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WWE 2K23 (And, probably, 2K24 as well...)

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Old Member
Jul 20, 2006
Let me start out by saying that I am VERY impressed with Steam's "Big Picture Mode".

I think it gives them a HUGE advantage over the competition (Epic Games, GOG... basically EVERYBODY at this point...)

I was trying to figure out why my Windows controller hack wasn't recognizing my Dual Sense... well it turns out I didn't NEED it! I just pressed the PlayStation button on my controller and Steam, quite literally, transformed into Big Picture mode.

It's one of the most spectacular (non-sexual) things I've ever seen in my entire life.

As far as the game goes (and they release one of these every year... so 2K24 just came out... I only just got 2K23 from Humble Bundle's Humble Choice a month or two ago...) I think it's interesting that it defaults to 30fps... but in 4K. All guns blazing. Ultra settings all around.

Played great on the system in my sig. Absolutely ZERO signs of screen tearing or unresponsiveness (like I experienced in Robocop Rogue City, which I'll do a little mini-review of next). Ran as smooth as if I were on a console.

Then I enabled 60fps... and that's when the MAGIC happened.

It plays, more or less, the same as every "Smackdown" game has since the original PlayStation. The controls have changed, ever so slightly, ever since 2K took over the actual programming back in 2019... but it's not like you'd be lost if you've been playing these games for the past twenty-five years or so. The controls are better... but in terms of feel and gameplay you would never mistake these newer games for FirePro Wrestling or WWF No Mercy or something like that. You're still very-much-so in the realm of the "Smackdown" franchise.

But what has changed... rather dramatically... is that, especially in 60fps, if you're not looking very closely at the screen... or if you're just catching it out of the corner of your eye... then it really looks like you're watching REAL PEOPLE in a wrestling match.

That's because the ANIMATION has completely changed. It's now the most realistic animation I've ever seen in my life. Far more realistic than any sports game I've ever seen. (Even 2K's own NBA 2K23...). All the signals that my brain is sending me tell me that I'm watching real people.

This isn't even due to some kind of gigantic increase in graphical detail... I don't believe there is one. Yeah... it's in 4K now and not 720p or whatever... but the character models aren't nearly as detailed as what you might find in God of War or Spider-Man 2 or even Marvel's Midnight Suns. They're that standard "Smackdown Look".

But the way they ANIMATE now... It's like they have actual blood coursing through their badly-drawn veins. It's really astonishing to behold.

They've found a way to trick your brain into thinking that what you're looking at is real... without it actually LOOKING any more real than any other Smackdown game.

I didn't think I was all that impressed by the game... but I put on some fish sticks just prior to playing. Should've taken about 20 minutes to cook... just enough time to get a quick game in. I looked up at the clock and three HOURS had gone by. The fish sticks were burnt to a crisp! There's ever so slightly more depth to everything. You have more choices. And the pacing of the series has completely changed.

I wanted nothing to do with WWE 2K23 because the ever-polarizing John Cena was on the cover... and I'd be damned if I put my money on anything with his face on it.

...but they even found a clever gimmick for that: WWE 2K's "Showcase Mode" features you BEATING John Cena with a variety of characters!

If I had known THAT... it would've changed my mind and I'd have bought the game when it first came out.

Overall I'm impressed. They found a way to make wrestling games fun again. I installed it yesterday thinking I'd get a couple of matches in and then uninstall it.

They really took me by surprise (like Civ IV did so, so many eons ago...)