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WWE 2K22 Preview: Is It A Return To Form?

2K Games hasn’t been a good steward to the series as of late. With each passing year, the WWE 2K series has gone a bit on a downward spiral in the eyes of the fandom. Hopefully, this new game would be different as the WWE 2K game series makes a return after a hiatus with WWE 2K22.

For more game previews, you can check out our MLB The Show 22 Preview!

 

What Is WWE 2K22?

wwe 2k22
Photo from WWE 2K’s Facebook Page

 

WWE 2K22 is a professional wrestling game published by 2K Sports and created by Visual Concepts. The game is, as you can probably tell, the 22nd installment of the game series based on the World Wrestling Entertainment as well as the 9th game on the WWE 2K series. It’s set to release on March 11, 2022, for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, and PS5.

Rey Mysterio, US Pro Wrestler of the WWE Raw brand is 2K22’s main cover star, which is a cool thing to see.

Pre-order the game today on Amazon

 

WWE 2K22 Preview

WWE 2K22 amazon
Photo from Amazon

 

Gameplay and Controls

 

If you’ve already played WWE 2K games, then you already know what to expect. It’s a wrestling game, which means that you need to make your opponent submit. Overall, the game’s gameplay and controls are pretty similar to previous WWE games available back then. Each character has their own set of moves that they can then use to physically subdue their opponent/s. They also have taunts to piss them off and set up for some finishing moves, et cetera.

However, there’s already confirmation that a few of the gameplay and controls on WWE 2K22 would be redesigned. What these redesigns would look like is currently unknown, but it’s hoped that it’ll add variation to the game when it releases.

 

Game Modes

 

Now that we’ve talked a bit about the game’s gameplay and controls, let’s go at the game modes. WWE 2K22 has 6 game modes available in the release. These are 2K Showcase, MyRISE, MyGM, Universe Mode, MyFACTION, and Creation Suite.

 

2K Showcase

First, we need to talk about the 2K Showcase, and it’s a big doozy. 2K Showcase allows players to relive WWE 2K22 cover star Rey Mysterio’s career. They can control him when he does all of his iconic moments and matches while getting cool stuff. The things that players can unlock by playing 2K Showcase include new arenas, characters, attires, et cetera.

In addition to this, it’s stated that WWE 2K22’s 2K Showcase will have updates and new features when it releases. Hopefully, they’ll have good additions to the game mode when it comes out. When it comes to what matches in Rey Mysterio’s career we’re going to play in, this is the current list:

  • Vs. Eddie Guerrero (Mania 21)
  • Vs. Shawn Michaels (Raw 2005)
  • Royal Rumble Match 2006 (Royal Rumble 2006)
  • Vs. Kane: No Holds Barred Match (Cyber Sunday 2008)
  • Vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship (Summerslam 2009)
  • Vs. The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship (Royal Rumble 2010)
  • Vs. The Miz for the WWE Championship (Raw 2011)

 

MyRISE

MyRISE is the new name for the MyCareer game mode back in other iterations of WWE 2K games. It has players take their custom wrestler and put them through the grueling career of Professional Wrestling. In the original MyCareer modes, the storylines are linear, and the male and female superstar stories are all the same. Not on MyRISE. This time, the male and female wrestling superstar storylines have different story paths, which adds replayability.

In addition to this, Visual Concepts, the game’s developer, stated that player choices in this game mode affect your MyRISE playthrough. How this will work hasn’t been revealed yet but we hope that it’ll add more interesting things to MyRISE when the game is released.

Next to this is the fact that the WWE Performance Center will reappear in the game mode. This allows players to have their journeys be monitored by certain WWE Superstars. For the male playthrough, this is Shawn Michaels, for the female playthrough they have Beth Phoenix.

 

MyGM

 

My GM is the new name of the much-beloved GM Mode from the SmackDown Vs. Raw game era. A cool addition to the game’s myriad of game modes. MyGM is basically what happens when the player is put into the role of a WWE General Manager. The player selects wrestlers, makes formats on rivalries, takes care of contracts, balanced budgets, and the morale of superstars, you get the picture.

To start this off, players can select between 5 preset managers. These are Sony Deville, Shane McMahon, Adam Pearce, William Regal, and Stephanie McMahon. You also have the choice to select a Custom Superstar as the GM of your show. By Custom Superstar, we mean someone you created for the game mode. You can also choose a WWE superstar in WWE 2K22’s roster or a custom character made by other players. However, you’ll miss out on an exclusive power that the 5 preset managers have that they can use every week.

