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    Friday, January 27, 2023

    Play Henry: WWE 2K23 Makes The Franchise #EvenStronger

    WWE 2K23's first details have just been unveiled and it is #EvenStronger than before. With John Cena back at the helm, this year's iteration of the WWE game may prove to be a worthy successor to last year's giant shake-up to the franchise. 

    2K unveiled the latest screenshots and information via an announcement last Monday, and according to the publisher, WWE 2K23 will be available on March 17, 2023, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and on PC via Steam. Fans who decide to get the Deluxe Edition and the Icon Edition will get to play three days early, similar to the previous year's release. John Cena will not only serve as the cover star this year, but he'll also be serving as the executive soundtrack producer. This isn't the first time the Cenation leader has held both roles as he also did the same for WWE 2K15. 

    While we're still a few months away from the game's release, a lot of news has to be unpacked from this wave of content.

    My Time Is Now

    The 2K Showcase has always been a hit or miss. While it's always exciting to relive the best moments in WWE history, the repetitive nature of the tasks and using the same character tends to be tedious. Coupled with the fact that objectives are roughly similar in every match, the mode feels mostly a chore to complete—being mostly a requirement to unlock some in-game items.

    Last year's Rey Mysterio showcase felt like a step in the right direction by limiting the number of matches and framing the ladder similar to a "boss rush" mode. However, it still didn't shake the foundation of the mode. This year's Showcase flips the script a little by putting players in the shoes of John Cena's opponents, Superstars who have bested Cena during his 20-year WWE career. It will be fascinating to step in the shoes of someone like The Rock, AJ Styles, or even The Undertaker as gamers try to defeat "Super Cena."

    Chain Gang Represent

    This year's MyFACTION will now emulate its NBA 2K brethren by allowing online multiplayer action. While last year's debut was impressive, it was lacking in many aspects. The introduction of online will add much-needed replay value to the mode—especially if 2K is planning to continue with the regular in-game updates for MyFACTION.

    Hopefully, they now consider allowing the usage of MyFACTION-exclusive attires in other modes to allow the game to have a sense of freshness. Last year's version saw the addition of alternate looks and models for multiple characters, which gave the illusion of free DLC. While someone was able to convert the models to be usable as created superstars, having the option to not use a CAS slot would be nicer.

    Hold On, Playa

    Last year also saw the introduction (or some would say the return) of MyGM. It was a highly requested feature for multiple years and to see it in WWE 2K22 brought back good memories. However, just as with MyFACTION, the mode saw minimal attention because of its limited nature. No triple threats or four-ways could be booked, and titles saw limited attention.

    This year, we've been told that there will be more GMs to choose from, additional show options will be present, and confirmation that we'll be able to run multiple seasons. While there were no detailed explanations for these, I wish for the option to export your roster to Universe Mode. As a person who spends the majority of his time in that mode, it would be great to be able to transition your shows there.


    One of the biggest confirmations from this news packet was the debut of a new match type. Yes, you read that right. WarGames. In WWE 2K23's version, we'll be able to do 3v3 and 4v4 matches (sorry, folks, no 5v5) and live through the mayhem of two side-by-side rings surrounded by a double steel cage. If my memory serves me right, this is the first new official match type to debut since Visual Concepts took over, so it will be interesting how they pull it off.

    A big question in my head right now is if we'll be able to use the two-ring setup outside of a WarGames match. Whenever the match was on a show, the other non-stipulated bouts were still contested on the side-by-side rings. It might make a crazy dynamic if they allow that, but I'm not holding my breath for it. Still, the idea of a new match is something that fascinates me, so, I expect good things from this.

    You Can't See Me

    While there was more information released, most of it was generic in nature. I'm still excited about what was announced as a "reworked story system" for Universe Mode, but with such vague wording, we'll have to wait for what that entails.

    Fans of the Creation Suite will be glad to know that Create-A-GM is implied to be in—as last year just saw players select a CAS as their custom GM. However, one big announcement that will shock the 2K community is the return of advanced custom entrances. This was a big omission from last year, so seeing it come back will help creators diversify their custom characters even more.

    MyRISE seems to follow a similar formula from last year, but a quality-of-life change will be introduced this year. The ability to import your CAS to MyRISE will now be possible, so, no more starting your character from scratch again. This is a huge time saver that might help pull people in to spend more time in the mode.

    As for versions, the game will come out with a whopping four editions. The Standard, Cross-Gen, Deluxe, and the Icon Edition. They're pretty self-explanatory, especially for those familiar with the previous year's games. However, what seems extra interesting is the Icon Edition. Fans who purchase this version will gain access to rare playable characters such as "Prototype" John Cena, "Leviathan" Batista,  "Rookie" Randy Orton, and "Rookie" Brock Lesnar. These were four of the biggest names to come out of Ohio Valley Wrestling—WWE's developmental territory in the early 2000s—so getting the chance to play as them would give players a different sense of excitement.

    Lastly, gamers who pre-order the game's Standard Edition and Cross-Gen Digital Bundle will receive the Bad Bunny Bonus Pack which will feature Bad Bunny as a playable character, as well his Ruby MyFACTION card. Those who purchase the Deluxe and Icon Edition will have access to the character at launch.


    With all of this information right off the bat, it's great to see 2K and Visual Concepts learn from last year's outing and try to make big improvements. They already learned from WWE 2K20, and have built the foundation with WWE 2K22. WWE 2K23 will be a big leap if they can continue the success from last year's release.  With two months left until the release date, expect to see more surprises and reveals in the coming weeks. 

    WWE 2K23 will be released on March 17, 2023, on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Steam.

    Photos and videos from WWE and 2K


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is a musician, wrestling fan, and video game enthusiast. He lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) Instagramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz), and streaming videogames on Twitch (@the_migz) while he pursues his musical career via his YouTube channel (Migz Llado) and courtesy of his band The Mox (ThisIsTheMox). You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE 2K (or any PS4) skills.
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    Item Reviewed: Play Henry: WWE 2K23 Makes The Franchise #EvenStronger Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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