Cody Rhodes’ presence is felt throughout WWE 2K24 (Picture: 2K)
WWE 2K24 has officially been announced and the team is cooking a WrestleMania level update to celebrate 40 years of the Showcase of the Immortals.
The newest instalment of 2K’s wrestling franchise – which is developed by Visual Concepts – is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC, with Cody Rhodes taking over the front cover.
Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley will be on the Deluxe Edition cover, and the 40 Years of WrestleMania edition features iconic names like The Rock, The Undertaker, and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.
From a new Showcase mode centred on four decades of WrestleMania to new match types includes Special Guest Referee and Ambulance, Visual Concepts is throwing everything at the franchise, to continue its revival after the heavily-criticised WWE 2K20 game.
With The American Nightmare as the focus, the team wants to make sure cover star Cody’s presence is truly felt throughout the entire game.
Creative Director Lynell Jinks exclusively told Metro.co.uk: ‘You’ll definitely see Cody’s presence in pretty much every single mode from MyRise to MyGM to Showcase.
‘Cody’s everywhere, and rightfully so. He’s been awesome.’
Cody Rhodes is this year’s cover star (Picture: 2K)
That means this year’s Showcase… of the Immortals mode will almost certainly feature Cody’s epic return at WrestleMania 38 in Dallas, while other huge moments will be in there, from Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant to Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker’s ‘match for the ages’.
As ever, the mode makes use of 2K’s Slingshot Tech to move from gameplay to live action footage and back again, while the team have promised plenty of new content for WWE 2K14 players who remember that game’s own WrestleMania Showcase.
‘This 40 years of the Showcase of the Immortals. You’re getting new content, we’re not just rehashing matches that we did in that previous one,’ explained Bryan Williams, associate gameplay producer.
This year’s game celebrates 40 years of WrestleMania (Picture: 2K)
‘Mostly – I mean, obviously, there’s some matches that are so historic. But I know the designers. They went to great lengths.’
He added: ‘I’m so ecstatic. I thought last year’s [John Cena] Showcase was great, and it was. And I think this year is definitely going to top that.
‘I mean, it’s Wrestlemania, right? Doesn’t get much bigger than that.’
There’s more to this year’s game than Showcase though, with a roster boasting over 200 stars, covering current superstars with legends of yesteryear, while there will also be new matches to delve into.
As well as favourites like Hell In A Cell, TLC, WarGames and Extreme Rules, players will also get to enjoy Ambulance, Casket, Gauntlet, and Special Guest Referee Matches to add to the whole experience.
The Casket Match is back in the game (Picture: 2K)
The latter is something ‘fans have been clamouring for’ for a long time, and Visual Concepts have gone all out to really make it shine.
You’ll get to perform all the tasks you’d expect, from counting pins, checking for rope breaks, and disqualifications.
Bryan added: ‘A screw job finish – if somebody’s in the submission, you can call for the bell before they tap, so it’s all up to you on how you want to officiate and manage the match.
‘But there are checks and balances where your actions are governed by a meter, and should you go too far over the line, you’ll be replaced as the referee and a new referee will come in, and you’ll basically, get kicked out.’
This should add real strategy, while the special guest ref having their own referee attire – as well as the ability to create custom ones – sounds like a welcome addition. Also, seven real WWE referees featured elsewhere in the game.
Special Guest Referee matches will be an incredibly immersive experience (Picture: 2K)
Going into a bit more detail, Lynell explained: ‘I like watching the AI. So if I choose to say, I’m going against Finn Balor, but I make Dominic [Mysterio] the AI referee. Dom’s gonna count really slow if I’m pinning Finn, or just not call the infractions, right? Just it’s that added level of heat.’
Throughout all modes, gameplay upgrades should add to the overall experience, with additions like double title matches, new Payback abilities, top rope dives onto a group of opponents outside the ring, a Trading Blows mini-game, and Super Finishers.
Special move slots for signatures and finishers have been expanded from three to five each, and you’ll be able to use all of your stock to perform a Super Finisher, which is exactly as it sounds.
‘You get hit with a super finisher, and, not to say a 100% you can’t kick out … but,’ Bryan teased.
The team say gameplay and graphics are being given a big boost (Picture: 2K)
‘It also nullifies your opponent’s resiliency. So even if you have resiliency and you get hit with a super finisher, it temporarily knocks that out of place.
‘So we really wanted the super finisher to be almost like the end all, be all. When you get hit with that… Now, if you can kick out of that, good on you, but it’s gonna be quite the achievement!’
Another fun addition is throwable weapons, including new items like trash cans, guitars and microphones.
‘You really gotta keep your head in the swivel at all times, because you can have weapons and objects being thrown hither and yonder,’ Bryan laughed.
‘Oh and if you’re good, you can reverse it and catch it! That gives you a lot of lot of cool moments.’
Rhea Ripley will join Bianca Belair on the deluxe edition cover (Picture: 2K)
Of course, other modes are seeing a boost too, with MyGM promising new General Managers and brands, new match types, and a new Superstar Journey, while trading card game mode MyFACTION could have an interesting twist when it comes to unlockables finally being available in other modes.
‘We’re hoping to have some good news about that sometime soon,’ the team cryptically teased.
MyRise, Universe and the Creation Suite all get boosts too as 2K and Visual Concepts really go all out to improve on last year’s fantastic game.
We’ll be going hands-on with WWE 2K24 next week, so we’ll have more to report then. If it follows the same pattern as last year, the game will likely be released sometime in March.
The developers have teased a WrestleMania sized improvement on last year (Picture: 2K)
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