We are now a mere seven days until the launch of WWE 2K22. Following a poor iteration in WWE 2K20, a launch that pushed 2K to skip a year in favor of a longer dev cycle, 2K is looking to re-establish its WWE flagship series. During this time, 2K was relatively quiet about the series, keeping details under heavy wraps. While this worried many, 2K has recently been releasing a series of Ringside reports to explain what’s new. You can catch a breakdown of the most recent report here on Sports Gamers Online. That said, many are still considering whether or not this year may be worth the purchase price. If that’s you, or you just want to know a bit more about the game, here are ten things to know about WWE 2K22 before you buy.
Pre-order bonuses and Special editions
First, its important to note which version you should buy. This, of course, comes down to what best fits your situation. WWE 2K22 features four available version to purchase:
- CROSS-GEN DIGITAL BUNDLE
- DELUXE EDITION
- NWO 4-LIFE EDITION
- STANDARD EDITION
The standard version includes the base game. Those who pre-order get three additional Undertaker personas, MyFACTION EVO cards for Undertaker, plus MyFACTION perks and bonuses. Next or “current” gen pre-orders get the The Starrcade ’96 Rey Mysterio Pack featuring a ’96 Rey Mysterio playable character as well as Starrcade ‘96 Rey Mysterio Ruby MyFACTION card. One step above that is the Deluxe Edition. This version includes everything in the standard version plus the WWE 2K22 Season Pass giving access to all planned DLC. Somewhere between the Standard and Deluxe is the Cross-Gen Digital Bundle. This features the Undertaker Pre-Order rewards as well as the WCW Starcade Rey Mysterio content. The selling point of this version is the Dual-Entitlement for digital copies allowing players to download WWE 2K22 on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S or PS4 and PS5.
Lastly, we have the NWO 4-Life Edition. This version includes everything included in the Standard and Deluxe. In addition, as the name applies, it features playable nWo versions of “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Syxx, & Eric Bischoff. It also includes two classic WCW PPV venues, a MyFACTION “Gold” Pack bundled with nWo EVO cards and the nWo Wolfpac Championship Belt.
Keeping up with the theme of what to buy, you may be wondering on just how early you can play WWE 2K22. As aforementioned, the game launches in seven days on March 11. However, if you’re for sure going to buy and looking to get in on the action a few days early, there is early access. Players who pre-order the Deluxe Edition or nWo 4 Life Edition will be able to play even sooner with Early Access that kicks off on March 8. These extra three days are only available to Deluxe and nWo pre-orders. Those pre-ordering the standard or cross gen bundle will have to wait for the standard worldwide release date.
WWE 2K22 hits differently
WWE 2K22 will feature an overhauled gameplay engine and all-new control scheme. Visual Concepts built a new gameplay and animation engine from the ground up for WWE 2K22. The aim is to make a more fluid and realistic game where every superstar not only feels different in the ring, but hopefully true to life. To achieve this, the game has over 30,000 returning moves scanned for the game. In addition, not only will 5,000 new moves be a part of the game for the very first time, but “every single strike” has been rescanned and retimed.
Furthermore, gone are reversal limits. To move the game away from simply wearing down your opponents reversals, this year features new mechanics and ways to defend including dodges and blocks. You can check out the full details on this in the first Ringside Report.
New MyGM mode
One of the most anticipated and requested game modes makes a return to the WWE series. This year GM mode, now MyGM, returns in WWE 2K22. You can get the full details in the 2K Ringside Report #2 which dives into MyGM as well as how its different from the Universe Mode. Its inclusion marks the first true GM mode within the series since Smackdown vs. Raw 2008, and with it’s return comes with a lot of expectations.
MyGM allows players to take control of RAW, Smackdown, NXT, or NXT UK with the goal of becoming the superior brand. There isn’t an option to use custom brands, that is reserved for Universe Mode. MyGM includes GM goals from management as well as interactions with the various wrestlers on your brand.
Similar to Universe, shows have limited match numbers. In MyGM, weekly shows has a limit of three; Premium Live Events, four; and major shows like WrestleMania will have five match slots. This makes the mode closer to old versions from the 2000s. This pushes players to use strategy in deciding who to put on the card each week. Not everyone on the roster can be on TV each week, which is very close to the reality of booking in real life.