The goal of all this is to ensure that your WWE brand (you can choose between Smackdown, Raw, NXT, and NXT UK) is the best one by the time Wrestlemania comes around. Something to take note of is the fact that you can only choose between these 4 brands and not create your own. That’s available on Universe Mode, which we’ll talk about later.

Another thing to take note of is that MyGM can be played on either Co-Op or against AI. Whoever gets the most revenue by the time Wrestlemania arrives wins MyGM. Lastly, players can set how long they wish their MyGM playthrough will last. The minimum is 15 weeks, and the maximum is 50 weeks. AKA 1 year 3 months at a minimum, and 4 years 2 months at maximum.

 

Universe Mode

Universe Mode is WWE 2K’s version of God Mode. Here the player can customize whatever the hell they wish. These can range from which superstar fights against which superstar, decide where the superstars go and on which WWE brand, the possibilities are kind of endless. It’s the player’s sandbox on the WWE brand.

Do they want DX to form again? Universe Mode can do it. What about a full stop free-for-all between SmackDown, Raw, and NXT? Also possible. Are all the championship titles up for grabs? Why not? Universe Mode allows players to craft storylines and sow utter chaos on the WWE landscape. If you want to play God in WWE, this is the best game mode to do so.

 

MyFACTION

Next on the list is MyFACTION, which is a bit of a weird thing in the series as it’s a first-time game mode available only on WWE 2K22. MyFACTION is WWE 2K22’s version of NBA 2K22’s MyTEAM or FIFA Ultimate Team. Players create their wrestling faction made out of different wrestlers from past and present eras of WWE.

This can be a treat for some people who want to have DX join forces with Undertaker for example. Or maybe Evolution would make a comeback. After all, Randy Orton, Triple H, Batista, and Ric Flair are on the roster. Or maybe you can be a bit more radical and get nWo up and running, that’ll be a fun affair.

 

Creation Suite

Last but not least is WWE 2K22’s Creation Suite, not a game mode, but a way for players to create their WWE Superstars. In this iteration, the developers added the Persona system, which is pre-set character appearances that players can tweak at their leisure.

When they unlock new Personas, the players can tweak, mix, and match them with each other depending on their preferences. Maybe they like that person’s face but like another’s handguards or something. Maybe one persona’s pants look better on another’s. All in all, it opens up a lot of customization options that weren’t available before. And it also helps in streamlining the whole process of creating a player’s WWE Superstar.

Of course, the game still has the usual methods of creating a new WWE Superstar wrestler. However, the addition of the Persona System would help in expediting the whole process significantly for those that want it. All in all, if you want to use the Persona system, go for it. For those that don’t, there are a lot of options open for them, as there’s a metric ton of customization options available. They can choose from 39 male and 36 female body types, edit faces, add clothes, et cetera. Creation Suite will allow them the freedom to create their wrestler, their way.

 

Graphics

 

WWE 2K22’s stated to have a game engine rebuilt to suit its needs. From what we can tell, it’s an improvement from the previous game engine. The graphics look smoother, you can actually see various character features, and it’s overall not ugly anymore. No more lumpy-looking wrestlers on this one.

However, it remains to be seen how it’ll look on weaker hardware as this is only true on the newer generation consoles. Weaker PCs and previous-gen might be at the medium to low-quality graphics due to hardware constraints after all. Still, there’s some hope on the game not looking like something out of 2010 games when it’ll make its release this March.

 

Story

WWE 2K22 doesn’t have a story, per-se. If we’re being honest here, the game’s version of a Story Mode is on the MyRISE game mode, and that’s more or less a sandbox mode for the player’s custom wrestler. There you can go through the journey of being a wrestler for the WWE. Other than this there’s also the 2K Showcase, where players can relive Rey Mysterio’s WWE career.

In addition to this, if they want a more hands-off experience from the wrestling ring, they can go for MyGM and Universe Mode. This is where they can fulfill their manager dreams and transform the world of WWE for their entertainment.

They can do whacky things with various championship titles, wrestlers, create drama and rivalries, and a whole bunch more. All in all, Universe Mode is a great sandbox for WWE fans. Meanwhile, MyGM is a good way to get players into the groove of being a WWE General Manager and all its complications and enjoyable shenanigans.

 

Roster

Now let’s talk about the Roster WWE 2K22 will have available. We’ll divide the roster based on what show they’re on, if they’re new or not, and if they’re Legends. There’s going to be some overlap on the New and Legends section.

