Two years removed from the release of the universally panned WWE 2K20, 2K and WWE are back with their latest offering in the form of WWE 2K22.
The lights are brighter, the stages are bigger, and the graphics are better this time around as the game rolled out last week.
Graphics & Gameplay
After the disaster of 2K20, 2K really stepped up their game with 2K22. The graphics look beautiful with superstar movement (especially running, grappling, and top rope maneuvers looking particularly smooth) and faces looking as real as ever.
2k Showcase Mode
This year’s cover star Rey Mysterio got his own showcase mode, and it’s a fairly good journey through WWE’s most famous high-flyer. Starting with Rey’s classic WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 battle with Eddie Guerrero, and ending with a random Raw match with Gran Metalik in 2019, you get a good sense of not only the longevity of Rey’s career, but also the multitude of superstars that he has faced off against.
For the unlockables, unless you’re dying to playing as Rey in the game, there isn’t too much here after playing through the story. Besides unlocking a plethora of Rey’s always unique ring gear, some other unlockable highlights include the Eddie Guerrero ’97, WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 arena, WrestleMania 21 arena, Judgement Day 2006 Arena, Cyber Sunday 2008 arena, and the SummerSlam 2009 arena.
With MyGM, you step into the shoes of a general manager for one of WWE’s top brands including Raw, Smackdown, NXT, and NXT UK. Overall, this game mode is fun, but unfortunately it lacks with available match types with only 1-v-1 and tag matches being offered, so no Survivor Series matches, Royal Rumble showdowns, triple threat battles, or fatal four way clashes. Plus, only the men’s heavyweight title and the women’s title are available to compete for, so say goodbye to in-ring battles to defend the U.S. title, the intercontinental title, the hardcore title, the 24/7 title, or the tag titles.
These drawbacks make this year’s MyGM feel hollow compared to past iterations, and as a result doesn’t provide a ton of replayability.
The career mode has now been redubbed “MyRise”, where you create a custom male or female superstar and fight to make your way to the top of WWE. Fairly similar experience from past WWE 2K career modes with some added drama, and a bit of romance added in. For a game mode that can sometimes be an afterthought, 2K22’s MyRise is a captivating experience with engaging voice work, and captivating storylines that will keep you glued to the screen.
Something new this year is the addition of renders that can be added to created superstars for use in match graphics. This new feature does a fantastic job at upping the scale of realism to the game and allow you to feel like you’re sitting on your couch watching Raw or Smackdown. On the downside however, if you’re downloading renders from the WWE 2K22 community, just beware that not all renders are created equal in terms of resolution or size, and some may look better than others on the match screen.
With the mass of releases and defections to rival promotions, some beloved superstars don’t appear in this year’s game. However, an issue with this year’s game seems to be the lack of notable legends who have been in past WWE 2K titles like Kane ‘98, The Rock ‘01, Shawn Michaels ’97, and Triple H ‘01. Unfortunately it seems that many of these legendary superstars are only available to play as in the MyFaction game mode, and not in any exhibition game modes. And while the WWE 2K22 community have created versions of these superstars that you can download for exhibition use, it’s not quite the same, and when or if these superstars will officially become available for exhibition game modes remains to be seen.
In addition, the arena options lean heavily towards WWE’s current stage design for Raw, Smackdown, and PPV’s, with only a small handful of classic PPV arenas being made available.
Before and following release day, several server issues were reported by players with many complaining of issues of not being able to access any of their created content, or the game randomly crashing on multiple platforms.
As of this writing, players are still having issues and cannot edit created superstars, create a custom show, select an arena, etc.
The Bottom Line
Despite the ongoing server issues, WWE 2K22 is a must-try for an WWE fan with its ultra realistic graphics, a revamped MyRise game mode, the addition of renders, and an overall smooth gameplay experience, it’s the next best thing to being at a live event or being in the squared circle yourself.