The final patch for WWE 2K23 dropped on the 18th, which means this is the final state of the game. After five months of playing it, you can have a better analysis of what was fun and what needs improvements in WWE 2K24. There is a laundry list of things that could be added in 2024, but whether we’ll see them is a different thing.
The in-ring wrestling
In the last few WWE games, they’ve opted to go back towards a slightly more arcade style. Hitting someone with a finisher might have them jumping back up in only five seconds. For the simulation fans, this is an immersion killer. Though, the most beloved wrestling games have always been on the arcade side. There are two different types of players and it’s a difficult task to fully satisfy both sides. WWE 2K24 could bring in new options that make the game simulation or arcade. Over the last two decades, games have made leaps and bounds in customising a player’s experience. 2K is one of the best at that, so it’s feasible to think they could add this soon.
The combo system was added and does feel nice to be the one dishing it out. It gives off a feeling of having a fight. However, too many times did I accidentally reverse them when I was trying to get my own moves in. AEW Fight Forever proves that there’s still a lot of fun to be had in the arcade style. Making the game faster paced with better fluidity could see more casual fans joining the fun. 2K23 feels like it wants to do both, which tends to make it not feel especially good in either direction. There is nothing worse than being a simulation style player and seeing them get up after five seconds, even when you’ve just powerbombed them off the top rope. The other small issue is connecting moves, too often we see wrestlers hitting thin air.
The tried-and-true Universe mode
This is the mode that everyone is likely playing now because of its longevity. This year I was excited to see the new idea of selecting your own story. An issue that has existed for a while is seeing the same cutscenes over and over again. Not seeing some because you’re unsure of the requirements to trigger them. The one worry was the fun being taken out of watching them because you already know what will happen. Five months later I can say that the worries were unfortunately justified. On top of that, there aren’t too many different cutscenes when it comes down to it. Doing one year in Universe mode will likely see you having 4 to 6 feuds. With limited options you’re going to be seeing repeats by your second year. 2K24 may need to revert it back but just add far more cutscenes, even for the same story.
With that in mind, it may help the repeating of scenes if you weren’t forced to have them wrestle every week. Cutting promos may need to come back. Additionally, they could include backstage segments where you won’t need to compete to continue the feud. As I said above, the whole getting up five seconds after being hit by a finisher, that needs to go for Universe players to be immersed into their wrestling world. My guess would be simulation players prefer Universe, with arcade gamers liking MyFaction. Some other small changes that could benefit this mode. Adding branching storylines. The difference between exhibition and universe is far too little right now and to shed that exhibition feeling, you need to bring the universe to life. Promos, more cutscenes, and choices that impact your coming weeks.
MyFaction has the potential to be one of their best modes
Many WWE 2K23 fans dislike MyFaction, mostly because it has a focus on getting you to spend money. While this is a legitimate complaint, you can still have a lot of fun without spending money. The challenges and narratives based around them are a nice fun arcade experience. This is where I’m not bothered by people getting up quickly. This is 2K’s version of Ultimate Team. The issue with that is there aren’t human players here, it’s all against AI. The easy and obvious answer is to make it co-op. This could give a massive boost to an already interesting mode which has an innate hook with winning helping you to improve your faction. In WWE 2K24 we could see this mode become one of the most popular, and I’m here for it.
MyRise was greatly improved on 2K23
However if we’re honest. It’s not hard to improve on the low-quality stories in the previous few 2K games. Still, The Lock was one of the more intriguing stories we’ve seen. Straight from the first scene you’re interested in where this is going. They have some cool original characters and re-run the classic build-a-faction storyline from Here Comes the Pain. Having a contrast with The Legacy made for two fun stories to be created and the writing shone in 2K23. The place where it faltered the most is the length of them. The pacing of the stories was too fast, and I felt I couldn’t get invested in anything because of that. The return of Evolution should have been one of the best storylines in any wrestling game. But before I could even feel as if I was a part of the faction, it was over.
Somewhere else 2K24 could try to improve on is branching storylines. It feels as if every MyRise ends the same way, with you winning a world title. What about those fans of the tag division? There are never any choices to become a legend of the tag division. The few times we’ve seen the tag titles they are treated as a novelty. Hell, why not have your story be someone aiming to become the master of hardcore matches. All in all, this was a good year for MyRise. Hopefully 2K24 carries on with a bit of a lengthier playtime.
MyGM is a few tweaks from being must-play
This is where I spend most of my time. It’s my favourite mode and the one I have looked forward to the most these last two years. This can be an extremely fun mode with great replayability. The introduction of more match types, unlimited seasons, and the addition of mid card titles. All of this is helping it close in on the GM modes from 2006-2008. The problem is why is it not as good as a mode from 17 years ago. In the past they were minimalistic, but that worked because it felt as if you had ultimate control as a manager. The modern ones do take that away a bit. Limiting who can be drafted from the start, having only some free agents appear on an RNG rotation, and being forced to gift the belt to someone at the beginning. These are restrictive.
A massive blow in 2K23 is no PLE’s existing. In name they do, but what is a Royal Rumble without the actual match itself. On that topic, the head-to-head matches need to return. Fighting over WrestleMania’s main events and trying to make your enemy lose a star for a few weeks was great fun. Something 2K could bring back is minor shows. These were perfect to keep your spare wrestlers from dropping popularity and having them stay busy. Right now, there is a system which is counterintuitive because of minor design flaws. Having wrestlers lose popularity after not appearing for one week can be frustrating without minor shows. I’m also still not sure that there’s a reason for the logistical options. At least it doesn’t thematically add to the mode. WWE 2K23 was close to offering a classic entry into the GM series but fell short with some odd omissions.
The last few details that could see improvement
One thing that everyone loves is the new renders you can use in game. So, custom videos being uploaded to the CC in 2K24 would be a great new feature. Blood could be changed so that there’s more when you bust open a person. There are many matches where I open someone up, just to have a tiny spot on their head bleeding. It should also be harder to achieve that. Busting someone open with a super kick or DDT does feel a bit silly. The final change that would make 2K24 better is more licensed music in the game. As much as I like hearing entrance songs, when you play the game for a long time, it gets a bit tiring to hear “It’s a New Day yes it is” for the 50th time. WWE 2K23 is a good game, but 2K24 could be great with a few changes.