It’s no secret that the WWE 2K series have really struggled to impress in recent years, with 2K20 in particular, being an absolute mess! So after taking a year off, and releasing 2K Battlegrounds instead… 2K is back with their next iteration in the WWE 2K series! So the burning question is, has WWE 2K22 made up for the travesty that was WWE 2K20? In short, yes. Yes, it has. It seems that 2K really made an extra effort to give fans a wrestling game that is worth the money. Whilst it is not perfect, this entry is definitely a step in the right direction.
Does It “Hit Different”?
The gameplay is quite reminiscent of the early WWE Smackdown vs. Raw series, featuring a slightly revamped combat system with an emphasis on combos. By combining light attacks, heavy attacks and grapples, you can unleash some all-new punishing moves on your opponents. This is quite an interesting step for 2K, because at times it can feel like more of a fighting game, rather than a wrestling sim. In no way is this a particularly bad thing, it is just a little different.
Unfortunately, this does lead to one slight drawback. Quick grapples are no longer a thing in 2K22. Instead, each grapple move can only be executed by a collar-and-elbow tie-up, or on the back of a strike combination. It does feel a bit odd not being able to initiate a quick throw to get an opponent on the mat. However, this change doesn’t really affect the flow of the gameplay.
Now I know 2K20 was littered with bugs and glitches which really ruined the experience for many players, but 2K22 fairs much better in this department as well. I couldn’t find many glitches at all during my playthrough, and the game in general performed really well on the PS5. Also, the wrestlers actually look like they are supposed to, unlike their nightmarish counterparts from 2K20. WWE 2K22 also brings back many of the familiar game modes that we have come to expect from the franchise. Although there are quite a few changes this time around, so here are just a few of the highlights.
The Various Game Modes of WWE 2K22
Showcase is at its best ever! Focusing on the career of WWE’s most celebrated luchador, Rey Mysterio, this mode highlights some of his best-ever matches. Not only do you get commentary from the legend throughout, but there is also a blend of gameplay and live footage which showcases just how intense these matches were. Completing a series of objectives during a match will trigger the transition to the actual footage, and honestly, it’s done brilliantly! This is definitely a great mode to check out, especially because it unlocks more wrestlers to play as.
The career mode in 2K22, which allows you to take your own Superstar to the big stage, has also seen some significant improvements. Sharing some similarities with the Season Mode from WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, MyRise allows you to choose how you participate in various storylines. How you interact with other superstars not only affects your status as a face or heel (known in 2K22 as “The Good Guy” or “The Bad Guy”), but it can also change the course of your career. This has been a really good change for the 2K series and has made the MyRise game mode a standout feature.
MyGM is the new version of 2K’s well known General Manager Mode, and it is honestly another big highlight in WWE 2K22. Drafting superstars and creating rivalries has never been as enjoyable as it is here. MyGM gives you so many different aspects to focus on when booking your show! However, it still maintains a relatively easy-to-use system to prevent it from becoming too tedious. As was my experience with previous iterations of this game mode. The balance of ensuring that you aren’t overbooking stars, whilst making sure you keep up hype with fans, creates an interesting and fun challenge that I honestly can’t get enough of!
WWE 2K22 is one of the best games of the 2K series. I’m sure that many fans, just like myself, have been wanting a wrestling game that resembles the older SmackDown vs. Raw games, or Smackdown Here Comes The Pain! and honestly, this has been the closest that the 2K franchise has come to replicating the formula that made those titles so addictive!
By Samuel Incze
WWE 2K22 attempts to make up for the massive failure that was 2K20, and for the most part, does so successfully. Featuring an overhaul of the gameplay mechanics and taking some pointers from the SmackDown vs. Raw series, 2K22 stands to become the greatest wrestling game in the 2K series!
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