The WWE 2K franchise hit its lowest ever point with WWE 2K20, to the extent that the series had to take a year off to sort out the mess it had landed itself in. WWE 2K22 is coming soon, and will be hoping to bring the series back to form, and it’s making more than a few interesting changes in its attempt to do that. Ahead of its looming release, here, we’re going to take a look at a few key details you should know about the game.
WWE 2K22 is going to have several modes for players to dive into, with one of these being the MyRise mode. This is effectively a pretty traditional career mode- you’ll start as a rookie wrestler and rise through the ranks of the wrestling arena on your way to stardom. This time, however, MyRise is going to offer two individual stories- one each for a male and female wrestler, with both apparently being around 20-25 hours long.
Showcase Modes have also become something of a staple in WWE games over the years, with each new game focusing on a particular wrestler and their career. This year’s game will put the spotlight on Rey Mysterio, allowing players to witness his trajectory as a superstar and participate in some of his most iconic matches through the years.
MyFaction is one of WWE 2K22’s biggest new additions. In essence, it’s the series’ take on Ultimate Team. Players will be able to build up their teams of wrestlers by collecting cards, with the roster spanning a large selection of past and present wrestlers. Cards will be updated on a weekly basis by 2K, and will reflect real-life events in terms of overall ratings.
Universe Mode, a staple of the WWE series, is also coming back, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. For those who’re unaware, Universe Mode allows players control over basically the entire WWE calendar, with everyone from who’s fighting whom to the brands to the title belts being in your control. In WWE 2K22, players will also be able to play as whichever superstar they want in the mode.
This is an addition that fans are going to be quite pleased about. For years on end, people have been clamouring for the return of a general manager mode, and WWE 2K22 is bringing it back at long last. It’ll see you playing as a general manager, starting with organizing matchups in high school gyms and work their way up the ladder in an attempt to create and establish the premiere WWE brand, exerting control over everything from their rosters to contracts to costs and more.
The creation suite returns as well in WWE 2K22, allowing the community to share their own creations with other players, and while this area of the game isn’t seeing as many changes as some of the others, it will feature a few improvements. The biggest one of these is the fact that all creations in the game will now feature support for cross-platform play, further widening the pool of options for the entire player base.
REDESIGNED GAMEPLAY ENGINE
One of the biggest reasons for the WWE games’ steady decline over the last several years has been the ageing engine they have ran on, but with WWE 2K22 looking to inject life back into the series, it’s no surprise that that’s the area it has targeted for overhauls. The upcoming game has been built on a completely redesigned engine, according to 2K, and will bring about improvements in several areas.
This is an area where WWE 2K has been in desperate need of significant improvements for quite some time, and thankfully, it seems like WWE 2K22’s new engine will enable those improvements. According to the game’s developers, its new engine will make for much better visuals, with things such as more detailed character models and lighting contributing to the game’s touched up look. Hopefully it’ll look as good in action as pre-launch marketing has suggested it will.
WWE 2K22’s visuals have been upgraded in other ways as well. According to developer Visual Concepts, a new and improved motion capture studio was used for the game’s animations, and that is something that (hopefully) will impact gameplay as much as it impacts visuals. Apparently, the game is going to have a total of over 4,800 animations across its entire roster of superstars.
Meanwhile, some key changes are being made on the gameplay front as well. The actual act of playing WWE games has been more than a little cumbersome in recent years, but thankfully, it seems like WWE 2K22 is finally looking to make some much needed improvements with a revamped control scheme. Specifics on what this will entail haven’t yet been shared, but the developers say the game is going to be much smoother to control.
Some interesting new defensive options will also be available to players in WWE 2K22, thanks in large part to the new Breaker moves. These are essentially reversals to counter grapples and combos, which can be executed by pressing the same input as the move you’re trying to counter with the right timing. Meanwhile, dodges and blocks are, of course, also going to have a part to play. All together, it seems like defensive options in the game will be much more fleshed out.
2K has also confirmed that WWE 2K22 will have over 55 playable arenas. This pool will encompass a great deal of options, from show arenas to pay per view arenas to classic arenas. Interestingly, 2020’s SmackDown and Raw arenas will both have two variants apiece, with each also having their ThunderDome variants with virtual fans included in the game.
Unsurprisingly, WWE 2K22 is also going to come with a Season Pass that’ll give you access to some additional content coming to the going following its launch, as well as some extra goodies right on release. It’ll include all legends available in the game at launch, 200 additional Attribute Points in MyRise, and 5 DLC packs releasing between March and August.
In addition to the standard edition, WWE 2K22 will also have two costlier versions available for purchase. The Digital Deluxe Edition will include last- and current-gen versions of the base game, the Season Pass, and the Undertaker Immortal Pack, which will feature three additional Undertaker personas, as well as Undertaker EVO cards, perks, and bonuses for MyFaction. Meanwhile, the NWO 4-Life Edition will include all of the aforementioned stuff, in addition to playable nWo versions of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Syxx, and Eric Bishchoff, on top of two classic WCW PPV venues, a MyFaction gold pack, nWo EVO cards, and the nWO Wolfpac Championship Belt.
As you’d expect, pre-ordering the game will also net you some additional bonuses. Those who pre-order the standard edition or cross-gen bundles will get access to the aforementioned Undertaker Immortal Pack. Meanwhile, pre-ordering the Deluxe and NWO 4-Life editions will let you play the game starting March 8, three days before its release.