It’s been quite some time since the latest WWE 2K game and for good reason. The previous one, WWE 2K20, has been an unmitigated disaster for Visual Concepts and 2K Games in general due to bugs, glitches, and other shenanigans. It’s so bad, that they had to stop their yearly release of the WWE 2K games. Now, after a year has passed, they released WWE 2K22 for the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Here is our review of WWE 2K22 for the PS5.
What Is WWE 2K22?
WWE 2K22 is the latest entry to the WWE 2K series and is the sequel to WWE 2K20. WWE 2K22 is published by 2K Sports and created by Visual Concepts for the PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox 1, and Xbox Series X/S. The Deluxe Edition was released on March 8, 2022, and March 11, 2022, for the Standard Edition.
WWE 2K22 PS5 Review
New Controls and Gameplay
In terms of gameplay and controls, WWE 2K22 is a pretty smooth experience. Gameplay-wise, if you’ve already played a wrestling game before, then you should have an easy time with 2K22. However, there are a few new things in terms of controls that need some practice to get used to.
In addition to this though, there are also the parts where the player doesn’t control the wrestlers themselves. For example, GM Mode, MyFaction, and Universe Mode have parts where the player sets up matches for wrestlers so that they can go fight against each other. These game modes emphasize character and brand management as well.
However, it could also be used to just pair your favorite wrestlers against each other. It’s a good thing that WWE 2K22 has one of the bigger rosters compared to other WWE 2K games before it, actually surpassing the 133 that WWE 2K16 had. We’ll also talk about 2K22’s roster, at least in part, below. But for now, let’s talk about the game’s graphics.
Graphics and Presentation
There’s not much that changed on WWE 2K22 when it comes to graphics. There are some minor improvements, but other than this not much has changed. The game does have a lot of the old wrestling arenas that players can put in and fight on through. One amusing thing to see was an arena with the audience being cutouts of various people looking like they’re on Zoom.
However, WWE 2K22’s best feature in terms of graphics is the fact that players can now add in renders. If the player wishes, they can add renders from previous WWE games and even some custom ones to create original wrestlers and other weird shenanigans. There are renders where the wrestler looks like a deranged version of Sonic the Hedgehog for example. Or perhaps you want a Mario + Luigi tag-team combo. Sadly, the renders currently have a bug that needs to be fixed. We’ll talk more about that, as well as other bugs on the Glitches and Bugs section.
As already stated, WWE 2K22’s roster has quite a bit of wrestlers both male and female. In total, WWE 2K22 has around 216 wrestlers in the game. These include DLC, as well as some alternate costumes for certain wrestlers. Here are some of the more prominent ones:
- Rey Mysterio (Cover Wrestler)
- John Cena
- Dana Brooke
- Triple H
- Umaga (DLC)
- Alexander Wolfe
- Alexa Bliss
- Charlotte Flair
- Big E
- Beth Phoenix
- Jimmy Uso
- Ember Moon
- Lacey Evans
- Raquel Gonzales
- Seth Rollins
Like we said though, this is just a drop in the bucked on the list of available wrestlers. There are still more wrestlers in the current roster, as well as other wrestlers that have the chance to become DLC characters. Of course, players can add to the roster with their original wrestlers thanks to the game’s custom creator.
Now that we’ve talked about the Roster a bit, let’s go over the various game modes that WWE 2K22 has. We’ve already talked about some of them in the preview article, of course. But it’s nice to have a review of what these game modes can offer the player. We’ll start with the usual Exhibition/Custom Matches. Followed by the MyRISE Mode, then MyGM, Showcase Mode featuring Rey Mysterio, and lastly, Universe Mode. MyFACTION is a game mode that makes the bulk of the Online Features of WWE 2K22 so we’ll talk about that in the Online Features section.
First off is MyRISE, which is WWE 2K22’s version of MyCareer. The player takes a custom wrestler that they made, male or female, and throws them into the tumultuous world of the WWE. Their characters can then create their persona, form alliances, start their rivalries against famous wrestlers, et cetera.
