That special time of year has come. WWE’s Royal Rumble is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start thinking about the wrestling organization’s next 2K video game. WWE 2K24 will be arriving in March and now we know a lot more about it–including who’s going to be on the covers and some very exciting new match types. We also spoke with 2K24’s developers to get a better idea about the biggest changes in the game. Let’s break it all down.
Three ways to play
In total, there are three different versions of the game, all with their own covers and bonuses.
The standard edition of the game, which will hit stores on Friday, March 8, features none other than “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes on its cover. “I’ve been known to keep a checklist of key milestones I want to experience on the path to finishing my story,” Rhodes said in a press release. “As an avid gamer, being named WWE 2K cover Superstar is very, very close to the top of that list and I’m very happy to work with the teams at 2K and Visual Concepts to bring that dream to life.”
The standard edition comes with bonuses if you preorder. Those include the Nightmare Family DLC pack, which includes two vintage versions of Cody Rhodes (his “Undashing” and “Stardust” characters), along with a Dusty Rhodes model based on what the legend looked like in 1976. Lastly, that pack will feature a playable “Superstar” Billy Graham, one of Dusty’s longtime foes in the ring. The Nightmare Family Pack also includes three exclusive cards for the returning MyFaction digital card game within the title and, interestingly, a digital copy of WWE 2K23, the previous year’s title. The standard edition will cost $60.
The Deluxe Edition of the game, which launches a few days prior, on March 5, features both WWE Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley and Former WWE Women’s Champion Bianca Belair on the cover. This version of the game includes everything in the standard edition, plus a suite of tools to help you conquer the MyRise career mode and exclusive MyFaction cards for both cover superstars. The deluxe edition will cost $100.
Lastly, also releasing on March 5, is the Forty Years of Wrestlemania Edition. This version of the game features a collage of Wrestlemania’s biggest stars over the past four decades and includes everything from the other two versions, plus an extra DLC pack filled with wrestlers in some of their iconic Wrestlemania attires, a host of MyFaction cards. Lastly, this version of the game will allow you to download this year’s Wrestlemania 40 arena after the event, for use in the game. The Forty Years of Wrestlemania Edition will cost $120.
New match types
After adding the War Games match in WWE 2K23, the team behind 2K24 is introducing four new match types for the game. While on the surface they may not sound as exciting as War Games, they should all make for some exciting moments–and one, in particular, is a match fans of the franchise have been clamoring for.
Special guest referee matches are back. These matches will allow players to step into the role of referee to officiate matches. “Anything that a ref can do, players will be able to do,” associate gameplay producer Brian Williams told GameSpot. “If you want to be aboveboard, be the boring guy, or if you want to have fun and cause chaos throughout the match, you’ll have full access and the ability to do so.”
And for those that remember hiccups years back with the match type, with your playable character not actually wearing a referee shirt, those moments are in the past. Per Williams, anyone selected as referee will automatically come out in customary black and white stripes. However, another addition is the ability to create a referee in the game’s creation suite.
Another new addition is the ambulance match. If you’ve somehow missed one of these on WWE programming, the aim is simple: You beat up your opponent to the point that you toss them in the back of an ambulance, allowing for them to be carted off to the hospital. It remains to be seen how, exactly, this match type will be played.
The same goes for the casket match, another new match type. Much like the ambulance match, the aim of this one, if you haven’t seen Undertaker dominate these matches over the years, is to beat up your opponent and stuff them in a casket at ringside.
The last addition is another one fans have been wanting. The gauntlet match is back. In short, this is a match that puts your determination to the test. In it, the player faces a series of opponents, one after the other. As soon as you defeat one person, a new and fresh opponent makes their way out. Ultimately, it’s a fun way to put your own skills to the test.
The 2K Showcase…of the Immortals
Of course, the 2K Showcase is back. Instead of focusing on a single wrestler, though, 2K is using the 40-year history of Wrestlemania as the backdrop. The mode will feature 21 different matches from throughout Wrestlemania, with many of the biggest moments highlighted, seemingly including the legendary Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant match at Wrestlemania III, which you can see an in-game screenshot of below.
At this point, none of the matches from the new 2K Showcase have been revealed. However, as with previous years, winning matches and completing objectives in Showcase mode will unlock more content within the game.
2K24 also includes a bunch of updates elsewhere in the game, including several additions to the MyGM mode, which lets you book and simulate your own shows, pitting you against AI or another player. After being brought back two years ago, 2K24 will see the mode gain new match types and championships, contract management, and talent scouts.
MyRise, which is the franchise’s version of a career mode, also returns with two unique stories, one for male superstars and one for female superstars. While few details have been shared, a press release notes that for the first time, Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes will be providing voiceovers for the mode, along with WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley. 2K also promises original characters and rewards from the game that will carry over outside of MyRise mode.
As mentioned above, MyFaction is also back with a slew of updates designed to make for an easier gameplay experience.
Then, of course, there’s the updates to the wrestling matches, themselves. WWE 2K24 includes some things we’ve never seen in these games before, which should get fans pumped. For instance, they’ve added the ability to dive from the top rope onto a group of people outside of the ring. We’ve seen it on TV time and time again. Now, you’ll be able to do it, though it remains to be seen how the mechanic works.
Other additions include new weapons, the ability to throw weapons, payback moves, and double title matches. Additionally, 2K24 introduces the “super finisher,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
Basically, if you are able to store three finishers in your match, you’ll unlock the ability to hit your opponent with a super finisher. For example, if you’re playing as Cody Rhodes, you’ll hit his signature Crossrhodes three times in succession, doing serious damage to your opponent while also temporarily suspending their resilience, which would allow them to easily kick out of a pin attempt. Think of super finishers as the move that will put your Wrestlemania main event match to bed.
The last addition of note is from the creative suite. In addition to the inclusion of the new create-a-referee tool, players will also be able to make their own crowd signs. We can only assume that, in doing so, you’ll be able to upload your own sign images to the game, much like you can already do for logos and faces for your created superstars.
With WWE 2K24 coming in less than two months, chances are there’s going to be a lot more information to dig through soon.