While WWE's tenure with 2K has seen its ups and downs, (hitting rock bottom in 2019 with WWE 2K20, a game so poorly made and glitchy that they didn't even bother releasing a WWE game the following year) fans and the developer themself have felt a bit optimistic that 2K will learn from their mistakes with the upcoming WWE 2K22, a game that has been sold as taking the WWE video game back to formula and creating something from the ground-up that will truly revolutionize the experience. And while we have only been given the tiniest of tastes thus far, today we were treated to a big bite from 2K, with a promise for even more in January.
In a video release stating "they couldn't wait" to show us some of what they have in store for us with WWE 2K22, 2K showed a nice little sizzle reel teaser that not only showed us more characters and animations than we have seen so far, but they also previewed some of the new features and game modes we can expect when the game releases in March of 2022.
One of the main complaints of WWE videogame fans is that the controls and gameplay haven't evolved much and have actually become more of a hindrance over time. While an over-twenty-year-old game like WWF No Mercy is still held high in fans' collective minds due to its overall fun factor, recent WWE games have sacrificed that "pick-up and play" fun of a classic fighting game for an over-emphasis on "realism" and recreating the TV presentation.
The problem is that fans don't necessarily want a WWE game that is exactly like watching the TV show (and I'm not even talking about the current quality of the shows) because they can already do that. Fans play games like WWE 2K22 to use their imagination and create their own version of WWE shows, either with existing superstars or with an original player-created wrestler.
In a news post on wwe.2k.com, the developer explained how WWE 2K22 will address this and is promising fans all-new gameplay with new controls in WWE 2K22 that will elevate the experience.
In addition to the revamped gameplay engine, new controls have been implemented to ensure a seamless and intuitive experience for any skill level, while still allowing for highly skilled players to showcase unique moves. The redesigned gameplay engine is responsive and configured to give you limitless combos, counters, and finishing moves right at your fingertips.
To complement the tight controls, WWE 2K22 gets in your face with lifelike graphics that make you feel like you've got a ringside seat. WWE 2K22 is sure to blow you away with its stunning visuals and state-of-the-art lighting, making you shine bigger and brighter in front of thousands of adoring fans. Whether you're competing in WrestleMania, SummerSlam, or the Royal Rumble, WWE 2K22 will feel like a title match every time you walk down the ramp.
Another big complaint from fans is that recent games have offered an ever-lighter selection of game modes to play. While the story modes have been fun (the career journey of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the story mode of WWE 2k16 was especially entertaining), these modes are very limited, and maybe even more damning, they have a definitive end. Like how the WWE story never ends, a game mode in their games should reflect this. Luckily, 2K is bringing back some fan-favorite game modes from the past in WWE 2k22 that should help with this.
Fans can look forward to an expansive lineup of game modes in WWE 2k22, including MyGM, MyFACTION, MyRISE, Universe Mode, and Creation Suite. The return of much-beloved modes like MyGM and Universe Mode, in particular, should have fans very pleased, as that is where a fan is truly given control over the entire WWE product and allows them to stop complaining about the weekly TV product and come up with something better themselves.
New modes like MyFACTION and MyRISE sound promising, as well. The opportunity to do a career mode of sorts, but with an original faction created by the player is something new and potentially exciting. Instead of having to navigate the WWE waters as an individual, players will now have to think about an entire team, who we have to assume players will have the ability to choose who to add and who to subtract as they fight for power in the company.
Of course, like anything with WWE, fans are always hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. It's up to 2K to deliver on their lofty promises and give fans a game that actually feels like they've spent over two years working hard on.
Here's hoping the wait was worth it and WWE 2K22 is the game fans have been desperate for when it hits consoles this coming March.