Unfortunately, from what we have seen so far, there may be some discrepancy in the mode’s design versus what players are hoping from the mode. WWE 2K22 MyGM won’t feature online multiplayer nor secondary championships. Each brand in the mode will have one male and one female championship available. Currently, there won’t be secondary titles nor will Tag Team championships be available within the mode. While players can have things like Tables and Ladder matches, they are extremely limited based on what was revealed. Matches are limited to one-on-one and Tag Team. This means no Triple Threat, Fatal Four Way, Six-Man, etc. If you want to know about what the mode includes or lacks, be sure to check out our breakdown of clarifying details regarding MyGM.
MyRise career mode
Within the new narrative mode for WWE 2K22, players will have over 50 hours of gameplay. This is combined between the male and female stories. In the mode, players start from the beginning of their career where the choices one makes impacts the path they take.
MyRISE gives players the opportunity to experience the journey of a WWE Superstar, from the humble beginnings of a Rookie at the WWE Performance Center to the challenge of becoming a Superstar, to being immortalized as a WWE Legend. With unique men’s and women’s division storylines available, players will encounter an array of WWE Superstars and Legends as they embark on the journey.
Many were not happy with the final result of the narrative career mode in WWE 2K20. The mode reflected some of the more questionable booking and writing habits of sports entertainment resulting in a silly, if not an outright poor storyline.
Cross-platform Community Creations
One of the bigger bits of easy-to-miss information is the inclusion of cross-platform community creations. No matter what platform you choose, everyone gets access to the best CAWs from creators across Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. However, you will want to proceed with caution as CAWs slots will be limited to about 100 open slots.
While WWE 2K games never really look terrible, 2K20 featured a host of visual bugs. In a sort of unofficial developer post mortem, some close to the project revealed a lot of the issues were due to engine utilization of memory for rendering. This year, WWE 2K22 implements an all new visual effects engine, never seen before camera angles, rescanned and realistic Superstars, unique environments and more. The screenshots and gameplay shown thus far should lay the worries about graphics to rest.
A new, MyFACTION mode
With the launch so close, it is unclear if we will see extended details revealed for this mode. So far, we know MyFACTION is a franchise first.
In a franchise-first, the all-new MyFACTION lets you build a faction that rivals the nWo. Collect, manage and upgrade WWE Superstars, with weekly events and regular updates!
This is something likely very close to popular Ultimate Teams mode from EA Sports or even 2K own WWE Supercard mobile game.
Outdated roster, though not a bad thing
An often big complaint with WWE games centers around its representation of current landscapes. To no faulty of their own, by launch time WWE 2K games are terribly out of date in more ways than one. For WWE 2K22, this mainly goes for the roster, as far as we know. WWE has been notorious for releasing talent over the years. This means by the time 2K finalizes its roster plans and DLC plans, the WWE can shift and make the entire thing outdated in a matter of seconds. Superstars have been released en masse making 2K22‘s large roster out of date. However, this may not be a terribly bad thing as what makes it out of date this year is who it includes, rather than excludes.
Several released talent remain in the game at the time of this writing. Such names include popular NXT talent such as Isaiah Swerve Scott, Mia Yim, Jeff Hardy, John Morrison, and several others. There were reports some had been removed, likely at the behest of legality issues as some stars jumped ship to other televised promotions. Nonetheless, expect to see some faces who are no longer under WWE employment.
Rey Mysterio cover star and showcase mode
2K is doubling down on the Showcase experience, dedicating an entire mode to celebrating iconic stars. This year, WWE 2K celebrates cover star Rey Mysterio. If you’re not a fan of the mode or Rey Mysterio, then this may not be much a benefit but for those who fan of the mode and the biggest underdog in wrestling history, then you’ll be happy to know WWE 2K22 will allow players to traverse some of the greatest matches in Rey Mysterio’s legacy including his battles with the late Eddie Guerrero. If you know your history, than you may remember Mysterio also did battle against Angle and Benoit. However, due to circumstances, its unlikely we will be able to playthrough arguably the best tag match of all time: Edge and Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, nor Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle vs Randy Orton are Wrestlemania.
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