Starting off our WWE 2K22 review, it’s worth mentioning the nWo4Life edition of WWE 2K22 was released on March 8th, 2022; the base game was released on March 11th. Over this last week, we have wrestled through the WWE roster, past and present, and deemed it adequate.
Looking at the WWE 2K22 roster, it’s revealing how many superstars have been released from WWE over the last two years. So this year’s roster might be the biggest we will see in a WWE game at this time; the game features over 170 superstars. So how does WWE 2K22 compare to WWE 2K20, let’s ring the bell on our WWE 2K22 review?
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X (Reviewed), & Microsoft Windows
Release Date: March 8, 2022 (nWo 4-Life Edition Deluxe Edition)/March 11, 2022 (Standard Edition)
Players: 1 to 4 Local/ 1 to 8 Online
Going into our WWE 2K22 review, there are a few key factors that we want to look at. The overarching goal is to determine whether or not WWE 2K22 is a better game than WWE 2K20. As many of you are aware, WWE 2K20 did not have a good launch and had continued issues months after the game’s release. Because of this WWE, Visual Concepts, and 2K Sports canceled WWE 2K21 with the intent to make WWE 2K22 the most polished wrestling game that it could be. So did they succeed?
Upon booting up WWE 2K22, the player is given the choice of jumping straight into the game’s hub or playing through the tutorial. We strongly recommend playing the tutorial if you have not played a WWE 2K game or need to brush up.
Once on the hub’s main page, players have the option to choose between Play, Showcase, Universe, MY GM, My Faction, and My Rise. Players can also move over to the creations section, online menu, or options tab.
The Creations tab allows players to create custom superstars, entrances, titles, move-sets, arenas, shows, and more. Once created, a player can upload those creations to the online community creation tab. Online allows players to download others’ creations, find lobbies, or play in random matches. Finally, the Options menu allows players to purchase characters, edit the roster and characters’ stats, and customize a playlist using the jukebox.
While playing through WWE 2K22, we noticed a few key issues that might turn casual players away. Although the game still has bugs none of these bugs are game-breaking.
Playing on a difficulty higher than normal can be frustrating to casual players due to a poorly timed reversal window. The game’s controller layer out and wrestling mechanics aren’t easy to pick up; this means a friend can’t just come over and play.
So unless your friends like getting Smacked down, it’s not for everyday players. While playing, we noticed that character interaction did not always go as smoothly as possible. Yes, you can play the game, but you will not have as much fun as you might have if you played the old Smackdown vs. Raw games or Here Comes the Pain.
In the Play menu, players are able to choose between a wide variety of matches to compete in. In fact, most of these match types aren’t accessible in the MY GM mode and are rarely seen in the My Rise or My Factions mode.
The gameplay is fine for an every once in a while match, but playing the game day in and day out will get old fast.
Overall, WWE 2K22 tries to offer a variety of game modes to a wide variety of players but fails to perfect any specific mode. With Showcase, the player is limited to specific Mysterio matches that have specific objectives that must be completed to progress.
My Faction is a card team builder that is easily a pay-to-win model. My Universe is what My GM mode should be and allows the player to control rivalries, matches, championships, and winners.
My GM Mode allows players to take control of a brand but puts a lot of limitations on the mode and looks for specific things. My GM mode should honestly be skipped alongside My Faction. Then last but certainly not least is the My Rise mode.
My Rise gives the player the option to run through their own creatable WWE story either as a male or female superstar. Both paths have a variety of stories the player can play through but they are all rather short.
During our WWE 2K22 review, we noticed that the game has no mainline story. Out of the five game modes, only two have story aspects. Showcase allows the player to play through twelve matches in Rey Mysterio’s career.
Some of these matches don’t seem as significant as others when looking back at Mysterio’s career but ultimately, some were probably chosen for ease of blending. After completing certain match objectives, the game would switch to archived footage of Rey Mysterio’s former matches. At a certain point, the footage would stop and the match would resume.
The only real story mode in WWE 2K22 comes from the My Rise mode. Once the player has created their wrestler, they can choose their path through WWE to become a WWE superstar.
Some moments within the story missions are scripted but overall, the player can choose which story they want to undertake. Sadly, most of the character interaction is through cell phone texts. The My Rise mode does feature unique stories for either male or female superstars.
WWE 2K22‘s graphics are a significant improvement compared to WWE 2K20. Most of the development team-designed superstars look similar to their real-life counterparts, for the most part.
The game does feature quite a few visual and gameplay bugs that can make players go ‘what just happened’ or ‘what is happening.’ On one occasion, our character jumped through another character without colliding with them. The game’s hitbox can be inaccurate.
Creating characters and other things in the game can also be a headache with hair and coloring being a chore rather than a fun way to spice up the character. Lighting, special effects, and shadowing have drastically improved eliminating some of the weird camera angles and visuals on character models.
WWE 2K22 has a slight issue when it comes to sound and music. The commentary team will pick out what a character is doing and be able to say how it affects them, but their dialog gets old quickly.
Not only that but the NXT and some of WWE’s other commentators have not been included in the game. Sometimes when a bug occurs the commentary team will state what the game registered happening even if it’s not possible.
The game also has an issue when it comes to the music being played. On numerous occasions we noticed WWE superstars coming out to no entrance theme. On the other hand, while loading into matches or in between menus, songs would occasionally overlap or cut off.
Overall WWE 2K22‘s core gameplay is not for the everyday wrestling fan. Modes like My Universe or My GM mode are more accessible to the casual players; meanwhile, My Faction and My Rise give the player more tasks to complete.
The game’s controls feel more like a chore and the overall gameplay still needs to be patched a bit. Yes, there are not as many bugs as WWE 2K20, but there are still too many. These bugs not only include core gameplay but also graphics and sound.
So if you are considering picking up WWE 2K22, it is better to wait until the game is on sale than to pick it up now.
The WWE 2K22 review was done on the Xbox Series X using a copy provided by 2K Sports. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. WWE 2K22 launched on March 8, 2022 (nWo 4-Life Edition Deluxe Edition)/March 11, 2022 (Standard Edition) on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S (Reviewed).