WWE 2K23 Practice Preview: WarGames Matches Introduces Exciting New Options
WWE 2K23 is the sequel to last year’s successful re-launch of the wrestling game franchise, which went on a one-year hiatus following the WWE 2K20 disaster. With 2K23, 2K Games and developer Visual Concepts hope to build on the solid foundation of last year’s game. The new game features John Cena as the cover star and is the main focus of this year’s Show Mode, with the extremely complex WarGames match type being added to a WWE game for the first time.
GameSpot must play the original build of WWE 2K23, with all the focus on the Showcase Mode limited view, partial roster, and WarGames showcase. And while explaining the rules of WarGames is a pain in the ass, it’s a whole new kind of match that’s easy to figure out when the bell rings.
WarGames is as fun as you want it to be
The type of battle in WarGames is incredibly chaotic and sometimes hard to follow, just like the actual product itself. It consists of two teams of three or four, depending on what you choose (we only had access to 3v3). Two opposing wrestlers begin the match inside two ring boxes encased in steel cages and each member of each team is released from the cage amid the crowd. Momentum swings back and forth as one team gains an advantage over the other and team members make their way into the ring. However, no one can win the match until every member of each team participates in a WarGames match. Yes, it’s particularly complicated in terms of rules, but fortunately a pre-match intro will break things down for you. We’re pretty sure there’s also audio explaining the rules on that screen, but the room was a bit noisy so we couldn’t hear anything.
Outside of the learning curve of the rules, match type is a breath of fresh air for a franchise that needs something special to keep up with television production. When you accept total chaos within the confines of two caged wrestling rings, the matchmaking genre is one of the most exciting and innovative things 2K Games has done with the franchise in many years. Depending on who you’re playing as, you can even do pedal maneuvers between the two rings, which is a total surprise to me. The “groove”–the area between the two rings–is a restricted space where your wrestlers can occasionally find themselves, but not the same as the restricted movement area in Hell matches in the cell, you have a lot more full range of motion than in The Trench, so it doesn’t feel like No Man’s Land. You can and should fight in this area, as you’ll want to use all of the available brawl space, including climbing to the top of the cage and moving around on your butt. It’s true that there isn’t necessarily a tactical reason to do it, but it’s pretty funny to watch.
Outside of the chaos, the first thing WWE fans will notice is that WarGames has a different presentation than the live TV offering. Usually, wrestlers who haven’t entered the match wait for their chance to get out in the shark cage — which tends to be at the beginning of the entry ramp. WWE 2K23 places these wrestlers in cages in the middle of the area behind the ring, complete with stairs for them to descend, so players can always see other members of their team waiting for their chance to compete. join WarGames. And when these wrestlers enter the ring, they may or may not throw an arsenal of weapons into the ring – whether or not they do is an additional factor of randomness.
From the build we played, WarGames works. That’s something we suspected because the real-life version was an interesting mix, but hard to follow. Sure, WWE 2K23’s version is a bit hard to follow at times, but that works for how chaotic the match is. Yes, you mainly take on one person at a time, but you must also be mindful of the rest of your team members, in case you have to part with a team or submit. Then there are two loops, so you can separate from the others to get more time to pin someone, but in doing so you create distance between yourself and the other team members, causing the unpin to be unpinned. becomes more difficult. There are tough decisions to make, and that’s what makes this type of match so exciting – and sometimes nerve-wracking.
Display: Refurbished, Minus The Tedium
Like previous installments of the game, Showcase – this time featuring John Cena – opens with the superstar holding the microphone, recounting highlights of his career, interspersed with WWE footage captured storage. The intro sets the stage for a slight twist on the classic game mode, starring previously mentioned cover superstar John Cena. What’s confusing is that unlike previous versions of Showcase, you don’t play as Cena game after game. Instead, you play as opponents who have beaten him for years. So those on the “Cena Sucks” spectrum of polarizing Cena hymns can live your dreams–and AJ Styles’s too–you can beat John Cena.
