HomeDigital TrendsWWE 2K22 Review: It Doesn't Just Hit Different, It Hits Right

WWE 2K22 Review: It Doesn’t Just Hit Different, It Hits Right

Photo Credit: 2k Games

The latest installment of the WWE gaming series – WWE 2K22 – comes out of the gate guns-a-blazin’ with a fresh new look, a stellar showcase mode, phenomenal graphics, revamped controls, and a solid soundtrack that truly, as the tagline says, “hits different.”

Let’s start with the Showcase Mode which celebrates the 20 Year WWE Career (and beyond) of my personal all time favorite wrestler, Rey Mysterio. Not to be biased but this might just be my favorite part of the game overall.

The story opens with a documentary style narration, done by Rey himself, talking about his career, feuds, title reigns and more while being able to play some milestone matches.  The sequences between Rey’s narration, gameplay, and actual match footage are absolutely flawless. For instance you’ll be hitting a reverse DDT off the ropes at WCW’s Halloween Havoc against Eddie Guerrero. Then it will seamlessly flow into the match footage from the actual PPV. This really highlights how great the graphics in this game really are.

If you lose some of these matches it provides some fun alternate storylines outside the realm of what really happened in the matches. Major matches include bouts against Eddie, HBK, Undertaker, Dolph Ziggler,  The Miz and more. Complete every objective during each match and will you unlock new arenas, new superstars, and most importantly — new Rey gear.  Add a few bonus points for Rey’s old WWE theme music as well.  This is total fan service for Mysterio fans but it is also the real heart of WWE2K22.  The complaint here is that I wish there were even more Rey matches to play.

As previously mentioned the graphics are absolutely next level. The Superstar scans look incredible, but it’s the overhauled lighting and attention to detail that makes the overall presentation spectacular.  I played a few matches in the Thunderdome and let me tell you, it looked absolutely impeccable.

As for the controls, there has been a massive overhaul. While this writer is not a fan of change, but there was a lot necessary thought was put into these changes. For example, all of signatures and finishers are almost a subsetting of holding down another button to access that specific part of your move set. The addition of in-depth grapple variations, medium strikes, strong strikes, and even combos add a lot of depth to the game. This also allows for better, more realistic pacing. There could be more opportunities for frequent reversals as this adds to the realistic pacing like that of the product on television. In the long run this could be a very smart way to go moving forward. Again, players just need to take the time to become accustomed to the new controls.

One major positive change is the old school button smashing for kicking out of pins. The added meter for reference is everything — making for a lot more close kick outs.    Conversely, the submission system using a series of sequenced button mashing is another major step forward from 2K20’s joystick rolling system. These are the little details that will make for some very epic matchups when you are playing against friends.

The Create Modes are always fun. You love to see fans who make renderings of independent talent and non-WWE wrestlers available on community creations. It is surprising there is a lack of advanced creation for entrances as it is much more limited than games past. It definitely hurt a little when Johnny Gargano’s “Rebel Heart” theme was not in the game.

MyRise Mode is essentially career mode featuring both male and female superstar storylines. This is where you will come up through the Performance Center, work on the three brands (Raw, NXT, Smackdown) build feuds, and interact with WWE superstars. MyRise has some really great moments and creative elements, but a lot of repetition as career modes often do. It really depends on what you are looking for as a gamer.  Showcase Mode takes the cake for this reviewer, but MyRise is a fun alternative for sure.

Fan favorite modes MyGM and MyUniverse Modes are back allowing fans to get behind the curtain and run their favorite shows. This is a completely different way to play the game, but always is a big favorite to streamers who love to create their own shows/ federations.  Normally, I don’t dive too deep into these modes but I do love the involvement of NXT UK as an option.  Much like the create an entrance suite, the MyGM mode leaves a little too much to be desired compared to year’s past.

MyFaction Mode is a card collecting mode reminiscent of Madden Ultimate Team/Fantasy Team modes that adds another fun new layer to WWE 2K22.  It is something completely different to the franchise which offers a different kind of long term replay value.

Now, many of the complaints and concerns on the Twitter-verse involve the game being oversaturated with too many modes, or too many released superstars being featured in the game. These are really good problems to have.  Personally, it’s enjoyable trying all the different modes, and obviously spend more time on certain ones than others. As far as the roster, it’s fun to play as many wrestlers as possible, regardless of where they are signed currently. In fact the announced DLC packs that will include Indie Hartwell, LA Knight, RVD, Cactus Jack, Stacey Kiebler, Yokozuna, Xia Li and even Machine Gun Kelly (who curated the soundtrack for the game) are very exciting. You can find out more on the DLC content here.

WWE 2K22 threw everything they had at us this year, and rightfully so. Much like the Tribal Chief incarnation of Roman Reigns, this is the version of WWE2K that we wanted for so many years. It doesn’t just “Hit different,” it hits right.

Rating: 8.8

WWE 2K22 is now available at all major video game retailers.

Rob Crowther IV
Rob Crowther IVhttp://bobculture.podbean.com
Rob "Bobman" Crowther IV is host of The Bob Culture Podcast and drummer for local Jersey rockers, Vextion. This drummer with a mic can often be found on the site reviewing wrestling, superhero shows, and movies. Rob loves to put the spotlight on up and coming local bands and indy wrestling talents. @bobculturepod

Most Recent

Stay Connected