You may have low expectations for the sequel to WWE 2K20 if you recall the mess surrounding it. 2K20 was a complete disaster. It was plagued by numerous bugs and glitches. The developer spent two years trying to create a sequel and skipping 2K21 altogether.
Visual Concepts and 2K Sports have seen a lot from their hiatus. This latest entry features a new gameplay engine, new controls and MyGM’s Return – which allows you to become a general manger – as well as a redesign of the gameplay engine. It also celebrates Rey Mysterio’s long career and is our latest cover star. Although there are some flaws, WWE 2K22 is an amazing time.
- WWE 2K22 on Amazon for US$34.99
- What’s it? A WWE sim for 2K Games
- April 11, 2022.
- S, PS4 Xbox One, PC
- Price? $59.99 / PS59.99 / $AU99.95
2K22’s most important change is in standard gameplay. The ultimate goal of 2K22 is to pin the opponent wrestler. We use light and heavy strikes, reversals to counter hits, and combos to get more technical strikes. We have expanded defense options such as blocks and dodges. Predictable foes can be countered with matching their attack input.
There are still moments when it is not perfect, like attack animations landing awkwardly. But, it’s still fun.
2K22’s combat feels smoother and more polished thanks to its overhauled controls and character animations. You can see the difference even from Drew Gulak’s first tutorial. Although it has its moments of annoyance, like attack animations landing awkwardly on the screen, it is still fun.
The WWE 2K22 roster has over 170 wrestlers. Fans of all eras have the option to choose from current stars like Brock Lesnar and Finn Balor or classic wrestlers such as The Rock and Andre the Giant. The problem isn’t Visual Concepts’ fault, it’s the real-life WWE business.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw significant talent loss at WWE. Many wrestlers were released from their contracts and 36 of them appear in WWE 2K22. This includes big names such as Keith Lee or Mickie James. To put this in context, you could fill an entire Royal Rumble arena with these wrestlers. This is not a major problem. However, it makes the line-up feel a little dated at launch.
2K22 offers many expansive modes. Showcase Mode gives you a look into Rey Mysterio’s life and recreates some of his most memorable fights. Rey gives commentary as a mini-documentary and real-life footage cuts through gameplay at key moments. Your goal is not to pin your opponent, which can end a match too early. Instead, your goal is to hit set goals, making specific moves against your opponent.
2K22 is a fun look at one of the most prominent wrestlers, and an entertaining introduction for those who are not familiar with him.
While some moves can be difficult to execute, completing all objectives unlocks the final match. Although it’s fun, we are missing Rey’s greatest moments. We are missing big fights with Chris Jericho or Kurt Angle, and questionable cuts like a Raw Match against Gran Metalik. We felt disappointed.
The showcase contains great moments such as Rey’s match against Eddie Guerrero in WCW Halloween Havoc97. But the Showcase could have been expanded to include more. 2K22 is a great introduction to the world of WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 and a fascinating look at Rey.
Management is your home
MyGM is the real reason 2K22 has lasted so long. This mode was missing since WWE Smackdown. Raw 2008. As a General Manager, you will choose from Sonya Deville or Adam Pearce, William Regal or Stephanie McMahon. You can also play a custom character against an AI or other player (local multiplayer only). You’ll be controlling one of the four WWE brands: Raw (SmackDown), and NXT UK (NXT UK).
It’s a surprising amount of depth, and although three matches per week may not seem like a lot, it’s still very engaging.
To become WWE’s most beloved brand, they fight head-to-head. This builds towards a pay-per-view (PPV) every five weeks and eventually leads to Wrestlemania. Three matches per week are booked with two championships available (Men’s and women’s singles). Before setting up a weekly program, GMs must draft at least eight superstars while sticking to a budget. Because two identical wrestlers aren’t entertaining for fans, it pays to have a variety of rosters between your main event, opener, and mid-card.
It’s basically a balancing act. If you spend too much on talent drafting, you will find out the hard way. Each match type is expensive (regular fights exempt), which can impact the fan ratings. If you have $5k to spare, a Tables, Ladders & Chairs fight is a good option. But, what about an Extreme Rules contest? Try $20k. Do you want a better arena? Or enhanced special effects? Get involved. Start paying up. Your performance is evaluated based on four factors after a week: Star Power and Match Quality, Show Quality, and Rivalries.
Most time was spent at MyGM, which is basically a Football Manager-type experience in wrestling. It’s a great place to learn and engage. Three matches per week isn’t a lot, but it has a surprising amount of depth. Online multiplayer is not an option. The lack of Triple Threat matches in online multiplayer is a shame. However, if you have a local friend, winning this rivalry can be very satisfying. Visual Concepts has largely succeeded in this area.
To become a legend
MyCareer mode is back, now rebranded under MyRISE. You can choose from one of four backgrounds that allow you to play in either the Men’s and Women’s Divisions. These include a mixed martial arts experience or rising through the indies. Each story has its own unique content. According to 2K, MyRISE offers 50 hours of gameplay. You can choose to be the hero or the villain in this story. You can expect the usual WWE shenanigans, but MyRISE isn’t nearly as well-developed or engaging as MyGM.
MyFACTION, a new addition to WWE 2K22’s FIFA Ultimate Team, is also available. Yes, microtransactions are possible. To build a team, acquire superstar cards of different rarities. You can also collect new wrestlers and upgrade your existing ones. MyFACTION does not have a multiplayer mode. 2K tried to make the mode more enjoyable, but it didn’t work for me.
Universe Mode is also available in previous games. You can book matches on the showcard and determine who wins which championships. One important change is that you can now manage only one wrestler in Superstar Mode. This makes Universe more focused and allows you to choose a career mode based on your favorite wrestler.
Visual Concepts learned from the disastrous launch of WWE 2K20. WWE 2K22 is an improved version that has a longer development cycle and features expansive modes that will appeal to a wider audience. Highlights include the revamped combat system, and the return of MyGMM mode.
It is not perfect. MyRISE is not exciting, and WWE’s real talent releases make the superstar roster feel old. Although I enjoyed Showcase Mode’s documentary-style approach to the subject, there are several important omissions that prevent it from being a definitive celebration for Rey Mysterio’s career. These issues weren’t major problems, but they were not significant.