You follow the key moments of Cena’s career, playing like everyone else, while the cover star narrates the battle. Again, we couldn’t hear audio during the event, so we can’t comment on the flow between what we saw during gameplay and the narrative. In the build for WWE 2K23 that we played, there are two matches available for Showcase Mode out of the 14 confirmed.
The first match was Cena vs. RVD at ECW’s PPV One Night Stand at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The RVD model looks absolutely stunning, and the Ballroom itself is a nostalgic leap back in time. You switch between playing the match, trying to complete optional objectives–if you complete them all, you’ll unlock items to use in the game–and between archival footage of match, a presentation set with WWE 2K22. A lot of the 2K games and Visual Concepts built into last year’s Showcase Mode are here in 2K23.
Yes, Cena’s career matches are a bit out of order, as the game started in 2006 and the second took place when Cena made her Smackdown debut in 2002. However, it would feel more natural. when a player battles an established Cena instead of diving right into his first match against Kurt Angle, where Cena brings “Cruel Aggression” to WWE.
Those are the only two matches offered for this WWE 2K23 build; However, it’s a step in the right direction as far as Showcase Mode goes, as playing with different characters in each match is incredibly refreshing compared to previous games. While WWE 2K22’s Intro Mode was fine and the presentation was beautiful, Rey Mysterio’s replaying became tedious and a lot of Mysterio’s matches didn’t have the impact to make the Mode a huge success. introduced that year. Things seem to be improving with 2K23, as it’s fun to play the game as Cena’s opponent, spending time working on specific objectives to unlock arenas, championship titles, and more. even different wrestlers.
There’s even more incentive to play through the entire Showcase Mode this year. We’ve found that some things you “unlock” by completing specific challenges aren’t actually accessible until you’ve completed the entire Showcase Mode. Yes, this is a bit annoying, but it’s motivating to get through the whole mode and play to the end.
New mechanics/Overall gameplay:
A new gameplay element in 2K23 is how you get out of tough situations. You can use the traditional “smash the button until your finger falls off” – the way that wrestling games have been around for the longest time. Or you can choose a new variation of this, where a bar pops up on the screen and there’s a smaller red bar that moves back and forth that you have to align with the pointer and then swipe up on the sidebar. right. It is different and offers a great accessibility option for those who are not very good at clicking buttons or who may not be able to do so.
You can now taunt while holding a weapon, a new feature to the series. Some characters have brand new models–like Cody Rhodes and 2006 RVD, both of which look brilliant–and others look like they haven’t changed much since last year, like Roman Reigns.
There are a lot of new animations this year and as a result, the game looks a bit smoother than last year’s game, which in itself is a much-needed upgrade over previous versions. of the long-lived series. The game feels smoother and faster, and yes, there are a few minor hiccups here and there – such as hair falling over everyone’s shoulders and one time we saw someone teleport from the middle of the ring. out in the ring, causing themselves to be disqualified in a 10-man Royal Rumble match–but overall, things are a little smoother and slicker. The HUD for your player is a bit clearer and easier to read as it gets a small update on the aesthetic. The finisher bar has three separate sections, so how many finishers you have is even more obvious, though that’s never really been an issue. Despite that, the new design is an improvement, although we did notice that the upper floor of the arena was empty during our time playing the game.
Our view of WWE 2K23 is very limited compared to what we will see in the end, as we are given access to two game modes and when it is fully released we will see the modes. plugins like MyGM, MyFaction, MyRise, Universe and generators. 2K’s WWE games are exceptionally large and offer a variety of game modes. However, from what we’ve seen, WWE 2K23 is taking the foundation that has been in place since 2K22 and building on that in the window where the team has to produce a new game. WarGames plays much better than expected and is sure to be a standout addition to this year’s game. All the changes in Intro Mode are for the better and eliminate sluggish playback. This feels like another step in the right direction for 2K.
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