the ability to throw weapons. This gives you the chance to deal damage with a ranged attack, and it’s pretty funny to hurl a microphone at your opponent from across the ring.

While we’re on new additions, four new match types have been added. These are the Special Guest Referee Match, Ambulance Match, Casket Match, and Gauntlet Match. Also, the Backstage Brawl now features 4-player support and new interactive environmental elements, while the Royal Rumble now offers support for eight online players in 30-Superstar online matches. Of the new match types, the Ambulance Match has to be our favourite. You need to beat your opponent into submission, before forcing them into the back of an ambulance that has been backed up into the arena, and then shutting the doors on them. However, just because you’ve thrown someone into the ambulance doesn’t mean it’s over. At this point, a button-mashing mini-game pops up. If you win the mini-game, you close the door, if you lose, the person breaks out. Don’t forget, an ambulance has two doors at the back, so your fingers need to be ready to beat the challenge twice. During the fight, you can also use the ambulance as an extension of the arena. Climb on top and battle on the roof, or launch yourself off it to slam your enemy on the ground.

wwek 2k24 ambulance match
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The Casket Match uses a similar mechanic to the Ambulance Match, but this time the aim is to throw them into a coffin and close the lid. Again, this is a fun mode with a bit of a twist win-condition.

Special Guest Referee was more fun than I expected but lacked a replayability factor for me. Being overly quick or too slow with a count to give your preferred fighter an advantage is a bit of a laugh, and it’s funny hearing the commentary team analyse your reffing ability. 

I wasn’t too keen on the Gauntlet Match, but that could be due to the way I set it up. Assigning the four wrestlers to enter in a random order meant I watched two AI vs AI battles before entering the fray myself. Why would I want to watch the AI go against itself until my character turns up? Others may feel differently, but it felt like a waste of time, and I thought there should have been some way to skip or fast-forward the action until I could play. Obviously, this would be different if you’re using Gauntlet Match for local multiplayer with mates.

With the general gameplay and main new features covered, it’s time to get into by far my favourite part of WWE 2K24 – Showcase Mode. Celebrating 40 years of WrestleMania, WWE 2K24 Showcase… of the Immortals takes you through iconic matches from the 1980s to the modern-day. As someone who doesn’t know their wrestling history, this was great for me to learn about it, with each match having a special presentation giving you the rundown of the event. It sets up the storylines, rivalries, and importance of the matches before you dive in to recreate history. The Slingshot Tech works really well for transporting you back into the real-life event, morphing gameplay to live-action footage and back again. The objectives give a structured story to each bout, but you can still go off-script if that takes your fancy. There was only one downside I found in Showcase Mode, and that was having to pause often to check the objectives. It stilted the gameplay slightly and took me out of the swing of the fight. Despite this, the mode is brilliant. Everything looks more pristine during the matches and I could easily play a game that only consisted of this one mode. 

Of course, there are plenty of other places to spend your time MyRISE has two new storylines, Unleashed and Undisputed, focusing on the women’s and men’s battles, respectively. I was astonished at how many customisation variations there were for creating both realistic and random looks. You could easily spend hours just designing your MyRise character, before even stepping foot into the story. Being able to do this creates a greater bond between you and the characters, allowing you to feel more connected to the story taking place.

superastar creation wwe 2k24
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I can’t say I was enthralled by what I managed to play of the storyline, but I hope things get more intriguing the deeper you get. This is a personal preference, but I would rather be playing matches than following the character’s story. I know that won’t be the case for everyone. The mode did feel a bit stop-start, with many loading screens and manually having to progress even when there is only one option to move forward. The cut scenes don’t look as good as the gameplay either, with long hair especially glitchy.

MyFACTION was more up my street, with plenty to get stuck into. A new direct purchase card market has been introduced, so you can pick up the exact superstar you’re after. Ranked online QuickPlay is another addition, which offers unique rewards and seasonal leaderboards. There were a couple of quibbles I had, which would speed things up a little if changed. First, I think you should be able to restart matches after defeats, rather than being booted back to the menu and manually re-entering. Second, on the pause menu, ‘Match Actions’ should be the top option, as it is what you are mainly pausing to look at. That way you won’t need to keep scrolling down to the actions each time.

I wasn’t initially hooked on MyGM, but understand it is a very popular mode in the WWE community. As a newbie, there felt like an awful lot of information to take in. I look forward to sinking some more time into it, as I do like strategy games. It’s great this mode exists, as it offers something substantially different to the others.

Now, I’m ready to get mauled by the WWE aficionados, but what is so good about Universe mode? I understand that having complete control over everything allows you to create whatever format, rivalries, rosters, etc., that you want, but I just didn’t get the appeal. Again, I know this is a personal preference, as I’d rather have everything more structured. However, I do understand that there will be a great number of players who love the limitless potential this offers and will spend uncountable hours getting lost here. 

I guess that sums up what is so good about this game. With a variety of game modes, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. For me, the structure and storytelling of Showcase Mode is the standout, but for others, it will be the creative control of Universe Mode. I realise now that I haven’t even mentioned the creation suite, where you can design custom superstars, arenas, move sets, championships, and more, in great detail. That is yet another aspect of the game that fans can dive into and come out days later. 

With fun, bone-crunching gameplay, various modes offering differing campaigns and storytelling, and a vast array of creation potential, WWE 2K24 is a monster of a game. Coming at it as someone who has no interest in wrestling, I really enjoyed playing it. I can only imagine that fans of the sport will get even more out of it than I did, marvelling at iconic moves from the superstars and creating new rivalries they wish they’d seen. WWE 2K24 is a blast.

Reviewed on PS5. Code provided by the publisher.

About the Author

David Luff

David Luff is a Sports Games Writer for VideoGamer. He loves football, started playing FIFA 99 on the PC with a joystick, and has stuck with the series ever since.

WWE 2K24

  • Release Date: March 8, 2024
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Simulation, Sports, Wrestling
7 VideoGamer
wwe 2k24 review hulk hogan vs andre the giant

verdict

WWE 2K24 has a game mode for everyone, top creation capabilities, and an engrossing Showcase Mode celebrating 40 years of WrestleMania that will transport you through history.
7 Incredible Showcase Mode Fun, bone-crunching gameplay In-depth creation capabilities MyRISE story Regular objective checks