One of the best improvements on MyRISE is the fact that there are now branching plots for both male and female wrestlers. These plotlines can also branch into subplots on a lot of things that can happen on the playthrough. A canny player must navigate these plotlines if they want the best for their chosen wrestler. This is true if they’re going for either a hero or villain type character in the WWE series. After all, the presentation’s the name of the game.
The next game mode we need to talk about is MyGM, and yes, we’ve already talked about this game mode in the preview article. However, let’s recap a bit. MyGM has the player taking control of a WWE franchise, either Monday Night Raw, Friday Night Smackdown, or NXT. The new General Manager has to deal with hotheaded wrestlers, the budget, and a few other things with one goal: Get as much money as possible within the player’s 50-week career.
The player, knowing this, now has to choose a General Manager to lead their brand. They can choose between a custom wrestler they made if they wish. However, the 5 Managers available are William Regal, Shane McMahon, Adam Pearce, Sonya DeVille, and lastly, Stephanie McMahon. Each of these managers has custom power cards that they can use to improve the ratings of their chosen show. These are the power cards in question:
- William Regal: Legend Whisperer – The week this card is activated, the first Legend the manager hires is free.
- Shane McMahon: Coast to Coast – The week this card is activated, A GM interference booked on the week will be free and have a +2 Bonus.
- Adam Pearce: Instigator – Rivalries that are active in the brand have their levels increased by 1.
- Sonya DeVille: A Superstar’s GM – Brand Roster Morale increased by 1.
- Stephanie McMahon: The McMahon Presence – The week this card is activated; the player earns 2x money from arena attendance.
- Custom: Beginner’s Luck – The lowest popularity superstar on the Brand Roster will get a +20 popularity increase.
These are just the Power Cards for the General Managers. There are other Power Cards available both on the brands themselves, and others. It’s up to the player to leverage these Power Cards to earn more money than the other Brands by the time 50 weeks have passed.
Rey Mysterio Showcase Mode
Next on the list is Showcase Mode, featuring Rey Mysterio, which puts the player on the career of the legendary Luchador. The player goes through his career, doing some of his stunts and various matches. The mode also adds in various clips of the matches in question, which adds to the awesomeness.
Throughout the Showcase Mode, players will also get various unlockables that they can use in the game. Usually, these are alternate skins of Rey Mysterio that players can use, though there are also alternate skins of other wrestlers like Kane and Dolph Ziggler.
Last but not least is Universe Mode, which is the WWE 2K22’s version of a Sandbox Mode. This is the Game Mode where all of the player’s wildest dreams can come true. If the player’s unlocked all the stuff in the game and has all the DLC, then they can use them all on Universe Mode to do some wacky stuff.
Wanna do a Hell in a Cell Match with CM Punk, The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Batista? You can do that here. What about using a vintage arena like the 1996 Bash at the Beach for a free for all with 10 or more wrestlers? Viable, and this is just the easy stuff. You can do all this and a whole lot more on Universe Mode, so experiment and check out what you can do here.
MyFACTION is a bit of a new addition to the WWE 2K games list. If you’re familiar with FIFA Ultimate Team, this is WWE 2K22’s version of it. The player takes 4 of their favorite superstars and legends and then groups them into their factions. Once formed, players can then use their Faction to fight against other players in various game modes. These Game Modes are:
- Faction Wars: Standard 4v4 matches against other players’ Factions.
- Proving Grounds: Gives players a myriad of match types to prove themselves against.
- Weekly Towers: Pretty much a weekly quest section where players can get rewards if they win matches.
In addition to all this, various Daily Challenges are reset every day that give rewards to players upon completion. Once done they’ve done these challenges and get rewards, players are also encouraged to customize their Factions with the rewards given. These customizations include various wrestlers, boosts, and side plates to gain an edge against opponents.
Rewards on Universe Mode vary. However, they’re usually MyFACTION Points and Tokens, as well as time-limited card packs that players can purchase with said MyFaction Points. The Tokens, on the other hand, are used on the Token Rewards Market which has really good WWE Legend and Superstar cards.
Lastly, due to the nature of the game mode, this is the place where most of WWE 2K22’s microtransactions lie. If you’re not interested in this, Points and Tokens can be obtained just by playing MyFACTION.
