WWE 2K22

    Game » consists of 23 releases. Released Mar 11, 2022

    After taking a two and a half year break, 2K's WWE franchise returns just in time for WrestleMania 38.

    moonlightmoth's WWE 2K22 (Digital) (PC) review

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    Ring Me To Life

    I cannot be alone in mostly playing the WWE games to mess around with the creation tools. Likewise I’m sure there are many others who, having little to no interest in watching WWE, still found themselves spending many an hour creating wrestlers and entrances, and generally having fun with all the goofy nonsense you could mess around with.

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    Alas, when it came time to actually making use of such creations, problems would inevitably arise and interest would tend to peter out as the game found ways of alienating those of us not used to the particular nuances and convolutions of the controls. WWE2K22 is the best attempt in a long long time to address this concern and was the first wrestling game since No Mercy on the N64 to have me play, and actively enjoy, more than just a handful of matches.

    The key, as is often the case when things get out of control, is to go back to basics, simplify, find the primary gameplay loop and ensure it's fun and entertaining, and crucially if you want to appeal to a wider audience, easy to get into. One button for light attack, one for heavy, one for grab, with a choice of buttons after the initial grab to execute any number of moves. Countering is more straightforward, as is the UI and for the first time in a long time, it was fun, rather than frustrating. It was much easier to get a feel for the timing of counters and reversals, matches became more free-flowing and intuitive, with far less hassle when it came to the controls and doing what I wanted to do.

    Long-time veterans of the series may well have grievances with the changes and the simplification, but for one who typically felt alienated by it, the overhaul has succeeded in pulling me in to the point where I’m developing an active interest in the game and its cast beyond the chance to play dress up in their wardrobe.

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    That being said, I do very much love playing dress up in games and WWE22 has tons of options for that. You can create and customise entrances, victory celebrations, wrestlers and teams, not to mention move sets, arenas and championships. The scope is vast and can lead to agreeably long hours spent working on one’s custom superstars, where you can even alter fabrics and add your own custom images.

    There are also no shortage in modes to use your creations in, from standalone matches through to the rather extensive MyRise mode where you get to develop a custom wrestler in the incredibly stupid world of WWE and all the dumb-as-a-nail stories that are its stock in trade. There’s a General Manager mode where you manage your own shows and roster against a rival, a build your own faction mode where you collect cards akin to FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode, coupled with all the micro transaction bilge you might expect, along with a showcase mode charting the career of this year’s cover star Ray Mysterio.

    There is also the usual slew of multiplayer options, and a universe mode which acts as a sandbox, allowing you to tinker with and curate the wider WWE universe and all its composite shows and superstars. In short, there is much to keep you occupied should the revised combat be to your liking.

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    On series X the game looks great, although some superstars clearly got more attention in terms of detail and fidelity, but the camera catches the action nicely and the animations look good for the most part, which is impressive given the sheer number of moves, body types, sizes and interactions included. There are odd quirks at times, but clear effort has been made and dividends paid as a result. The music however isn’t quite to my taste, I try to keep an open mind about these things but some of the choices here cross a line I cannot follow. Fortunately you can customise that too and tailor it as you wish with the ability to pull from the library of entrance music to fill out your playlist.

    All of which reminded me of why video games are such a perfect fit for wrestling; for what it lacks in realism it makes up for in sheer entertainment. It’s over the top and very silly, but so what? Its joyful disregard for sobriety and quiet good taste is perhaps its greatest strength. My limited history with the series will naturally restrict how much I can speak to the minutiae on what has changed over the last few releases, but as someone who has spent most years on the sides looking on indifferently, WWE2K22 was the point when the lights dimmed, the heavy metal kicked up and I finally entered the ring.

    Other reviews for WWE 2K22 (Digital) (PC)

      2K hits the nail, but doesn't drive it in 0

      2K managed to do a lot with the 2 years off, but they still fall short in some ways. First things first this game is playable. Given the history of this team, I think It's important to mention. That being said, there are still a lot of growing pains. The first noticeable difference is in the actual gameplay. The wrestling has been overhauled and feels and looks smoother than ever before. The new controls can be a bit to wrap your head around, but once you do it feels okay. I said it was smoother...

      1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

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