WWE 2K22 Review by Expert 2022

WWE 2K22 drastically improves its core gameplay, but forgets about the content in the meantime.

WWE is a program that I have been following for a very long time, and WWE SmackDown! etc. I’ve been trying to experience every entry in the series since the Raw game. Only the games belonging to this program were released by THQ until 2012. In 2013, the WWE 2K series was born and came under the roof of the 2K company. The first few games of this new series were really good, but after that, the series started to take steps backwards constantly. Seriously awful things were done with WWE 2K19 and WWE 2K20 in particular ; It was not possible to find time from mistakes and play the game…

For the WWE 2K series, which has become more infamous every year, no main game was released in 2020, and no main or side game was released in 2021. The reason for this was that the development team was completely focused on the WWE 2K22 game. The studio admitted that it had done a bad job with the series and gave it an extra 2 years to devote more development time to the new game. Now, the aforementioned new game has been released and as you can imagine, I started playing it with great excitement. As a result, a little disappointment and a little happiness filled me.

I would like to start my review of WWE 2K22 by first talking about the content. At this point, we first see the Play mode. Here you can start a match quickly. Here you can see every character and every match type in the game. Unfortunately, there is no innovation when compared to WWE 2K20. Under categories such as One on One, Two on Two, Triple Threat, Fatal 4-Way, there are every type of encounter you will remember from the previous game; There is no innovation, I think there is no shortage. By the way, some of the trophies in the game are still exclusive to Play mode. I don’t understand why these types of trophies can’t be earned in other content as well.

There is also a Showcase mode that you can experience after Play. The focus of this game mode is Rey Mysterio, and you can relive 12 different matches between 1997 and 2020, which were important to the career of this legendary name. Showcase does not actually offer any innovations compared to the previous games of the series. It’s just that there is a new character in focus and we can experience new iconic moments. In other words, you progress by completing the tasks given to you in each encounter, and in return, you can get rewards such as new arenas and characters. Even if there was no innovation, the presentation of this mod was successful.

WWE 2K22 Review by Expert 2022

WWE 2K22 offers underrated content

I want to talk a little more about the showcase mode. It can be seen that the developer team attaches importance to this mode. For example, some screen filters added to the encounters can make the experience really realistic. At the same time, the transition from the gameplay moment to the real life footage is done very nicely. It just bothered me that the speeches by Rey Mysterio sounded so fake. At the same time, not using real sounds during real-life images and using game sounds even for arena sounds reduced the quality a bit in my eyes.

The next game mode I can talk about after Showcase is Universe. As you can imagine, the Universe mode is exactly the same as the mode in WWE 2K20. That is, you are again at the head of your own universe, and if you wish, you can manage everything. You can set up new shows, change the presentation of the shows, change the places where they take place, customize the characters and many other things. Meanwhile, Universe mode is split into Classic Mode and Superstar Mode. Classic Mode is the Universe mode we know. Superstar Mode allows you to control only one character.

If I’m not mistaken, Superstar Mode was also present in the WWE 2K20 game by the same name or in a different way. Sorry if this is a novelty, it wasn’t something I could detect. So, I’m almost certain that I’ve experienced this mod in WWE 2K20 before, but I still can’t be 100% clear. Anyway, my main problem with this mod is not whether it is novelty or not; My main problem is that the installation is too long for Classic Mode, which can be the most enjoyable. So, the dev team didn’t set up the shows properly even while preparing the calendar, so we have to fix everything?

For example, the commentators of some PPV-level shows are set to “general commentators”. However, if you go into the settings for those shows, there is already a custom commentator option for the relevant PPV. The dev team just forgot to mark it. Also, the arrangement of shows on the calendar is very wrong. So, WrestleMania, which should have closed the season, is held in the middle of the last month, not at the end. Okay, that’s true in real life, but in real life, the new season starts the day after the show; In this game you need to spend two more weeks for the new season. There are countless more problems like this in the mod.

WWE 2K22 Review by Expert 2022

It’s like MyGM was made to make fun of players

MyGM was the biggest reason for my excitement for WWE 2K22. Everyone has been begging for a general manager mode for years, and the developer team finally listened to the players and came up with MyGM. But don’t be happy right away, the developer team is making fun of this mod. You can spend a maximum of 50 weeks in MyGM, and then the game mode ends because 1 year will be over. So, there is no eternity like the Universe mode. Also, this is the tiniest problem you might ever have. MyGM offers almost nothing in terms of content either; what they offer is also counted at the core content level.

