In the world of WWE 2K23, single-player options, and story mode are an afterthought compared to the creation suite.
It seems funny that a video game that thrives on the story and challenges would not center everything around the single-player campaigns, but the WWE games have a bigger creation community. YouTubers spend their hours creating every character under the sun to show off to the community. Honestly, WWE 2K23 never needs a sequel as long as influencers are creating any wrestler in existence.
Recent iterations have let the player create the arena, the TV show, and the match types allowing gamers to experience AEW Dynamite, WCW Starrcade, and ECW Heatwave through WWE 2K23’s engine. As far as gamers are concerned, AEW already has a video game as long as they are borrowing WWE’s space.
I chose the creation suite as my first article, knowing that I could share my experience with the John Cena showcase and the MyRise diva storyline. I found more to share with the creation suite including some questionable decisions. Here we go.
WWE 2K23 has one of the beefiest and most loaded character creators. It has been the meat and potatoes of the genre since WWF Warzone. Creating a wrestler was the first thing I did the minute my game was downloaded.
I made Endless Mike, my bruiser and power thrower. He is a creation based on me hitting the R3 button. The R3 button randomizes the whole wrestler or just one part. The first time I hit random I fell in love. I have a leather jacket beefcake with a scar on his face. I tweaked a few of his colors and changed the color of his fanny pack, but that was it.
Mind you…I could have tweaked so much more for Endless Mike. I could have lengthened his philtrum (look it up), broadened his traps, decreased the depth of his left eye socket, created his own stitching, uploaded my own photo for the AI creator and so much more. I chose random because I don’t have all dang day (I have a career and a family to feed).
The one thing that is always going to be lacking is the feature where you pick the name that the commentators call you. There are a thousand names that are pre-recorded, but that is not enough for limitless imagination. I could not make Endless Mike a vocalized name. I also couldn’t use “Reaper,” “Pepper,” “Endless,” “Spectre,” “Wonka,” “Blippi,” and other names. I suppose if you want to make a roster of Jeff Smith, Cody Roberts, or Macho Man Tim Taylor you could.
I was able to create Spectre, Pepper Piper, Morgan Hart, and Endless Mike as my wrestlers of choice. Pepper Piper was actually made in MyRise mode as part of the story, but she is not selectable in the main roster (for no good reason). Note: these wrestlers were made on WWE 2K23 for Steam. If you are trying to make these people on PS4 or Xbox One the loading times can bog you down.
Next was the wrestler’s move-set and the entrances and taunts section. Each wrestler can be edited to have any move or taunt. I choose to copy a Superstar’s move-set and tweak the signature moves and finishers to be unique. I mean, who really cares about the other nitty gritty (actually the perfectionists on the internet care a lot)?
Endless Mike had the same moves as Brutus Creed, while Spectre completely idolized Cody Rhodes’ style. Now, the interesting thing about entrances in WWE 2K23 is the ability to edit your own videos for the Titantron. You can use stock footage of American flags, eagles, and explosions mixed with recorded footage of your wrestler doing their moves.
It’s not enough to make new wrestlers in a WWE universe, the need to create your own branding is pivotal in the social influencer world. There is an image creator where you can create your own logos, tattoos, and branding. You can spread that branding all over the ring and arena props. The online community is open to downloading any homemade asset you need.
Speaking of arenas and shows. I had to make my own show for Morgan Hart, Endless Mike, and Spectre to fight in. I created Saturday Night Mayhem, which is something ripped out of the 90s.
The ring is a bright green, the entryway is a huge curtain with a giant globe off to the side, and my commentary team is SummerSlam 89. I had the hardest time creating an arena because the set pieces seemed limited. I wanted to move the Titantron to the side of the entryway, but the game insisted that I wanted my arena to look like Raw, Smackdown, or Judgement Day 2001. I wish the designs were more generic and flexible. Not every wrestling arena has to look like it was purchased by a billionaire. I still don’t know how YouTubers were able to create the AEW arena. Saturday Night Mayhem was born.
Finally, I wanted to put these wrestlers in their very own stable, but I was shocked to find that create-a-stable and create-a-story were missing. That is a staple in wrestling creation. Let me look again just in case I missed it…nope. I can create the perfect-sized philtrum on any wrestler, but I was unable to put them in a stable or a recognized tag team. Sad.
I noticed a Money in the Bank creator and that intrigued me. I was not aware that a MITB was in such demand for customization. Can you make your own Hell in a Cell? How about your own
All that is left for me to do is make my own title belts and start posting videos about my exciting fake federation.