WWE 2K22 has new promises that could change the game.
WWE 2K22 knows they’re not the only game in town. With the release of The Wrestling Code and AEW hot on their heels, it looks like they need a Hail Mary game to bring them back into the competition. Let’s not forget that their last serious entry, WWE 2K20, only had 44% positive reviews on Steam and a whopping 43 on Metacritic (although the PC market is very cruel to mainstream console games .)
WWE 2K games aren’t horrible (unless you count the one ported to The Switch), but they’re very comfortable and easy to topple if given a chance.
The new trailer was released today and tries to convey two things: new modes and how many creative decisions the wrestlers went into creating it. Even before this trailer, a November release shared new controls and screenshots. Here’s how it breaks down.
WWE 2K22 Graphics
It’s almost unanimous, the new footage boasts some very updated graphics that push the power of a PS5 or Xbox X. Just look at Rey Misterio’s Titantron and the entry is impressive. The colors are really vibrant and I’m sure it will look amazing in 4K. One of the biggest complaints in previous games was that the character design team botched a few models. Examples are shown from Goldberg and Drew McIntyre.
The release of the WWE 2K20 release had a graphical glitch that needed to be fixed more than the Titanic’s hull. Referees were losing control of their limbs and wrestlers were falling through the mats. WWE 2K22 doesn’t want this curse following them.
WWE 2K22 game
WWE 2K22’s new tagline is “It Hits Different”. The game receives an all-new combat engine and refined hit detection. I’ve always complained that WWE games feel too floaty and less impactful. Videos of Undertaker performing a chokeslam look good. We won’t really know if it hits differently until a controller is in our hand. If you freeze a screenshot of the new controls, you can see what will change.
- There are weak and strong strikes
- The Y or Triangle button will be for inversions
- The right shoulder button combined with a face button performs various finishing moves
- Direction buttons mob, brag, or taunt the opponent
- Holding the Y or Triangle button will block
It all depends on how smooth the gameplay is and how the grappling mechanics fit together. I wonder if the reversal system is better than previous games. Will there be wacky mini-games for submissions and pins?
WWE 2K22 Modes
You can no longer have only one main single player mode in wrestling games. Fans expect a career, story, general manager and faction mode. WWE 2K22 looks set to deliver all of that. The trailers seem most excited about GM mode where you manage a group of wrestlers and take them to legend status. Fans have had issues with poor management in the past, so it only makes sense that WWE would want to restore your faith. Other modes include a Showcase mode where players can re-enact famous moments from WWE history. The game showed a cutscene of Rey Misterio Jr giving an interview. Rey Misterio Jr seems to be the headliner of this game, which IT’S TIME! Hopefully 2K23 will have Booker T on the cover.
Other modes include a My Rise mode, My Faction, and a My Universe mode. My Rise feels like a single-player mode where your character of choice moves up the ranks. My Universe is just an entire year of WWE programming that you can play (I never saw the point of that). My Faction seems like a place where you can create the next DX or NWO and have them work in scenarios.
WWE 2K22 boasts of having a creation suite, which has been the cornerstone of any wrestling game since WWF Warzone. I have no doubt content influencers will spend hours recreating AEW arenas and creating AEW matches to simulate.
WWE 2K22 Wrestler Collaboration
The latest video suggests that the wrestling personalities are the ones running the show. In the video, Sasha Banks and Rhea Ripley argue during a playtest, Big E wears a mocap suit and gets hit by a chair, and The Undertaker chokeslams a bad music director. The video doesn’t give specific details about the roster’s participation in this game, but it seems to be a major selling point for modern wrestling games. Watch Kenny Omega’s involvement in the AEW game.
Hit or Miss WWE 2K22?
With AEW’s game coming soon, WWE 2K22 has a chance to make sure they create a fun and accessible game. If they botch it, I can see media influencers doing WWE wrestlers on create an AEW wrestler mode and simulating WrestleMania on it.