I’ve been a fan of the WWE franchise for as long as I can remember. When I was offered the chance to review WWE 2K22 by 2K and Visual Concepts, I jumped at it. From that first moment I loaded up the game on my PS5, I could tell this was going to be different to their previous releases. It was clear the developers had changed and redesigned the gameplay and animation engine from the ground up. I felt every kick out, suplex and dive through the controller. Simplicity was the goal in mind and they definitely succeeded.
Taking a year off and refocusing after the disaster that was 2K20 really paid off. The wrestlers look great, the controls have been simplified and work so much better, and the gameplay is much more fluid and faster. I felt I had a lot more control executing strikes and grapples. Signature moves and finishers easily flowed from combos and setups. It was very easy to pick up my controller and chain combos into over the top grapples. The HUD has been cleaned up which is fantastic and those annoying submission minigames are gone. Straight forward matches still have a push and pull to them but are much more fun to execute. WWE 2K22 has definitely been streamlined for a better experience.
MyRISE is WWE 2K22’s answer to a career mode. Players get the chance to experience the journey of a WWE Superstar, from the somewhat humble beginnings in the WWE Performance Centre to becoming an immortal WWE Legend. Storylines are separated into men’s and women’s divisions which is a first in WWE 2K games which is great and adds to the diversity of the mode. The character creator is good although not as detailed as I would have liked it. Some items in the character creator did take a little while to load but it was fun experimenting with them all.
MyRISE will definitely keep you busy if you plan on winning every title. Voice acting is good but during some interactions you could tell the wrestlers were either in lockdown or phoning it in. Character models looked awkward and glitched a bit when completing story actions. It’s unfortunate because the visuals in the ring are pretty good. On the whole, MyRISE is a step in the right direction with the amount of content and choices made during story sequences.
Showcase and Universal Modes
2K Showcase is back and this time focuses around Rey Mysterio’s 20 year career in the WWE. The 2K Showcase is WWE 2K’s story mode. Players partake in a sequence of matches based on some of Rey’s real matches in WWE history and complete objectives along the way. Documentary style clips break up the matches. I thoroughly enjoyed this mode, especially watching the flawless transitions between WWE 2K22’s game engine and live action historical match footage, all while Rey Mysterio provides commentary and insight into each match. It would however been good to have a save point after each completed objective.
Universe Mode is the customisable sandbox of WWE 2K22 with two sub-modes, Classic and Superstar Modes, as well as a roster of 160 characters. The massively in-depth creative tools in Classic Mode let you create belts, wrestlers arenas and even movelists. In Superstar Mode, it was fun and enjoyable watching my Superstar, The Undertaker, go through matches, develop a rivalry with Jimmy Uso and compete in a Tag Team Championship match with Kane.
MyGM mode is a welcome addition to WWE 2K22. Players get to take on the role of either the RAW, Smackdown or NXT General Manager and run the show. Calling the shots for a 15 week period including pay per views right up to Wrestlemania. I actually found myself playing MyGM more than any other mode at one point. It was a fun, immersive experience trying to manage the superstars and a budget to make a show work. I loved taking on the General Manager from the opposing brand trying to make my show the top rated that week.
The depth of MyGM is quite involved which I think is a good thing. As the GM it is your job to set up rivalries, design over the top match types like Hell in a Cell and organise Pay Per View events. Not to mention book venues and arrange sound, lighting and pyro. Once you’ve set the stage for your show you can choose to interfere in matches, play as a WWE Superstar or call the shots from the back of house.
MyFaction is where you build a team of WWE Superstars by purchasing card packs with either real money or earnable in game points. It features daily log in bonuses, boosts and challenges which didn’t appeal to me at all. This mode is designed to have you grind in order to build up your team, with the ability to pay real world currency to skip some of the grind. Similar to MyTeam in NBA2K, I really felt like this mode is designed for you to spend money. I’m thankful I hadn’t had a chance to spend much time in this mode due to the servers being down before launch. I think micro transactions are kind of a step backward considering the core gameplay is magnificent. Unlocking wrestlers in a store really sours the taste of the rest of the game.
2K officially revealed their post launch DLC roadmap a few days ago. It’s a superstar and celebrity packed update with the likes of Mr. T, Ronda Rousey and Machine Gun Kelly. The new characters will be added in groups between April and July, with all DLC packs to be included in the Season Pass.
Albeit I had some issues connecting to WWE servers and a couple of bugs to begin, they were quickly rectified with a patch. I thoroughly enjoyed WWE 2K22 and all my childhood nostalgia came flooding back playing through matches I had once only dreamed of. The developers of WWE 2K22 really took on the feedback they received and made a significantly better game. So vámonos and buy WWE 2K22.
This review utilised a PS5 key provided by 2K ANZ. WWE 2K22 is out now on Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X and PC.
Written by: @Blustreak81