 

Raw

Brock Lesnar
Photo from WWE 2K’s Facebook Page

 

  • Nia Jax
  • Rey Mysterio
  • Randy Orton
  • Finn Balor
  • The Miz
  • Rhea Ripley
  • Bobby Lashley
  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Shelton Benjamin
  • AJ Styles
  • Apollo Crews
  • Asuka
  • Austin Theory
  • Becky Lynch
  • Bianca Belair
  • Tamina
  • Dominik Mysterio
  • Kevin Owens
  • MVP
  • Montez Ford
  • Big E
  • Angelo Dawkins
  • Chad Gable
  • Seth Rollins
  • Alexa Bliss
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Riddle
  • Robert Roode
  • Seth Rollins
  • Dana Brooke
  • Damian Priest
  • Nikki A.S.H.
  • Lacey Evans
  • R-Truth
  • Akira Tozawa
  • Liv Morgan
  • Cedric Alexander
  • Keith Lee
  • Otis
  • T-Bar

 

SmackDown

Shotzi
Photo from WWE 2K’s Facebook Page

 

  • Charlotte Flair
  • Carmella
  • Cesaro
  • Bayley
  • Angel Garza
  • Drew Gulak
  • Edge
  • Elias
  • Happy Corbin
  • Erik
  • Drew Mcintyre
  • Humberto Carrillo
  • Ivar
  • Jey Uso
  • Jinder Mahal
  • King Nakamura
  • Jimmy Uso
  • Jeff Hardy
  • Kofi Kingston
  • Natalya
  • Lana Mansoor
  • Ricochet
  • Mace
  • Roman Reigns
  • Mustafa Ali
  • Sasha Banks
  • Sami Zayn
  • Naomi
  • Shayna Baszler
  • Taylor Woods
  • Shotzi
  • Shaemus
  • Sonya Deville

 

NXT

Kay Lee Ray
Photo from WWE 2K’s Facebook Page

 

  • Jordan Devlin
  • Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
  • Cameron Grimes
  • Dexter Lumis
  • Candice Lerae
  • Joaquin Wilde
  • Karrion Kross
  • Mandy Rose
  • Pete Dunne
  • Fabian Aichner
  • Dakota Kai
  • Kay Lee Ray
  • Io Shirai
  • Kushida
  • Marcel Barthel
  • Raul Mendoza
  • Tyler Bate
  • Samoa Joe
  • Walter
  • Trent Seven
  • Tegan Nox
  • Santos Escobar
  • Roderick Strong
  • Raquel Gonzales
  • Tommaso Ciampa

 

New

These are the new additions to WWE 2K22’s roster. Do note that there’s a good chance that there’ll be new ones announced before the game releases this March, so fingers crossed.

  • Austin Theory
  • Dominik Mysterio
  • Raquel Gonzales
  • MVP
  • Joaquin Wilde
  • Eric Bischoff(DLC)
  • Kay Lee Ray
  • Shotzi
  • Mansoor
  • Angel Garza
  • Fabian Aichner
  • Karrion Kross
  • Walter
  • Isaiah “Swerve” Scott
  • Mace
  • Marcel Barthel
  • Dexter Lumis
  • Kushida
  • John Morrison
  • Cameron Grimes
  • Jordan Devlin
  • Santos Escobar
  • Farooq (Also part of the Legends Roster)
  • Raul Mendoza
  • T-Bar
  • Tegan Nox

 

Legends

WWE 2K22 NWO
Photo from WWE 2K’s Facebook Page

 

Next up is the Legends roster, which has a lot of recognizable additions to this list, with some being older versions of recognizable superstars. Here’s a list of the Legends roster based on when they were announced:

  • “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase
  • Ric Flair
  • Booker T
  • Edge
  • Goldberg
  • Triple H
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Hollywood Hogan (nWo)(DLC)
  • Hulk Hogan
  • John Cena
  • Kevin Nash
  • Kevin Nash (nWo)(DLC)
  • “Macho Man” Randy Savage
  • Rey Mysterio ‘96 (Starrcade)(DLC)
  • Scott Hall (nWo)(DLC)
  • Scott Hall
  • Shawn Michaels
  • ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin
  • Syxx (nWo)(DLC)
  • The Rock
  • Ultimate Warrior
  • Undertaker
  • Undertaker (Phantom Mask), (Lord of Darkness), (Boneyard March) (Pre-Order)
  • X-Pac
  • Kane ‘08
  • Beth Phoenix
  • Chyna
  • Big Boss Man
  • Bret Hart
  • “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
  • Jim Neidhart
  • The Miz ‘11
  • Rey Mysterio ’05, ’06, ’08, ’09, ’09 December, ‘11
  • Trish Stratus
  • Batista
  • John Morrison
  • Maryse

 

Sound Design

There are not that many improvements when it comes to the game’s sound design. There’s going to be some voice acting on a few lines of course. But other than that and the game’s soundtrack nothing much has changed.

