WWE 2K22 review: A must-have refurbished gadget

Far removed from the worst wrestling game thrown, WWE 2K22 released on March 11, 2022 aiming to reclaim the title as the flagship wrestling game. This year’s game launched after just over a year of additional development time. With development taking longer, 2K added new features, game modes, and revamped what seemed to be the weakest control scheme in WWE 2K20. After spending several hours in the game, covering MyRISE, the Creation Suite Suite, and more, I can honestly say the game is a step in the right direction. Of course, I will detail all this for you in our WWE 2K22 review.

WWE 2K22 review: gameplay, game modes and more!

This year’s exam may look a little different from what many expect from an SGO exam. Rather than focusing on the usual factors that make up our review, I’ve spent some playtime on the selling points of WWE 2K22. That is to say, I focused my attention on the factors that were supposed to WWE 2K22 worth buying after the launch of its predecessor.

Visual revisions, audio and graphics improvements

2K20 comparisons aside, 2K22 released with revisions to the visual and lighting systems built from the ground up. This includes new physics to better handle hair and collision. In terms of physics, it’s hard to say this is a step up from some of the past titles in the series. It’s more of a return to form with great potential for improvement in the future. As for the visuals themselves, 2K22 runs a solid 1080p at 60fps, at least on PC. The Superstar models are way above what they have been in recent years. The new body types are great for diversifying the different builds of wrestlers, and there are tons of comparison images that show just how 2K22 enhances the appearance of WWE Superstars.

As seen in Edge’s comparison of 2K20 (to the left 2K22 (right), the improvements are easily identifiable. It’s not just for some neither do superstars. Just about every superstar scanned for WWE 2K22 benefits from the visual overhaul of this year’s game. That said, there are a few noticeable drops in quality worth mentioning. For some superstars, notably created via the Creation Suite, hair textures are lacking. Does not miss, but rather appears as lumps of clay or flat layers of paper with hair painted on them. It’s noticeable on stars like Shotzi Blackheart, but completely missed on others. However, the physics on them returned to decent shape.

The new lighting affects many parts of the game, bringing the match presentation closer to WWE TV. This helps greatly in terms of immersion and drawing attention away from particularly bad hair. My favorite thing are the new camera angles and effects. Several entries have been reanimated and feature camera angles and shake as if someone is holding and walking without a camera. And last but not least, the sound effects have been improved across the board. This includes character collisions and audio feedback when grabbing or attacking. Again, a nice touch in terms of presentation.

MyGM and MyRISE

MyRISE is the game’s story/career mode, while MyGM replaces the General Manager mode from the start Smackdown vs. RAW series. MyRISE replaces MyCareer and focuses on the player’s journey from one of four backgrounds as they rise to stardom within WWE. Depending on the choices made, you can shoot for RAW, NXT, or Smackdown and be mixed. As players progress, scenarios open up in different ways. A few I’ve come across so far include Twitter exchanges and backstage altercations.

MyRISE also exists independently of WWE TV programming in terms of story. Some set pieces exist, such as William Regal being the general manager of NXT. However, for the most part, players will enter a WWE Universe specifically written for their MyRISE. Historical points still exist, like Sasha Banks being a terrible on-screen friend. The dubbing is random. It mostly depends on who is doing it. My suggestion is to enable subtitles and play/skip scenes to speed things up. Additionally, MyRISE features male and female splits with unique stories for replayability. It’s fantastic fanfiction worth spending some time on, as long as you don’t take it too seriously.

MyGM could have waited

Despite the header, MyGM isn’t bad. As I expressed after the Ringside report and following the details here, I think MyGM is not exactly what the community was looking for. There seems to be a difference between what the community wanted and what the developers thought we wanted. MyGM enters the series as simple as possible. Lynell Jinks said it best.

“MyGM mode is made to be earned.”

If you were looking for a WWE management simulation mode with endless resources, contracts and seasons, this isn’t it. Again, not bad. Simply different. The lack of tag divisions and secondary championship certainly hurts the mode for solo players. Universe mode will always be the go-to mode for those who want to put on shows and put on star charts. In my opinion, MyGM should have been used to launch a real franchise as a mode similar to Fire Promoter in Fire Pro Fight, or popular franchise modes in EA Sports titles. I could dive deeper, but overall the mode is good for at least a solo run, a good stream for Twitch, and a buddy match or two, albeit locally. Other than that, I’d put things aside that maybe weren’t exactly worth the resources.

Gameplay, the absolute best

There’s a lot to cover WWE 2K22, but nothing more than the gameplay itself. If there’s a reason for the recent string of positive reviews for the game, it’s the gameplay. As veterans will find out, around 50% of the gameplay has changed and spilled. While walking, running, mocking, and ring crossing remain pretty much the same, offense and defense have changed drastically. The most notable change is the new combo system. See, combos aren’t just added to what came before, but replaces and revamps medium grapples, heavy strikes, and basic moves.

In short, combos end in basic strikes, heavy strikes, and what were once light to medium grapples. Depending on how you configure them, one can almost double the number of moves available in their arsenal. This greatly diversifies the move sets and allows longer matches to show off the depth of his character. Players still have access to non-combo grappling hooks, but only in light and heavy forms. Of course, this also changes the overall control scheme. I highly recommend following the brief tutorial led by Drew Gulak. WWE 2K22 definitely has a learning curve but well worth the effort to master.

Go on defense

My favorite thing about the gameplay changes is the ability to play defensively. For what feels like the first time in WWE In video game history, defense isn’t just about countering with the press of a button. Players can both dodge and block. Like any good defense, they require timing. In addition, thanks to the new combo system, the base counters have also been changed. Initiating a grappling hook is more contextual in appearance rather than locking into a generic forward facelock. For this reason, most counters will need to be made when predicting what the opponent plans to do next. So this year there are fewer initial counters and more mid-term counters. Overall, this makes for very fluid and organic wrestling sequences.

Along the same lines, players can counter the first hit of the combo or mid-combo. Mid-combo counters force you to guess which button the opponent will hit next, adding a layer of luck and strategy. Honestly, it’s better lived than read.

The verdict

What is written here scratches the surface of the game and does not do the gameplay justice. WWE 2K22 is by no means the perfect game. however, it brings true innovation in gameplay. One that doesn’t feel random and finally brings the overall feel of in-ring action closer to real life. This is the game 2K should have led with from the start. This game puts an end to any worry that the WWE 2K series will die without Yuke.

Despite some graphical glitches, a lackluster start to MyGM, and some feature exclusions such as advanced entries due to technical issues, WWE 2K22 returns the series to form better than before. The graphics are stunning and the redesigned engine shows what Visual Concepts can really do given enough time. If the series continues on this trajectory, fans will really benefit.


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