In terms of Online Features, the usual stuff that players expect on WWE 2K games is still there. These include sharing custom characters, multiplayer bouts, as well as cross-gen playthroughs on various game modes. Players can duke it out against each other on Universe Mode, MyFACTION, MyGM, and lastly, MyFACTION, which we’ll talk about now.
Glitches and Bugs
Straight up though, WWE 2K22 is not a game that’s without its bugs. There are a few areas where the game can be improved with various patches, and we’ll talk about them all here.
Firstly, Universe Mode, which is a cool game mode in the game, frequently crashes. The game would just boot the player out on a near-constant basis when certain things are done on Universe Mode. These range from booking weekly shows, matching up custom-created wrestlers, et cetera. This became more constant after the recent patch 1.5 which promised several fixes to the game’s various modes.
In addition to Universe Mode, MyFaction, another game mode in the game, also has several periodic crashes. Trying to start the game mode will boot the player back to the main menu as the game states that they can’t connect to the game mode. This, alongside the Universe Mode crashes, hasn’t been properly addressed yet by 2K and hopefully, it’ll be fixed in the future.
Another irritating problem is the issue of the renders in Custom Creation. Don’t get us wrong, the fact that players can now add in custom renders for their superstars is a great thing. It should’ve been in the game ages ago. However, WWE 2K22 now has the annoying tendency to crash when loading in downloaded renders from other players. This problem is so bad; players can’t even start custom matches with them.
This is caused by downloading a lot of renders at the same time though. So for now, it’s best to download renders one by one too, at the very least, lower the instances of the crashes happening.
And these are just the biggest annoyances as well. There are also instances of stuttering in-game, and the collision detection appears to be a bit janky, among other things. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon in a later patch.
WWE 2K22 VS WWE2K20
Now that we’ve talked a bit about WWE 2K22, let’s talk about how it compares to WWE 2K20. We’ll start with how the game improves things and the problems that still need to be addressed.
First things first, we need to talk about the fact that 2K22 did a massive improvement in terms of graphics. In 2K20, the game’s graphics were just atrocious, filled with rendering problems and straight-up was a buggy mess on launch. There are also a lot of problems when it comes to accessing the various online option on WWE 2K20 that wasn’t fixed for months.
Other than this, there’s also the fact that 2K20 will crash when playing various game modes for a time. 2K did patch this out but the damage has been done. This bug, combined with the slew of other bugs like faces melting, and other annoying stuff like attacks not lining up properly, et cetera, took their toll.
WWE 2K22 on the other hand looks a bit more polished compared to WWE 2K20. After all, the developers got an extra year to improve and fix various things about the game that players don’t like. They fixed a few of the bugs, improved the graphics, and overall made WWE 2K22 a better game at launch compared to WWE 2K20.
However, this doesn’t mean that 2K22 is free of issues, far from it. We’ve already talked about the myriad of bugs and glitches that the game is plagued by on release. However, when it comes to the game’s overall stability and gameplay, WWE 2K22 is a bit better than WWE 2K20.
Is WWE 2K22 For The PS5 Better Than 2K20?
So, the verdict. Is WWE 2K22 better than WWE 2K20? Well, straight up, WWE 2K22 is a way better game than WWE 2K20. Even though 2K22 has its flaws, like the microtransactions and the slight bugs here and there, it’s not as bad as 2K20 has been. 2K20 has a lot of things going against it, from really bad rendering to bugs and crashes on almost every corner of its game modes.
It left the WWE 2K game series in the worst state it’s been and forced the developers to skip a year to fix a lot of things. Even then there’s still stuff that’s not A-OK with 2K22. However, at least WWE 2K22 has the chance to be a game that can please the wrestling game fans, unlike WWE 2K20. It’s still a stretch to say WWE 2K22 saved the series though, that remains to be seen if 2K games will spend the time to improve upon it.
Check Out WWE 2K22 For The PS5 And Other Systems Today!
All in all, WWE 2K22 for the PS5 is a good Wrestling game with a lot of cool characters, customizations, and game modes. There are some bits here and there that need polish though, and the addition of microtransactions with the release of MyFACTION is a bit contentious. However, if you’re looking for a good WWE game, then WWE 2K22 for the PS5, PS4, PC, and Xbox Series X/s is a good one to get.