WWE 2K24 – Everything You Need to Know

Visual Concepts’ WWE 2K24 is out on March 8th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC, with Deluxe and Forty Years of Wrestlemania Edition owners getting early access on March 5th. Arriving just in time for Wrestlemania in April, this year’s iteration offers new match types, a new Showcase Mode, various gameplay changes and an interesting focus on referees. Here’s what you should know before buying.

Cover Stars

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There’s a diverse range of cover stars this year, starting with Cody Rhodes in the Standard Edition (fitting this year’s theme of finishing the story). Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley adorn the Deluxe Edition, as they should be given their meteoric rise through the years, while the Forty Years of WrestleMania Edition features legends like The Undertaker, The Rock, John Cena, Becky Lynch, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and, of course, Roman Reigns.

New Showcase Mode

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This year marks the 40th annual Wrestlemania, so it seems appropriate that Showcase Mode should focus on celebrating 40 years of the event, like when WWE 2K14 celebrated 30 years in 2014. Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3, Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania X, Bret Hart vs Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 13, and Bianca Belair vs Asuka and Rhea Ripley vs Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania 39 are some of the confirmed matches. There will once again be content to unlock, and the game’s Slingshot Tech will blend gameplay with real-life footage for full immersion.

Over 200 Superstars

WWE 2K24 features over 200 Superstars at launch, from Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes and Becky Lynch to legends like Andre the Giant, Bret Hart and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The full roster reveal also confirmed the likes of LA Knight, Dominick Mysterio, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Logan Paul, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and much more.

Brock Lesnar and Vince MacMahon

Of course, the other noteworthy absences are Vince MacMahon and Brock Lesnar. Neither is playable, which seemed a given due to a former WWE employee’s lawsuit against MacMahon that involved Lesnar. However, a source told GameSpot that they’re not completely absent from the game. They explained, “We are always in lockstep with the WWE on how our game reflects what’s happening in the WWE universe. Certain personalities play a role in the historical 2K Showcase and the narrative-driven MyRise experience, but are not available on the playable roster.” It’s probably not unexpected, but something to watch out for.

Gameplay Changes

Since its turnaround with WWE 2K22, Visual Concepts and 2K Games haven’t messed too heavily with the established structure for the series. Nevertheless, like last year, there are several gameplay improvements for long-time fans. Gameplay producer Bryan Williams revealed on Twitter that there are now Light, Heavy and Grab attacks for front corner leaning run attacks.

Lead gameplay designer Derek Donahue also confirmed being able to Irish Whip while kneeling. Manual rope rebounds should also feel better, thanks to control improvements. If that weren’t enough, there’s a mini-game for trading blows back and forth, the ability to throw weapons, and much more.

Improvements to the Presentation

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If you’ve followed the WWE for this long, you’ll notice similarities in the presentation for WWE 2K24. There are improvements to ramp and dive cameras, and during live gameplay, the camera can be repositioned. Even visually, there’s a new drop-back animation when a player’s back is to the ropes.

Visual Improvements

Improvements to the graphics are tougher to discern based on available gameplay footage. However, while you likely shouldn’t expect a massive jump over last year, 2K Games has confirmed updates to over 90 percent of the facial expressions.

Ambulance, Coffin and Gauntlet Matches

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It wouldn’t be a sequel without some new match types, and WWE 2K24 delivers multiple options, including Ambulance and Coffin matches. The former involves tossing your opponent into an ambulance and closing the door, while the latter requires, well, throwing your opponent into a casket and closing the lid.

There are differences with players climbing up on the ambulance and jumping off on their opponents or tossing them off. However, both seem to be button-mashing mini-games for closing the ambulance doors and casket lid. There are also Gauntlet matches, though their exact mechanics and quirks have yet to be detailed.

New Backstage Brawl Features

Perhaps the most surprising range of changes can be seen in Backstage Brawls. Not only do they now support four players and offer new weapon types like a guitar, microphone and trash can, but there are also new elements in the environment to interact with, like an elevator and a soda vending machine with actual soda cans to throw at opponents. You can even toss someone through the control room glass or be like Marty Jannetty and jump through it like a coward to escape Shawn Michaels.

Special Referee Matches

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The strangest and yet somehow most fitting new match type is the Special Referee. Superstars can don the referee outfit and officiate matches between others. It may seem straightforward enough, but as the initial trailer showcased, Special Referees can stop counting and even use Finishers on opponents. It’s not the fairest outcome, but certainly one of the most intriguing, especially when playing online.

New Universe Mode Features

Universe Mode returns, allowing players to run their shows, customizing the rosters and deciding feuds and champions. Double title matches and Special Referee matches are new, but there are also new Rivalry actions like Money in the Bank cash-ins, new cutscenes and even stipulations where the loser leaves town (and then probably shows up another brand).

MyGM New Features

While it hasn’t been fully detailed, MyGM also returns with new general managers, match types, Championships and whatnot. New features include Superstar Journey, where wrestlers gain XP and level up after participating in matches. Perhaps best of all is the ability to trade Superstars between brands.

Create-A-Referee and Create-A-Sign Options

While seven official WWE referees have been added, you can also create your thanks to the new Create-A-Referee function. There is also a new Create-A-Sign feature, but for those who want to stick to making custom wrestlers, championships and arenas, there are plenty of new parts and animations to play around with.

4K and 60 FPS+ on Xbox Series X

Just like last year, there’s no information on the resolution and frame rate for different consoles. Once again, however, the Xbox listing for the title confirms 4K Ultra HD and 60 FPS support on Xbox Series X/S. It should extend to PS5 like last year, but having more information for other platforms would be nice.

Season Pass

Of course, just like last year, there will be a Season Pass adding new Superstars to the playable roster. On May 15th, famous ECW wrestlers like the Dudleys, Sandman, Terry Funk and CM Punk will go live. ECW Paul Heyman will also be a Manager Card in MyFACTION.

The Headbangers, Jimmy Hart (as a manager), Honky Tonk Man, and Post Malone are being added on June 26th. The beloved Pat McAfee arrives on July 24th with new features, like playable co-hosts and Co-Host Manager Cards for MyFACTION. Jade Cargill, Carlito and Dragon Lee will join on September 20th.

Finally, WCW legends Diamond Dallas Page, Mr Perfect, Great Muta and Lex Luger arrive on November 13th. If that weren’t enough, the Season Pass grants 200 Attribute Points to spend on your custom wrestler, an unlock for the base game’s WWE Legends, extra arenas and a MyRISE Mega-Boost Pack.

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