WWE 2K23: Enhanced Ring Battle Featuring WWE Icon John Cena and War Games?

WWE 2K returns to the familiar rotation. After WWE 2K20 flopped, partly because of surprisingly bad graphics and countless bugs, the developer took two and a half years and launched a greatly improved version with WWE 2K22 in March 2022. Almost exactly one year later, namely on March 17, 2023, the new WWE 2K23 should appear. The game will be available for the PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC (Steam). Will it be possible to top the overall successful WWE 2K22 again?

The cover star was chosen to be 16-time wrestling champion John Cena, who celebrated his 20th anniversary in WWE last summer. The game is intended to reflect his career. “I’m thrilled to be able to tell the story of my career in the WWE 2K23 Showcase,” Cena said in a press release. “2K has done a fantastic job of bringing the WWE 2K series to life with this concept and I’m honored to be on the cover of WWE 2K23.”

In the new 2K Showcase, gamers can step into the boots of some of Cena’s notable competitors and try to defeat him. This will be accompanied by an interactive sports-entertainment documentary in which Cena looks back on the highlights of his career. The developer promises seamless transitions between gameplay and live-action footage. This mode already made a good impression in WWE 2K22, in which Rey Mysterio was the protagonist, and was particularly interesting for long-time wrestling fans.

A completely new mode are the so-called War Games. With plenty of action in 3v3 and 4v4 for solo gamers or multiplayer mayhem in two adjacent rings surrounded by a double steel cage, things are set to heat up.

Also included is the story mode, in which the player slips into the role of a male or female WWE debutant and influences their career through their own decisions. However, there is a lot of room for improvement here compared to WWE 2K22. In last year’s version, the story was told in a very boring way in the form of tweets. The course of the career with the various tasks also seemed very incoherent at times. Will WWE 2K23 have more to offer here?

Just like in WWE 2K22, the popular GM mode will continue to be in the game. In it, the player slips into the role of a WWE maker and directs the fortunes of a show, for example by scheduling matches, determining the quality of the shows and having to keep an eye on the budget. The developer promises more show options, multiple seasons, expanded match maps and more match types for up to four players. So the improvements are more likely to be found in the details. But that’s not bad at all, because this mode already worked very well in WWE 2K22.

In general, the new WWE version should offer a lot of creative freedom. The WWE Universe sandbox puts players in control of their own version of WWE, from Superstar Rosters, Feuds, Champions to weekly shows and Premium Live Events. Just like last year’s version, the My Faction mode is still included. In the classic team building mode, the player can collect a number of WWE Superstars and Legends to form a powerful team of four. Online multiplayer action can also be experienced with this wrestling dream team.

WWE 2K23 comes in four different versions. In addition to the Standard Edition and the Cross-Gen Edition, there is the Deluxe Edition and the Icon Edition, which will be available three days earlier (i.e. on March 14, 2023) and contain various additional content such as My FACTION card packs. All pre-orders, regardless of version, will receive the Bad Bunny Bonus Pack featuring Bad Bunny as a playable character and a Bad Bunny My FACTION card.

After WWE 2K22 was a very good game overall despite small deficits, WWE 2K23 sounds very promising with the promised improvements, the War Games and John Cena as the title hero. March will show whether the game from Visual Concepts can keep up.

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