 

Is WWE 2K22 A Return To Form?

Asuka
Photo from WWE 2K’s Facebook Page

 

If we’re being honest here, only time will tell if WWE 2K22 is a return to form for 2K Games when it comes to WWE games. For one, the roster is a bit on the small side compared to the other games in the series. For another, they did put in a few crowd favorites like MyGM, but Universe Mode is this but better. There’s not that much to talk about in terms of graphics or sound design either.

However, there are some bright lights here. The Creation Suite is looking great, the game’s overall looks and graphics have improved. There are a lot of interesting things on the MyRISE and Universe Mode. MyGM makes a reappearance and a whole lot more. Hopefully, WWE 2K22 will be a better game compared to previous iterations when it’ll release this March. However, with the current state of 2K Games, it’s best to keep our fingers crossed.

 

WWE 2K22 VS Similar Games

Now that we’ve talked about WWE 2K22, let’s talk about similar games. We’ll start with WWE 2K14, followed by WWE All-Stars, and lastly, WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain.

 

WWE 2K14

 

First off is WWE 2K14, widely considered to be the best WWE game to ever release. Why? Because this game has it all. The things that we’ve talked about on 2K22, it has it, with a bigger roster, a whole lot more features, and overall, it’s just more fun. If we’re being honest here, if you already have 2K14 on your PC or console, there’s no point in getting other wrestling games.

The only thing that puts it at a letdown is the fact that the game only has 120 wrestlers on its roster. But when you can pit John Cena, Edge, Triple H, and Randy Orton on a free for all match with everything on the line and play as one of them? And it’s played on one of the best arenas in wrestling history? Yeah, you can forgive something like only having 120 superstars.

 

WWE All-Stars

 

First off we have WWE All-Stars, an old PS2 game that is great fun when you get the hang of it. There are a lot of whacky things you can do here, and the game’s not at all realistic. However, the real fun is to see how much you can handle the unreality of it.

The first thing you need to know is the fact that the game’s wrestlers look like they took a few milligrams of steroids. But that’s not all though, as the game’s stunts are a bit out of whack. If you wanna see John Cena rise high in the air with Big Show in his hands as he prepares a painful suplex that’s sure to knock him out? This is the game for you. Wanna see Big Show straight-up shrug said suplex off and just continue beating the crap out of John Cena? Yep, this is the game for you.

The reason for this is the fact that WWE All-Stars isn’t a wrestling game, per se. It’s a cool arcade fighting game, and it shows. Think of it as 3D Tekken, with real-life wrestling superstars.

As we said, John Cena can suplex Big Show and Big Show will just stand back up for more. Hulk Hogan can do unspeakable things to Randy Orton’s spine after he jumps to the air and delivers a kick to his face but Randy’ll still stand up. No injuries here, no debilitating debuffs, just nonstop fun. Your only goal is to reduce empty your opponent’s HP to win. And to be honest, this game’s just pure, honest fun all the way. Sadly, the roster’s a bit on the short side but if you’re a fan of WWE and just want some fun, this game’s for you.

 

WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain

 

Last but not least is WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. A 2003 PS2 game made by THQ that’s pretty much the best wrestling game that ever came out on the console. If you’re a WWE fan and you wanna play some wrestling, this game is pretty much essential to your way of life during that time. Its graphics are great for its period, the roster is pretty expansive, and overall, it’s just a great wrestling game.

Not to mention that the player can get to a lot of shenanigans as well. One of the more hilarious, and mean ones is to bully the referee to quit his job. How? By destroying his body, dignity, and pride by beating him up instead of your opponent. Eventually though, after a finisher or five, he’ll leave the arena, though by that time we expect he’ll have a whole slew of medical bills in his future.

All in all, if you have somehow had a PS2 with this game, or even an emulator, you’re pretty much guaranteed a fun time. It’s great, and the game has decent gameplay and a lot of fun things to do compared to more recent WWE games.

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