When logging into MyGM mode, you choose a general manager and show. Each general manager and show has different characteristics. In addition, if you wish, you can make your own general manager, but there is no such feature as putting on a show. Then you enter the “Draft” period with only two shows. Yes, you can compete directly with only one show in MyGM. This is the first big trouble. The second big problem is that the wrestling style and “Heel/Face” situation of each character in the game play an incredibly critical role. Matches are just a match between Heel and Face, which gets high ratings when they go head-to-head.

Below this point, you won’t be able to get a rating as high as John Cena vs Edge; both characters Face and also Edge, a Specialist. Specialist characters do not fit perfectly with anyone. John Cena can achieve high ratings with a Bruiser and a Fighter who is only Heel. That’s why so many encounters you dream of turn out to be lies. Yes, you can change the Heel and Face status of the characters, but the wrestling types do not change. This makes the game mode incredibly limited in my eyes. The same limit appears in the number of championship belts and matches.

Your show in MyGM may only have one main championship belt each for men and women. I mean, forget about the suits. Team matches are available in MyGM, but there is nothing to support these matches. The teams don’t appear as a team anyway. During weekly shows and PPV type shows, you can only use segments for 3-5 matches and 2-4 microphones. The developer team obviously took the idea of ​​the MyGM mod and added it to the game almost at alpha level to use it as an advertisement. Even that this game mode is incredibly limited, it was already said 1-2 weeks before the game was released.

WWE 2K22 Review by Expert 2022

WWE 2K22 meets that classic game mode from 2K company

After a pointless Play mode, a partially entertaining Showcase mode, a Universe mode that is exactly the same as last year, and a MyGM mode that is almost at the level of a joke, there is MyFaction. The card-based game mode, which was also used in the NBA 2K series, finally took its place in the WWE 2K series. You form your own team by collecting cards of different characters in MyFaction, and you try to have more cards by winning currency by playing single player matches with that team. MyFaction may sound fun as it doesn’t actually have multiplayer content, but unfortunately it isn’t.

MyFaction primarily gives you weekly missions. These missions usually give rewards like 50 MF and 3 Tokens. I can say that each encounter within the mode gives an average of 150 MF. There are also many mini-missions in the game, such as challenge missions that take a long time, and they also give a lot of currency, but the problem is to have the patience for those missions. You have to buy card packs with all these currencies, and the most flimsy card pack can be purchased for 2700 MF or 3750 VC. VC is a unit that can be obtained by micropayment, and 5000 VC for 19 TL is currently on PlayStation Store.

Since MyFaction offers a single player experience, I thought the dev team would stay away from a “Grind” based logic, but I forgot that 2K company is behind the project. It’s not as bad as the similar mode in the NBA 2K series, but this mod in the WWE 2K22 game also requires you to spend a lot of effort on card packs and doesn’t even reward you properly as a result. I like this type of mods as a logic, but MyFaction falls short in my eyes because it requires too much effort and does not reward enough.

You can play the game mode MyFaction in three different ways: Proving Grounds, Faction Wars and Weekly Towers. Proving Grounds offers matches such as 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4, and you have to enter with your own cards and win those matches by meeting certain conditions. Thus, you are making progress and getting new rewards. Weekly Towers is similar to it. Faction Wars, on the other hand, is played in a single player 4v4 format against teams of real players. In other words, you are not a real player, but only the team he formed, controlled by artificial intelligence. Here, it is important to win the matches without being defeated.

WWE 2K22 Review by Expert 2022

MyFaction highlights the weak point of the game

My main problem with MyFaction is not the “Grind” based logic of the game and the fact that you are not rewarded enough as a result of this logic; the fact that many matches are played as 3v3 and 4v4. The problem is that most modern games in the WWE 2K series are incredibly frustrating in team-based matches. MyFaction, on the other hand, is not a very healthy experience when it comes to this annoying gameplay mechanic. Trying to disable the opposing team alone, especially in team matches in the form of 4v4, and three people from the opposing team swooping down on you in each pin attempt is not a challenge, it’s laziness.

Whenever you pin someone in team-based matches, that person’s friends jump into the ring and constantly reach you before your teammates, breaking the pin status. Regardless of the circumstances, this does not change because your teammates react too late. Yes, you can also manually aim and try to disable the opposing team before the pin attempt, but in 4v4 type matches, the main person in the ring is already up in the ring until you have already stunned the other three. When the finishing move, the pin attempt and the referee start counting, the opposing team is already awakened.

