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WWE 2K24 | REVIEW | PS5

''LISTEN TO MY STORY, THIS MAY BE OUR LAST CHANCE''

 


Developed: Visual Concepts

Published: 2K Games

Genre: Sports, Simulation

Release Date: March 5th,2024

Platforms: PS5/PS4/PC/Xbox family of systems

*Review copy provided by 2K Games. Review as part of 2K NextMakers



WWE 2K24 is that latest entry into the long running wrestling simulator and it is developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Games. With 2K23 being a resounding success over the 2K22 edition, Visual Concepts aims to build on what worked and what didn't work with 2K23 and attempt to offer one of the best wrestling games in the 2K series. But does this game give us adrenaline in our soul? or did 2K forget to finish their story like Cody Rhodes? Only one way to find out, so lets WOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.



''WHERE IS DOINK THE CLOWN!?''

 

GAMEPLAY:


WWE is approaching the milestone of hitting the 40th anniversary of the ''grandest stage of them all'' with Wrestlemania, taking place next month in Philadelphia, so what better time than to get out the yearly release for the biggest wrestling company to ever exist, right?. With 2K titles being hit and miss lately, with 2K23 being fantastic, while others... not so much, Visual Concepts decided once again in 2K24 to change things up a little as far as its content, mechanics, returning features and a refined approach to their overall vision to what they think a modern WWE game should be. History tells us when developers take this approach though, there's a 50/50 chance it's either going to be REALLY fun or REALLY REALLY bad, similar to AEW's ratings every week and Jericho's old man belly. So what is the verdict here? Well, it's actually a pretty positive one overall, which is surprising in its own right because I can't remember when I liked two wrestling games in back to back yearly entries before, its definitely been awhile. Usually trying to find a good game in a pile of wrestling games is like searching for a needle in a haystack or find a LITTLE JIMMY in an R-Truth promo, luckily here though, we don't have to search very hard for the actual good content of this title to be thrown into our face. The overall control scheme and core gameplay mechanics established in 2K23 don't exactly change TOO much here in this years iteration, because why should they? if it aint totally broken, there's really no need to overhaul it, just simply tweak it and improve upon it, simple. However in addition to tweaking the familiar formula, it gets further enhancements and additional elements such as when you're getting into an exchange with an opponent in the ring, know as the ''boo!'' and ''yeahs!'' that you see in traditional heel v s baby face matches, you will be given a simple mini game for when you exchange punches with the other wrestlers, should conditions for it to activated be initiated. Crowd control is also another welcomed feature that lets you play to the crowd based off your momentum as a heel or even a face as you get snickers and boos from the crowd or loud cheers as you make a quick comeback as a top baby face. Its just a bummer though that you can't oversell and fly over the turnbuckle and faceplant like Flair, that would've been the cherry on top of the crowd management system for sure. Woo!.



Further gameplay in this game continues to expand by upgrading your in ring actions to be more fluid than 2K23 with your ability to leap onto groups of opponents like you see people do on TV when they suicide dive through the ropes or over them, alongside new match types like Casket matches, to send your opponent to hell, Ambulance matches to send your foe to the hospital, which unlike the older days of the WWE with Triple H being dropped 20 ft from a fork lift and returning a week later, in an ambulance match, they actually sell their injuries. That's right you don't have to do 500 Canadian Destroyers for someone to sell, only one will do. Also returning to the fray is my personal favorite mode, which is actually going to surprise a lot of people when I say it, so I ask you, are you ready? huh? I said... ARE. YOU. READY!?. You are? well IT DOESNT MATTER IF YOU'RE READY. Ok my bad, were off topic. My favorite returning match time is the special guest referee matches. No lie, I loved these in the WWF Smackdown games because I would always genuinely trying to ref fairly, but then as soon as someone hit me? it was over, I was making 100% sure that they were about to lose the matches and made sure to hit my finishing move on them, then proceeding to fast count. That's what that punk gets. No one makes me bleed my own blood. As with new match types, so to comes your game roster, which this years game roster does feel a tad bit bloated if I'm going to be honest. With over 200 Superstars and wrestlers to choose from, male and female, it can be a bit much because the actuality that you will use even 5% of the roster in this game. No one can convince me otherwise that people will use anything other than the top 5 females in the game or the top 10 male wrestlers in the game. No one goes into these titles and say they want to play as someone from a mid card similar to talent you used to see back in the day on Sunday Night Heat. It would be like buying an old WWF game and telling you ''I picked this game up to play as Taka and Funaki'' and you giving me a blank stare, followed by a nod and tell me ''INDEEEEEEEEEEEEED''. Yeah, that's just not going to happen. Personally for me, I'll continue playing as Austin, Taker, Triple H, Angle and my core group as I await the arrival of CM Punk as DLC, now THAT I cant wait for. 200 superstars aside that you won't use, the series actually does take a step forward with actually including real referees from modern day wrestling, which is pretty amazing. It honestly makes me wish for an All Ref DLC that will give you people like Teddy Long and Earl Hebner. Now THAT would be fantastic. But.. this is a great start. While partaking in all the match types I named above, you notice you'll be having a great time with the core mechanics, but while its fluid and responsive with little to no input lag with button use for your different sets of moves, you'll notice the defensive stuff of previous games that made you focus a lot on reversals and more defensive moves to bring up crowd momentum or raise your finisher bar, is basically swapped by making the game more offensive focused, giving you a ton of different offensive strategies that can feel a tad bit too much at times. Don't get me wrong, its not hard to be fair, but every time you feel you have a good grasp on things, you find out another offensive strategy that makes you feel you have to re-learn your experience. You start feeling as dumb as The Shock Master crashing through a wall and losing a helmet, you aren't injured, but... you look dumb as heck. Luckily this is helped at least a little bit with an extensive tutorial mode. So if you want to ''get gud'', this will be your ultimate route to go.


