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WWE 2K24: Raising the Stakes in the Squared Circle


In the unpredictable world of annual sports games, WWE 2K24 steps into the ring with a promise: to outshine its predecessor. While last year’s WWE 2K23 was a smash hit, the new installment spices things up with innovative match types and some unexpected surprises.

The headline-grabbing additions include four new match types: Special Guest Referee, Casket Match, Gauntlet Match, and Ambulance Match. Although I only got a taste of the Ambulance Match, the vehicular showdown brought a unique flavor, requiring button-bashing finesse to lock your opponent in the back of the ambulance for victory. It’s an adrenaline-fueled spin on the classic hardcore match, complete with spectacular moments like throwing your foe off the ambulance.

While the Ambulance Match stole the spotlight, the jury’s still out on the other modes, especially the Casket Match, which seems like a sibling to the Ambulance Match with a different vehicle.

The hardcore nature extends backstage, where the updated Backstage Brawl takes center stage. With new environmental interactions like a working elevator, smashable glass panels, and a thrilling 20-foot drop into a giant searchlight, the backstage chaos is taken up a notch. Yet, there’s room for improvement in how fights conclude and the overall presentation of the mode.

One standout feature that had me chuckling like a ringside spectator is the introduction of throwable weapons. Taking a page from Hitman’s playbook, you can now hurl microphones, kendo sticks, trash cans, and even ringside steps at your opponents. It’s a long-overdue and delightful addition that adds a humorous touch to the hardcore proceedings.

Underneath the flashy additions, the core gameplay remains familiar, maintaining the winning formula that WWE 2K23 perfected. This year’s tweaks include trading blows and super finishers, rewarding patient players with dramatic, leveled-up versions of superstar finishing moves. Super finishers, unleashed after banking all three finisher slots, add a strategic layer to the gameplay, encouraging players to pick their spots for maximum impact.

Trading blows, on the other hand, introduces a turn-based punching mini-game during certain intervals. While it aims to replicate the drama of a WWE bout, its success is yet to be determined, with some players finding it less satisfying compared to other additions.

Presentation-wise, WWE 2K24 takes small steps forward, refining visuals, commentary, and subtle details in animations. The addition of a second camera angle option adds a nostalgic touch for fans of classic WWE games.

In conclusion, WWE 2K24 appears to build strongly on its predecessor’s success, enhancing the polished formula. While it may not create its own legacy like classics No Mercy or Here Comes the Pain, it’s just one groundbreaking feature away from claiming the throne as the head of the wrestling game table. Time will tell if this installment delivers the finishing move needed to secure its place in wrestling game history.

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