My WWE 2K22 Take

  • The WWF/E is one of the main pillars and institutions in my fandom life. I've lived and breathed WWE since I was roughly six years old and it's a passion that has wavered over time but I still can't resist its allures and temptations.

    Of course being a mega WWE fan, I made the decision to marry it with another pillar of my fandom life-videogames. What happened was a blossoming of my love for WWE, videogames and WWE videogames.

    I have sampled WCW and ECW games and the TV products, but the heart and soul of my fandom is and will always be the WWE.

    Back in the day I valued the playfulness inherent in the WWF and WWE games of the late 90s and early 00s.

    From the undeniable classic WWF No Mercy, to the impact-player and juggernaut befitting of Brock Lesnar's biceps- WWE: Here Comes The Pain, to all the WWE 2K games and (shudder) WWE 2K Battlegrounds, I am sophisticated and learned in the language of WWE games.

    So here squatting unusually in the third month of the year is 2K's latest WWE videogame-approximately 29 months after their last mainline entry 2K20 in late 2019. What do I think of it? It's pretty damn good.

    Now let's get the Rosie O' Donnell-sized elephants out of the paternity ward first. WWE 2K22 has a tendency for multi-man matches to get really messy and sloppy. The Money in the Bank ladder matches with their briefcase retrieval minigame in particular is a tedious and slow endeavor, akin to Kevin Owens blowing up like a beachball and being rolled around the ring Homer Simpson in The Simpsons Game style.

    GM Mode is a disappointment too as only the main event titles can be defended, so all mid-card championships are absent. Drafting your superstars to RAW, SmackDown and NXT is quite slapdash too, leaving a herd of free agents you will need to pay for to acquire their services on your show.

    2K Showcase continues to show why it doesn't fit into a WWE game. I know that seems very harsh but I don't find any substance in following objectives during gameplay just to see real life footage take over, though from a story standpoint it's pleasant and welcoming. Rey Mysterio deserves to front the 2K Showcase and the cover, but I wish you could play various match types within the real-life scenarios. Remember when Rey faced Eddie Guerrero in a ladder match for the custody of Dominic Mysterio? Yeah that should be featured.

    There are no new match types despite the leeway you're given when customizing match types to your liking, but even this could do with some expanding because I want a Six Pack Challenge match where it's six superstars competing in the ring, every man/woman for themselves and it's one fall to a finish-but besides this there's not too much to complain about.

    The final bugbear I feel like sharing at this point is I can't seem to find an option related to toning down the severity of special moves and chair shots. 2K22's legendary difficulty mode this time out is no joke, but on the upside the matches using this option are usually fantastic and back and forth.

    Now onto the good stuff. The wrestling gameplay mechanics are refined and sharpened meticulously. There are multiple combinations of grapples and strikes you can utilize and a horde of fantastic animations, bringing matches to life in a new way. As WWE 2K22's tagline proudly boasts-it hits different.

    MyRise is as goofy as previous MyCareer offerings and there are loads of rivalries and opportunities you can undertake to make your journey to the top more personal to your preferences. Wading through text messages to accept challenges is quite unintuitive but the branching pathways are impressively realized.

    MyFaction is a strange mode with its card-based systems and such. I haven't played much of it to give a thorough impression but I don't know what the motivation behind this mode is. I'd prefer the return of Story Designer from Smackdown vs. Raw 2010.

    It goes without saying that WWE 2K22 looks pretty AJ Styles-like phenomenal. John Cena looks picture perfect. I will say something needs to be done about Roman Reigns' hair though I swear it clips through his t-shirt but that maybe an exaggeration.

    The roster is impressive and the promised dlc offerings are looking mighty juicy with 4 huge packs that will become available by July. Ok so there's no Madcap Moss or Ridge Holland, but the 28 superstars included do much to satisfy the cravings of ardent WWE fans-especially knit-picky Percy Pringles like me.

    My take is WWE 2K22 has done plenty right. It's managed to be the mouthwash that rinses out the disgusting taste of WWE 2K Battlegrounds, and 2K has gone above and beyond in many regards. There's still more room needed to break new ground with match types and getting rid of that stupid MITB ladder match minigame, but most of my concerns are knit-picks because as I've said I'm a die-hard WWE fan. Generally WWE 2K22 is a signal that the franchise is reinvigorated and it's great to see 2K get this franchise back on form.