WWE 2K23 review – That’s Gaming

Last year, WWE 2K22 came out, a game that had taken a break after the disastrous WWE 2K20. WWE 2K22 came back well with a GM Mode, an improved MyRise mode and also a lot better gameplay that was less glitchy. WWE 2K22 was a step in the right direction, but not yet the overall picture I envisioned. Now a year later, WWE 2K23 is on the market and this coming week the new DLC will even be released! So we want to take you through this review to see if WWE 2K23 is a great wrestling experience or if it has gone downhill after all.

WWE 2K23 has an awful lot to offer, that first. It’s a game packed with content and modes. The roster you can play with is so full that you will most likely never use all the superstars. Of course, today’s greats can be found in the game, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Gunther and many more. Fortunately there are also plenty of Legends to be found such as The Undertaker, Andre The Giant and Shawn Michaels. So you can play and try all the dream matches of present and past. All these matches you can play in the different modes. Of course you have quick play where you can very easily choose your superstars and an arena. However, do you want more story in your game? Then you can go to Universe Mode. However, Universe Mode is the underdog of the franchise, while most of the potential is in this mode. You can build your own roster and within an infinite sandbox, you can play out storylines that can eventually cumulate at Wrestlemania. However, the modes do not work completely as they should. For example, you can’t customize entrances for Tag Teams, so popular tag teams like The Bloodline won’t walk to the ring the right way. Furthermore, there are plenty of bugs that prevent managers from escorting the right superstar to the ring, and Double Championship matches still don’t work properly, preventing Roman Reigns from defending both his titles at a Premium Live Event. These are small things, but they do diminish the experience.

Furthermore, there is MyRise. MyRise is the career mode where you can make a career mode in WWE as a woman or as a man. These modes are even better than last time, only we do notice that the voice acting still lags behind. Promos indeed feel like they were recorded in a studio and not in front of an audience. This does diminish the experience, but you eventually get used to it. Furthermore, the female storyline is a lot better than the male one. However, both storylines are fun enough to play through and also unlock new superstars in the process.

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The last three modes still covered are MyFaction, Showcase mode and MyGM. MyFaction is the FIFA Ultimate Team version of WWE 2K23. Your cards must be as good as possible to compete against other factions. You have to try to power your superstars well so that your faction becomes even better and that you can move higher and higher in the rankings as a result. In my opinion it is a nice addition, but not the modes I will spend most of my time on. Furthermore, there is Showcase mode. This mode is all about John Cena this year. Fans of the WWE 2K series will know that John Cena has had a showcase mode before. For that reason, 2K has done a different insert, you don’t fight as John Cena in his biggest wins, but you fight as all his opponents who have beaten him. It’s a weird way to experience Cena’s amazing career, because you feel like all he does is lose, especially for new fans, this can be a weird take on Super Cena. Finally, there is MyGM, a mode that had returned last year, but couldn’t reach the heights of its predecessors in the Smackdown VS Raw series, and this year it fails too, despite the improvements. Indeed, you have the ability to get an additional title on your show now, but there is still no option for a Tag Team title, for example, even though you can have tag team matches. The game modes can be a lot of fun, but are often still a bit too complicated for the casual gamer.

The gameplay this year is again improved from last year, however, the new kick out system of a pin is terrible. Some people love it, but I personally think it’s terrible. The old system wasn’t perfect, but there wasn’t really anything wrong with it. In the old system I could easily keep a game going for a long time because I had mastered the system, however, this new system is so unpredictable that I can lose even after four minutes. Furthermore, the gameplay has mostly become smoother. The animations look a lot less clunky and, above all, seem to run better. There have been plenty of moments in matches when I could do a beautiful finisher while an opponent just missed a move. They were the OH MY GOD moments, and in previous games in particular they were a lot less present.

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The graphics have also improved again from last year, but especially the Create A Wrestler (your own created wrestler) Wrestlers look much better this year and can compete with the WWE models. I had created a character in MyRise (Tommy Drake) who looked so good that he was not out of place in the main event of Wrestlemania in Universe Mode. Previously, the home-made wrestlers looked much less than the regular wrestlers, but this year there is improvement in that. Furthermore, the lighting has improved an awful lot again. The game does not have ray tracing, but in certain entrances 2K has added some kind of Ray-Tracing, which makes entrances look great. Furthermore, the entrances sound great, the crowd sounds okay and the commentary is still of lower quality, although it has improved.

WWE 2K23 is overall a good improvement over WWE 2K22, but there is still an aftertaste lingering that I can’t exactly put my finger on. WWE 2K23 looks good, plays well for the most part and there are enough game modes to keep my one year entertained. Still, the game modes don’t feel great to me, especially Universe mode doesn’t feel finished, which is where I put most of my time anyway and many others with me. Still, there is plenty of improvement in MyRise, MyGM and all the other modes, which does make WWE 2K23 the best wrestling game in years, since WWE 12.

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