WWE 2K22 Review
Like other sports game franchises, the WWE 2K series continues to release a new game every year with minor changes and an updated roster. But then WWE 2K20 dumped the franchise, getting bad reviews from critics and being labeled as one of the worst reviewed wrestling video games ever made. The backlash to WWE 2K20 was so significant that 2K Sports decided to cancel the planned WWE 2K21 and allow the development team to focus their efforts on WWE 2K22. WWE 2K22 is a huge step forward compared to the disastrous WWE 2K20, so it looks like the extra development time really paid off. It feels like more than a simple roster update, with new game modes, new controls, and a superb visual presentation that outshines all previous WWE video games. WWE 2K22’s new control scheme is simpler than its predecessor, but anyone having trouble can get up to speed with the game’s helpful and quick tutorial. On the Xbox, the X button is for light strikes, while the A button is for heavy strikes, and the B is used for grapples. Players can use different combinations to perform different moves, and these buttons are also used for counters. While Y is the main counter button, if players can correctly predict and time their opponent’s next attack by pressing the same button as they do, they have another chance to fight. The new controls help the game to be faster compared to its predecessors, with more complex moves made easier thanks to on-screen prompts and by having less complex combinations of button. The only real issue WWE 2K22 players will encounter with the new controls is when they play gimmick matches with weapons all over the ring. The left bumper is used to grab weapons, but it also triggers wrestlers to grab the ropes and perform other actions. WWE 2K22 players will sometimes struggle to pick things up in the ring, especially during Money in the Bank Ladder matches when there are six wrestlers and a bunch of ladders taking up space at once. Overall, though, the WWE 2K22 in-ring action is as solid and polished as ever, and looks fantastic. WWE 2K22 wrestlers are almost lifelike, with an incredible level of detail and impressive animations. This is easily the best looking WWE video game ever made, with many of the janks and goofy visual glitches that plagued previous games that are not seen in the new-gen version. The WWE 2K22 roster is quite extensive, with 163 wrestlers available to choose from in the base game and 168 in the more expensive nWo 4-Life Edition. There was some concern that the WWE 2K22 roster would suffer due to the real-world WWE talent cut, but that was not the case. In fact, there are several wrestlers in WWE 2K22 who are actively appearing in AEW, so between the modern stars and the playable legends, there are plenty of characters to choose from. Players can take these wrestlers to exhibition matches and have a great time battling the AI or playing with friends, with a noticeable improvement in quality of life. For example, players in matches that allow them to put a lot of distance between themselves and their opponent will notice that the game will switch to a split-screen perspective instead of trying to zoom the camera out enough to capture all the action. Aside from exhibition matches, WWE 2K22 brings back options like Universe Mode, which allows players to experience years of WWE programming and storylines, directly participating in matches or simulating them all. There’s an option to focus exclusively on a superstar’s career this time around, which plays much more like the classic career modes of the older games, and that’s much appreciated. Meanwhile, MyRISE is a mode that allows players to create their own wrestler and climb the WWE ladder, making decisions that will influence the story along the way. MyRISE replaces the MyCareer mode from WWE 2K20, but unfortunately, it also can’t stand the annoying dialogue and long, insurmountable cut-scenes that weigh it down. One’s time in WWE 2K22 is better spent in any of the other available game modes, even the rather dull MyFACTION, which is WWE 2K22 in Ultimate Team, complete with microtransactions. MyRISE itself may not be that much fun, but creating your own wrestler is, thanks to WWE 2K22’s incredible creation tools. WWE video games continue to provide comprehensive creation tools and WWE 2K22 is no different, allowing players total freedom in creating their own wrestler, designing their gear, and putting together of their move-set. There are tons of moves to choose from, including some from the indies like the Package Piledriver that WWE star Kevin Owens used to do when he was known as Kevin Steen. Players can also create their own arenas, championships, entrances, and more, with enough options that creatives can easily immerse themselves in these modes alone. One of the most exciting new game modes in WWE 2K22 is the return of the General Manager mode, now known as MyGM. General Manager mode hasn’t been seen since WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2008, so it’s great to see it finally make a comeback. And while MyGM is a solid foundation, there are some major drawbacks that are likely to frustrate anyone who picks up WWE 2K22 to play MyGM. MyGM in WWE 2K22 is very limited compared to previous iterations of the mode. For those who may not be familiar with the General Manager mode, it allows players to book their own WWE shows, set up feuds, deal with contract negotiations, and manage the budget while they create storylines in big pay-per-view events. The WWE 2K22 version of the General Manager mode does not give fans many match options, with players only able to book variations of singles and tag team matches. On top of that, WWE 2K22 MyGM players only have two titles to use in their respective brands, whereas previous users in the mode allowed for tag team and mid-card titles as well. Aside from booking matches, players are also able to set up promos, which give wrestlers a chance to speak to the crowd to boost their popularity, which can increase interest in their feuds and match, which will result in higher TV ratings. It would be nice to have promo slots on the weekly show, but for some reason, there are three slots dedicated to pay-per-view promos, which is odd since most real-life PPVs focus on actual wrestling matches . Add to these issues the fact that only two people can play a season of MyGM together despite four brands to choose from, and it’s clear that WWE 2K22 is pretty bare-bones compared to previous iterations. WWE 2K22’s MyGM may lack features compared to previous versions, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete waste of time. Those who enjoy the fantasy of booking wrestling shows will still find it entertaining, and there are some new bells and whistles that make it more involved each week. WWE 2K22 MyGM has players regularly interacting with their wrestlers as well as completing special objectives given by Triple H, and while these objectives sometimes make players do things that hurts the quality of their show (like having a pay-per-view with no champions, which doesn’t make sense), they improve the mode overall. Easily the biggest issue with WWE 2K22 MyGM mode is that it doesn’t allow players to play beyond one season. After completing a season of MyGM, WWE 2K22 players will have to start from scratch with a new draft, new champions, etc. This is a very serious oversight and really brings MyGM to its knees. After players complete one season, they may not feel any desire to boot into another, which is a shame because even with its flaws, MyGM is fun enough that it can keep fans engaged within a few months. And finally, there’s the WWE 2K22 Showcase mode to consider, with this year’s version of the Showcase starring Rey Mysterio. The Showcase takes players through the highlights of Rey Mysterio’s career, from his early WCW days to more recent matches against modern day WWE superstars. There are special objectives to complete, and the matches combine gameplay with real-life footage to great visual effects, though some may be bored by how scripted and linear it feels compared to other game modes. . Anyone looking to WWE 2K22 Showcase mode for pure entertainment will likely be disappointed, but it works well as an extended tutorial. Each goal requires players to perform certain actions in the ring, and the hints provided will help players figure out how to perform more complex moves in the game. So Showcase is useful to help players get used to the new control scheme, and it has some interesting unlockables to get. From Showcase to MyGM, WWE 2K22 is packed with content, and in terms of graphics and polish, it’s a huge improvement over its predecessors. But the game has some notable drawbacks, especially the broken MyGM, which could be the crown jewel of WWE 2K22’s game modes. The foundation is there for a future WWE game to provide a more fleshed-out MyGM experience, so hopefully, it won’t be abandoned again. WWE 2K22 launched on March 11 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Today Technology was provided an Xbox Series X code for this review.