WWE 2K24 Review – IGN

WWE 2K24 Review – IGN

The pressure of an annual release schedule can be a bane for major sports series like WWE 2K – look no further than the maligned 2K20 to find out why, a game that was so hard it actually forced publisher 2K to release two years Taking a break and regrouping, which led to the redesign that has brought it to the much better state it is in today. In many ways, WWE 2K24 appears to be the final form of this new vision for the series. Some pesky bugbears remain, like this year's Showcase mode, which suffers from an inability to recreate real moments in wrestling history in video game form while attempting to rewrite that history. And yet in almost every other way it's marginally better than the last two, touting small but smart additions to tried-and-tested systems and modes rather than taking bigger risks.

It doesn't take long before it becomes clear that the title of “Best Looking Wrestling Game” is still firmly in the hands of the 2K series. There are significantly fewer wrestlers sporting outdated gimmicks this time around, and with a few notable exceptions, all of the top stars look exactly like their real-life counterparts, from their signature hairstyles to the details of their gear and tattoos. The few clear mistakes like Bayley's make you wonder if they even used the same technique to get people like Asuka right. Announcers who set special accents for certain wrestlers also present them here, so that Samantha Irving's nasal “ChElSeA GrEeEeEnNnN” remains immortalized in this game. The referees even resemble those you see on weekly television, rather than just generic stand-ins, which may not have been a necessary change, but a welcome one considering they are also recurring characters, even if not the focus stand.

If you look beyond the looks to the mechanics, you'll have to comb through 2K24 carefully to find any noticeable differences between this edition and last year's edition. The biggest addition is the Super Finisher, which lets you spend three Finisher Supplies to craft a bigger, better version of your Finisher. These live up to their name as I never had to worry about someone throwing them out, although it might take more work than it's worth to build up that many supplies since every second you spend in a game is one Time is when the tide can turn against you. There is also a new Trading Blows mini-game that appears infrequently and unprompted, usually at the start of a game. Take turns trying to fill (but not overfill) a meter as your speed increases, and anyone who doesn't fill their meter properly or runs out of stamina is vulnerable to a big attack. I was never happy to see this mini-game, as it represents an abrupt change in the action and any advantage gained didn't feel game-changing – but it's also barely appeared in almost 20 hours, so I don't think it's a sign of it The series also experienced mini-game bloat a few years ago.

2K24's wrestling is better than ever, even if it's not necessarily that.

All other small changes are pretty subtle. There are nice new weapon options like microphones and throwing smaller objects, which is a fun and fun way to do damage from a distance (assuming you don't have too much trouble with how difficult picking up weapons can be in 2K24). Non-legal tag team partners may only run in once to destroy pins or otherwise harass their opponents before being prevented from voluntarily leaving the apron without being officially tagged. I didn't get a chance to try this out in online multiplayer before release, but it was a godsend for the various tag matches in MyRise and Universe modes, as it prevented it from being played by an overly aggressive CPU team was tricked. New paybacks like Iron Jaw, which shakes off the dazed state so you're not vulnerable to irresistible damage, help diversify your strategies, and general AI improvements mean managers can act much bolder on behalf of their customers to help them help win games. From bell to bell, 2K24's wrestling is better than ever, even if it's not overtly so.

As for the types of games in which you'll use all of these techniques, a few recurring types from older games stand out this year. The special guest referee game holds the most potential for multiplayer chaos, as a player can choose to control the referee and either enforce the rules fairly or skew things as they see fit. Referees have full discretion over when to count pins, confirm entries, or disqualify blatant cheating. By default, there is a system in place to regulate the referee's ability to pose a lawless threat, and if you slack off too much in your job, a new referee will take over. Or you can just turn it off and become the worst friend in your group. Anyway, I really liked this feature and wish I had a larger pool of people to play with before release.

The Ambulance and Casket matches have similar goals: to force the opponent into a box they don't want to be in by any means possible. The former is by far the better version of this concept, as there are many more ways to interact with the ambulance, including using it as part of your game plan by dropping enemies off of it. The Coffin Match feels most like a normal match with a different way to win, as the coffin simply lingers at the side of the ring waiting for you to take care of it. 2K24 also misses a great opportunity to recreate some infamous moments from the true history of this dubious game – unfortunately, there's no way to dance on the Pine Box wearing HBK-style cowboy boots.

Both MyRise stories are strong and full of content

Gauntlet Fights now come in three flavors, all of which are welcome additions. Whether you choose a pool of Superstars randomly selected to fight each other individually in a battle royal style, or a team where a single wrestler goes through one at a time, Gauntlets can be challenging tasks. It's also the closest thing you can get to a fighting game-style attempt at survival, but the limitation to just four total wrestlers in each of the Gauntlet fight types means you can't really try too hard.