Rounding off the features in this game is Showcase mode, MyRise mode, MyGM and MyFaction. Quite a few huh? well you know what they say ''THAT'S NOT A BAD THING. THAT... IS A GOOD THING''. Showcase mode this time around remains what you expect of it, a collection of showcases that feature epic moments from WWE's past and unlike previous 2K games where it would focus on one wrestlers history, this years game? draws inspirational from the past 39 Wrestlemania's that have taken place as you take part on legendary matches that are the most memorable from the events humble beginnings of Hulkamania to the days of the Tribal Chief. The transition from gameplay to recreating a Wrestlemania moment always remains a highlight for me with these mode every year as it just keeps getting sleeker and sleeker as time goes on, however getting Corey Graves to do the commentary for it, so gross, I can't stand bro's voice, I'd rather have Michael Cole do it, but you can't win them all, unless. this is 2000's Triple H and Stephanie era, then you win everything and job to no one. 2K24's Showcase from match selection, to overall gameplay feeling more smooth and natural for them, easily tops last years by a country mile. Fan favorite MyRise also makes its grand return and this time offering dual narrative paths that feel more like an RPG that gives you choices for your actions that this go around will influence the games story direction here and there depending on your choices that you make. Using the real life continuity from the WWE itself is also a great take on this years mode with this inclusion, you get characters and storylines from modern day, but with the twist of being able to throw your own character into the mix and inserting them into that storyline, make you feel immersed in the action that hasn't really been present in the previous 2K WWE games. Its definitely the mode people should jump into first to get the best experience possible with this game to know what its truly capable of. MyGM mode however, while I know its a fan favorite people with stuff like this go around adding more match types, further interactions and elements like further talent development via match placements or trading people away to get higher value talent for your show and other general managers, I get it, I get why people like it. But for me I feel it still doesn't do enough to make it stand out fully because some of the trades you do, you do not feel the impact of it enough based off the wrestlers overall in game rating. I feel trading and getting certain superstars on your show should use an element like boosting ratings meter or something, to make it feel like real life where you genuinely feel these show GM's are in a competition with each other. In 2K24? it feels like WWE crowd reactions at times, piped in. To be fair, Kevin Dunn is gone, so that's improved, so win there. Last we have MyFaction, which... still remains a mode I absolutely do not like, I'm sorry, I just can't get into it, even with new match varieties and new competitive playing options, it just leaves much to be desired. Honestly I blame Universe Mode alongside MyRise for being WAY too damn good this time around that it completely overshadows the other modes, like Mae Young giving birth to a human hand with Mark Henry, people were talking about that more than they were at times than Austin vs Mcmahon, talk about crazy!. At least it's not as bad as Big Bossman feeding Al Snow's Chihuahua ''Pepper'' to him. Old WWF was a nuts time.


 


''I HEAR AMBULANCES IN MY HEAD...''

 

OVERALL:


At the end of the day Visual Concepts further improved on the WWE 2K formula and provided and iron clad foundation for this franchise to stand upon in the years going forward, even if there are a still rough spots remaining to be fixed, its still the improvement we want with our yearly releases to make sure the game is worth our money. Sure its not perfect because it does still bring back some janky bugs where your characters spaz out and fly all over the arena, some character models looking nothing like their wrestler counterparts, MyFaction feeling a bit underwhelming compared to the effort that was put into other modes, etc. However, by maintaining its high quality framework, amazing camera angles that makes you feel you're in the crowd, fluid feeling gameplay for each wrestlers move-sets, the comeback of fan favorite match types like Casket matches to bury people like Cena did to the Nexus, referee matches that allows you to screw over an opponent you hate or help your favorite wrestler out of a pickle against the Bloodline, unique MyRise mode that lets you further evolve the story telling of a 2K that makes you feel like every decision matters like you're playing Indigo Prophecy or something and a Showcase mode that heartedly pays great homage to the past 39 events of the one that started it all, Wrestlemania. So if you're a WWE fan that's been curious if the quality stands up to last years title, I can absolutely say it does and whether you are saving money to wait for a price drop or buying it right now because you need your wrestling fix, I genuinely feel like you will have a ton of fun in this game by mastering its new mechanics and in the end, you till will be feel like THE BEST IN THE WORLD. So with all that having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW




 



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