Unfortunately, MyFaction was also a huge disappointment, while MyRise was the only thing left. MyRise, the career mode of the WWE 2K22 game, is primarily divided into two. At this point, you can start the career mode as male or female, with slightly different stories for each gender. Also, after choosing the gender, you choose your own character’s background, which also affects the characters that you may encounter during the story. You can make different choices within the story mode and affect the course of the story, but at this point, no big steps are taken compared to the previous games of the series.

Play mode is unnecessary when you consider the contents of the WWE 2K22 game. Showcase and MyGM, on the other hand, do not offer much replayability once completed. If that’s the only game mode you’re going to play and you enjoy taking notes outside of the game and tracking your universe, the Universe mode might do the trick, but it’s not in a very innovative position either. MyFaction is the type of content that I like, but unfortunately it immediately turns it off because it wants too much “Grind”. MyRise, on the other hand, offers above-average entertainment. Since it offers different stories, it can give a little replayability.

WWE 2K22 doesn’t forget the content players can make, either

The feature known as Creation Suite in the old games of the WWE 2K series returns as Creations. At this point; You can customize the characters, belts, entrances, winning scenes, move sets, arenas, shows, Money in the Bank bags, videos and special matches in the game. The most important thing here, I think, is that you can make your own character. Superstar Creations does not offer much change compared to the previous games of the series. In fact, nothing in Creations offers innovation. In fact, you can no longer prepare entries in detail in Entrance Creations.

In previous games of the WWE 2K series, you could customize your own or other characters’ entries in detail. That is, you can choose the animation in the intro, the animation on the ramp, the animation in the ring, the lightings and more. WWE 2K22 has none of this; you just have to choose a template and match the elements in it. Also, as the key combinations in the game increase every year, Move-Set Creations got bigger and it took me three days to choose my own character’s moves. I gave the character a break.

The biggest disappointment for me under the umbrella of Creations is that the hair and beard still look like they’re from two or three generations ago when we’re making our own character. Also, the physiques on the clothes are still hilariously shoddy. Still, the number of options offered in Creations is quite large. In other words, I think there are enough options when creating a character, creating a championship belt and creating an arena. However, it is necessary to devote a lot of time to the game in order to deal with them. I don’t think there is anyone out there who will spend a lot of time with them other than the hardcore players of the series.

Finally, there is an Online mode in WWE 2K22. Here, you can fight against real players, or you can download characters made by other players, championship belts, arenas and more from Community Creations. If you’ve played the latest games like WWE 2K19 and WWE 2K20, you’re already used to all this, there isn’t much change. Unfortunately I can’t comment on the health of multiplayer matches; I did not want to experience themselves. Multiplayer content is almost non-existent anyway, obviously the focus is not there.

Is there nothing good to say about this game?

I’ve written about 2,000 words about WWE 2K22 up to this point, and most of it hasn’t been positive reviews. The game has a real problem on the content side. Everything is very core level and/or annoying. However, there is not much problem in the game other than the content. WWE 2K20 was almost unplayable due to in-game bugs, overall gameplay quality was pretty bad, but you can really tell that the foundation of this game is being worked on. The basic gameplay is actually not very different from the previous games of the series, but it still has no bugs and hosts important improvements.

One of these improvements is definitely animations. Yes, the developer team still uses animations from previous games of the WWE 2K series, maybe 4-5 years old, but it is possible to feel the animation-based improvements made throughout the game. There are also significant systemic changes on the core gameplay side. For example; base hits now count as Light, Heavy, and Grapple. It is possible to make combos with these. In order to prevent all these movements, Dodge and Block systems are added to the game along with Reversal. So, you can now avoid hits or dodge to the side.

Reversal works the same as previous games. Dodge allows you to dodge left and right, just like the games in the Souls series. In this way, you can dodge every hit. Block only protects you against Light and Heavy type attacks. And then Breaker comes into play. Let’s say you are doing a combo move; attack also comes as Light, Light, Heavy. During the combo, only the Breaker system is activated and you have to press the same combo button as your opponent in order to stop the combo. That is, if a Light-type attack is coming against you, you should press the Light-type attack button. However, it is not possible to read the type of attack that came to you.

Even if the thoughts are good, it is not possible to know the type of attack made on you in a game like WWE 2K22. Light and Heavy are very similar; Heavy and Grapple can be almost the same. So, being able to stop a combo once it starts is purely by chance. I can understand what the dev team is trying to do here, but the WWE 2K series is not a series that these systems can work with. Previous games in the series handled very well with the Reversal system; The arrival of additional systems such as Dodge, Block and Breaker only complicates the experience.