MyRise, WWE 2K's story mode, makes a solid return with two different stories of glorious victories and devastating defeats for your created characters to embark on. I spent most of my time on the Unleashed story, which echoes some of the themes of last year's The Lock campaign, namely being a big star in the indies and essentially having to start over under the WWE umbrella . The second story, Undisputed, revolves around the power vacuum that arises at the top of the male class when current God-King Roman Reigns abdicates the throne after 1200 days of rule to pursue Hollywood. This film felt more like a story you would see on real WWE television, for better or worse, as it featured more of the familiar drama of evil authority figures and routine wrestling moves keeping heroes from their ultimate goals. Both are strong and full of content, including funny gags, recurring characters from last year's stories, and some truly crazy events that take full advantage of the fact that this sports drama/comedy can be even more incredible if you make it into a video game. However, they may rely too heavily on a lot of smaller feuds and fights that feel more like filler episodes than substantive encounters.

WWE 2K24 covers and screenshots

For Showcase mode, the concept of taking a long look back at Wrestlemania's biggest matches sounds like a simple collectible playlist of matches. But even for a mode that fundamentally falls short in its mission of recreating the great moments of wrestling history from years past, 2K24's Wrestlemania Showcase falls short of my already low expectations. The selection of fights, which spans 20 bouts over the event's 40 years, is full of fights that simply aren't as special as they're portrayed to be. Corey Graves does a good job of explaining the context around them between each game, which is valuable for some of the games from the early '90s and '00s where the “why” is overshadowed by the “what.” But admittedly, good matches like those in the newer Manias simply can't compete with the best in history, and no amount of re-examination of what happened is going to change that.

Gaining control of these moments is still more of an exercise in box-ticking than it is about winning the competition. Fortunately, this year you don't have to complete all of the mid-match objectives to progress, which include things like performing a certain number of strikes or using a certain power move. In theory, you could treat every game like a normal fight, pin or subdue your opponent as quickly as possible and move on. It certainly goes against the spirit of the entire endeavor, but it's still nice that progress is no longer held hostage to a frustrating and sometimes arbitrary-seeming series of tasks. The transitions from the wrestling game to real fight footage are still clever, but also jarring, and seem to be more common this year. More than once I've completed a task only to trigger a cutscene, return to combat, and then return to match footage just a turn or two later. It turns out that the impossible task of recreating the feeling you get when you see a historically great game in video game form isn't made any easier by simply watching more of the game itself.

Granular additions truly make for the best MyGM mode yet.

And for a company so fascinated by its own history, it also seems very afraid of it. Some reasons are a little more understandable than others – for example, when big moments with far-reaching consequences involve criminals or other nefarious people. But much of it, like the edited crowd noise and blurry faces of old referees in vintage footage, smacks of George Lucas's inability to let old things be old. I'm sure many of the notable exclusions are simply rights and licensing conflicts between promoters and wrestlers, but as a person who is not a shareholder or director of one of these companies, but rather a fan who just wants to see the best of these moments, in where Daniel Bryan defeated three men in two matches in one night to win the WWE Championship should, in my opinion, be celebrated just as much as many of the smaller matches that achieved it.

For those looking to book their own WrestleMania moments, look no further than Universe Mode and MyGM. Not a huge step forward from last year's editions, but aspiring general managers will find some nice new toys to play with in MyGM. Most interesting to me were the post-PLE trades, which give you the opportunity to pass on talent between promotions, moves and dealing with rivals to get your squad ready for the next phase of the campaign. Superstars have individual ring levels that can be increased through training and regular bookings, which helps them earn perks such as receiving bonus Quality Points for participating in certain match types or having the opportunity to enter the class for free switch. These detailed additions, along with new General Managers to choose from and a large list of new power cards available to you week after week, truly make MyGM mode the best ever.

Jarrett Green's Favorite Wrestling Games

A definitive, undeniably correct list of the best video games about the most powerful martial art.

Universe Mode felt much more similar in comparison to last year, allowing you to get a bird's eye view of bookings across the WWE Universe or get an in-depth look at a particular wrestler's journey. There are a number of new rivalry actions and run-ins that you can program into your feuds, such as: B. a “Loser Leaves Town” match, but I think Universe bosses will find that things are largely the same. That's not necessarily a bad thing, considering how robust it was from the start, but it's still missing key features from the old days – namely the ability for Superstars to give each other promos – that serve as a reminder that it still exists there is a lot of room for improvement.