WWE 2K24 Review – A Rough Road to Wrestlemania

WWE 2K24 Review - A Rough Road to Wrestlemania

The WWE and wrestling in general are enjoying unprecedented success right now, especially in Australia. It seems to have real momentum behind it with lapsed and new fans alike jumping in for the world’s sweatiest soap opera. If you need any evidence, just look at the recent Elimination Chamber event in Perth that broke both attendance and viewing records across the globe. So with such a massive group of fans to keep happy, WWE 2K24 has a lot resting on its shoulders. It needs to improve on the previous entries while cashing in on the current surge in popularity. It needs to keep the momentum rolling so to speak. Does it manage to do so? Well, after spending quite a bit of time in the ring, I can say with confidence the answer is a resounding “sort of.” 

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WWE 2K24 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it is very much building on the previous two WWE 2K titles. There are no surprises here, just a string of gameplay tweaks, match additions and slight improvements that overall add up to a better game, but not in a mindblowing way. The gameplay seems to flow a lot better, with animations in general joining together in a way that feels natural, something past games struggled with. I also felt like I had better control of directional attacks, with the targeting working much better than it had previously. I was less likely to target the wrong person, something that can cause endless frustration in the multiple combatant match types.

That said, one of the franchise’s biggest problems has once again reared its annoying head. One-on-one and tag matches are fantastic. It is wonderful to square off against a set opponent. When it comes to triple threat, fatal four-way and rumble-style matches it is hard to not get frustrated. The very nature of these styles of events makes for great viewing, but not so enjoyable to actually take part in. So much of the game is about building up a flow and that is almost impossible when fighting multiple combatants. I am honestly not sure how the developers can address this, but as it is I hated when I had to take part in these events because often the result came down to luck and not skill and when winning is required to progress the story, having to constantly replay an event and hope for the best just to progress really got under my skin. 

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Speaking of story, this year there are once again two career modes to follow. The women’s division sees players take on the role of an indie star trying to make her way in the WWE and in the men’s an up-and-coming trying to wrest control of the division from the Tribal Chief himself, Roman Reigns. Both stories are fun, cheesy and a little silly in all the right ways, with some genuinely funny writing and wonderful nods to past career modes in the franchise. This year’s stories also give players more control. There are branching pathways and story moments that diverge along the way, making the whole thing feel more natural in its progression and as a result, I think it captures the soap opera that is the WWE better than it ever has.

The real star of WWE 2K24 however has to be this year’s Showcase mode. Celebrating 40 years of Wrestlemania, this mode sees players reenact the best matches from Wrestlemania’s history. Each match gives players multiple goals to achieve in order to simulate the historical result as closely as possible and the mode blends gameplay with archive footage in a wonderful way. It really is a treat for longtime fans of the WWE and a great way for new fans to see why legends like The Ultimate Warrior, Andre the Giant and Randy Macho Man Savage are so well regarded even to this day. If I have one piece of advice though it is to play this mode on the easiest difficulty, these matches can have up to 14 objectives which can take some time to complete, so losing a match after completing 13 of 14 objectives can bring the rage. 


The WWE Universe mode has had a significant addition this year that could make it the most played option for players everywhere. Along with the traditional manage style mode where players take control of one of the WWE Brands and manage bookings events and rivalries, this year there is a single superstar mode. This allows players to take a past or present star and focus on their career only, going into greater depth, helping them chase titles, momentum and enemies. It was wonderfully deep and was the perfect playground for players to create dream matches and scenarios. I used it to create an ongoing feud between the legendary Undertaker and the late great Bray Wyatt as they both battled to be the king of the supernatural in the WWE. 

Perhaps the biggest disappointment I come across is just how rough the game is overall. I want to preface this by saying that patches will inevitably fix some of these issues as time goes on, especially as I was playing pre-release, but I had quite a few game-breaking bugs. One instance where after a cutscene the AI took over my character and I could no longer control him, a few game crashes, and multiple instances of my controller misbehaving are the most notable. Adding to this sense of roughness is that the graphics, especially the lip-syncing are quite ordinary. I don’t know if the game is being held back by having to be released on the older consoles, but it is easily the worst lip-syncing I have seen in what feels like an age, especially in a AAA game like this. None of these things are enough to make me turn away from the game, but I do feel they need to be addressed and improved upon.

This all leaves me with the feeling that while WWE 2K24 is a solid outing, it is hard not to feel a little disappointed with its current state. It is a very safe sequel with some new features and a few gameplay tweaks, but there is nothing that screams “must-play” in regard to any of the additions. Along with that the buggy nature of the game and rough edges leave a bit of a sour taste at this point in time. Die-hard fans will absolutely get a kick out of the game, especially the Wrestlemania showcase, but those more casual brawlers might be better off waiting a month or two while some extra polish is added through patches. I hope that next year, the developers take the time to address these issues and move the game franchise forward in a more significant way, otherwise, I can see the franchise heading in the direction it was in the late 2010s and no fan wants to see that. 

WWE 2K24 was reviewed on the Xbox Series X with code kindly supplied by 2K Australia.

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