WWE 2K22 does everything but simplify itself

It’s not always a positive thing for a video game to try to simplify itself, but the WWE 2K series needed it. The developer team also said that this is their goal with WWE 2K22, but now the introduction of three different evasion systems, except Reversal, offers the opposite experience. It’s not just them either; Special versions of defensive evasions, Payback system, signature move and finishing move are also now placed in the Special Bar. It is a little difficult to read these from a single bar. For example, I still have not been able to understand in which situation the Payback system comes into play; In previous games these were easily understood.

Not only these; The controls are also much more complex overall. Grapple was pretty easy in previous games in the WWE 2K series. Also, being able to target different parts of the body was a nice added system. WWE 2K22 is now mixing things up once again. This time, to give an example on one-key attacks with DualSense, you can press the circle key, activate a special holding moment, then Grapple again, use keys like L1 next to the ropes of the ring, then Grapple, and many more unnecessary key combinations. is being done. All of this messes things up instead of making the controls simpler.

The control suite of the WWE 2K series has been constantly changing over the past few years, and in a game released every year, it is very difficult to learn the controls over and over again. WWE 2K22 pretty much resets everything about it, you have to relearn all the controls. It is only possible to enjoy the basic gameplay after you overcome this and understand the defense systems. As I said before, there are no errors in the gameplay and you can experience the game in high quality. Hit animations, sounds and more feel so good. Perhaps the best experience of the series is offered in terms of gameplay.

Despite some mixed builds, WWE 2K22 definitely feels like a quality game that’s fun to play. If the content could have the same quality, this series would actually have made a very successful comeback, but I guess the developer team focused on the core gameplay and the content was not touched much during this time. I mean, no innovations are introduced with mods like Showcase and Universe, MyGM mode is alpha, MyFaction is chasing microtransactions in a single player game, and MyRise mode is showing me average fun. Again, the series does one thing well and worsens the other.

There are also significant improvements on the presentation side.

In order to talk about the visuals and other presentation elements of the WWE 2K22 game, it is necessary to look at the history of the series. For example, in WWE 2K20, the characters didn’t even resemble their real-life models in any way. The in-game models of female characters in particular were awful. The overall visual of the game was also very bad. In fact, many fans of the series praise the visuals every year, but I do not believe that these people have seen really high quality texture coatings and lighting. I mean, how can a visual be good when the game offers blurry visuals and the characters don’t look like real-life models at all?

WWE 2K22 is taking a huge step in this direction, and in-game character models in particular have been seriously improved. The only bad thing about these improvements is that the spiritlessness still exists in the eyes of the characters. But apart from that, the character models are really high quality. The lighting is much more realistic. The visuals presented during gameplay are clearer than ever before in this series. Spectators, details of the ring, character models and more all look very clear. As a result, a pleasant visualization is obtained. As I said before, the beards and hair are still from a few generations ago but everything else is successful except them and the eyes.

There is also partial success when it comes to performance. The performance of the game is already a very successful 60 FPS. The frame rate never drops, and a significant portion of the loading screens on the PlayStation 5 console take 1-2 seconds. The main problem is that there are still too many loading screens in the game. Sounds and music are above average. I mean, the sound effects of the hits are still the same as in the previous games, and the commentators keep saying the same sentences throughout the match. However, I liked the presentation because the performance was very stable and serious improvements were made in the visuals.

To sum things up, WWE 2K22 is an above average game. Just don’t make the game look too bad just because I said that. The biggest reasons why I’m breaking points are not in the gameplay this time, but in the content. The gameplay, which was terrible and full of bugs in the old games of the series, goes to a very high level in this game and offers an enjoyable experience. The things that bring this game down are that the game modes are very bland, and there are huge strides backwards in some categories. Frankly, if MyGM and MyFaction had offered a healthier and richer experience, I would have given this game 2-3 points more.

WWE 2K22

Positive

  • The base gameplay is pretty fun and there are no bugs.
  • Rich character list and Creations items.
  • Most of the animations look a few clicks better.
  • The visuals, especially the character models and the sharpness, are very good.

Negative

  • MyGM and MyFaction mods are a disappointment.
  • Mods such as Showcase and Universe do not offer any innovations.
  • The new control scheme and defensive features make the game very confusing.
  • There are too many steps backwards on the Creations side.

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