Hey and welcome back to the Revelleution and a brand new WWE 2K22 video. Earlier this week I had the awesome opportunity to play a portion of WWE 2K22 thanks to 2K which included the recently discussed MyGM Mode.
I have to say I actually had quite an awesome time playing WWE 2K22, probably far more than I originally anticipated, especially in matches playing against SmackTalks even if he did try and murder me during our Hell in a Cell match.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to capture footage but believe me when I say some things are really worth waiting for, especially when it comes to the visual presentation of certain entrances.
As someone who is primarily a simulation player I was somewhat wary of the controls going into it but whilst being different the controls still seem somewhat familiar.
This time around grapples can be performed by using combos as well as pressing the grapple button which provide a variety of moves and ways to perform them. Whilst it may be hard to remember all of the combos for specific wrestling moves for certain superstars, it will be perfect for those who have their favourite superstars who will no doubt memorize the moves down to a tee. The best comparison I can think of when it comes to memorizing the moves is to that of injustice or the mortal kombat series which allows players to perform bigger moves when performing combos.
I can honestly see this creating more competitive gameplay between players, something I can certainly attest to after facing off against Paul. Every time you or your opponent perform a move you are continuously hoping to counteract or reverse by pressing the same action and I would say I definitely played more defensive in 90% of my matches because of it. Previously I would just perform moves that looked good to try and put on the best visual show but this time around I was purely trying to win and not let Paul or my opponent deal too much damage before I could get the upper hand.
The gameplay and execution of moves this time around is far more fluid and pleasant on the eyes and with brand new counters and pin combos I was cheering on even when getting my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. Not to mention there are several new grapple states including ground grapples which can be applied as if in a lockup and followed up by a light or heavy attack.
During my gameplay window I competed in several matches including Alexa Bliss Vs Carmella, Mandy Vs Lacey Evans and Asuka Vs Shayna Baszler just to name a few. One of my favourite things about WWE 2K22 was how easy it is to perform paybacks which activate when pressing the back bumper and triangle or Y and perform a variety of actions. From the payback instances I encountered Asuka performed the green mist on Shayna which caused a DQ after being caught out by the ref and Sonya Deville coming out to attack Mandy Rose to aid in a win. One really cool sequence had Alexa Bliss use the teleport feature like the Undertaker in previous instalments which saw the arena turn dark before Bliss reappeared to capitalise on the moment. Adding the paybacks on top of the reversals, dodging and blocking and the new combo system truly adds to the competitive nature.
I will say when I originally saw the blocking and dodge feature it looked somewhat out of the place in the original trailer and looked much more suited to a boxing or MMA style system. However after playing it for myself and seeing and performing it in action I can say not only does it fit well with the gameplay but you don’t notice the stances anywhere near as much as you would think. When it comes to actually performing blocking and dodges I will say I much preferred relying on reversals as in previous games but that could purely be down to muscle memory and being set in my ways when it comes to playstyle.
I know previously many said that they thought the pin bar was far too slow but having been the one trying to get out of pin on several occasions I actually thought it added to the anticipation and threat of having to kick out of a move. When the role is reversed however I can see where players are coming from as it often gives one too many chances to opponents who have taken far more damage than they should have.
Moving away from the gameplay and to the women more specifically, while I can’t delve into some things I can confirm I had the chance to play with 21 female superstars which included:
Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Carmella, Chyna, Dakota Kai, Dana Brooke, Io Shirai, Kay Lee Ray, Lacey Evans, Mandy Rose, Maryse, Nikki A.S.H., Rhea Ripley, Shayna Baszler, Shotzi, Sonya Deville, Stephanie McMahon, Tamina and Trish Stratus. In my option each and every woman looks soo much better this year with my top 5 models so far being Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Shotzi and Candice LeRae.
Trust me when I say I could have easily swapped out so many of the women and given that I’ve only had a short time to play my mind will probably change when I get more time to explore in more detail.
As many of you have already seen Bianca Belair looks incredible this year and I can safely say even some of the screenshots don’t do Bianca’s model justice.
Alexa Bliss not only has an awesome attire but she looks eerily haunting thanks to her tatty hair and makeup which fits perfectly with her fiendish persona. It would be wrong of me to say she looks stunning given the intention but damn does she look good.
Dana looks hands down the best she ever has in a WWE 2K videogame and while her attire may not be the most compelling her model and hair especially look so good.
When it comes to Shotzi WWE and 2K have truly captured her spirit and essence with Shotzi’s facial animations and model which look totally bad ass. Her attire may be from a while back but it looks great nonetheless and the team have even gone in and updated her tattoos as pointed out by players a few weeks back.
Candice LeRae was one of the models that look somewhat simplistic yet really good at the same time. Candice not only has a new entrance animation this year to fit with her new heel persona but she has her whole poison pixie look complete with a hairstyle I really hope makes the cut in the creation suite.
As I say I could probably easily go in and switch in who I think looks best purely because they all look so good this year, especially in certain instances when the camera, lighting effects and the overall visual presentation are used to their full potential.
This time around Alexa, Asuka, Bianca, Candice, Carmella, Chyna, Dakota, Io, Lacey, Nikki A.S.H, Rhea Ripley, Shayna and Sonya all have new entrance animations. When it comes to their entrances my top 5 would have to be Alexa Bliss, Io Shirai, Nikki A.S.H, Shotzi Blackheart and Lacey Evans.
For the last few days I haven’t been able to get Alexa’s entrance animation out of my head due to how great not only she looked but how much more fluid and animated her entrance is this time around. It may seem a tad dramatic but Alexa’s entrance was replicated perfectly to a tee with a mix of camera cuts and creepy movements that really sell Alexa’s new persona. Quite honestly the only thing that was missing was Lilly.
As soon as I saw her name in the list I had to try out Io Shirai and she certainly didn’t disappoint. Like Alexa Io’s entrance is mocapped perfectly and the motion really captures Shirai’s mannerisms as she makes her way to the ring. It may sound odd but one of the things I love about Io’s entrance is that her hood continually gets in her way during her entrance due to her rocking her head back and forth in time with her entrance theme making it seem much more lifelike and realistic.
Nikki’s entrance was actually the first women’s entrance I encountered and I was completely blown away by the camera angles and the overall visual presentation. This year the camera replicates camera cuts and angles we see on TV and I just couldn’t get enough of how well they were used during Nikki’s entrance and how realistic it looked. The entrance may be what you would expect for Nikki’s hero persona but it just goes to show how great things can look when you have other elements at play. Nikki also came with the Women’s Tag team championship which she shares with former tag team partner Rhea Ripley. Speaking of Champions fellow scot Kay Lee Ray also holds a championship in WWE 2K22 with the NXT UK Women’s Championship which came with an exclusive championship entrance for the former champ. Unfortunately the current NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose doesn’t have a new championship entrance or a new entrance in general but she does hold the NXT Women’s Championship ingame. Like Mandy, Nikki Cross and Rhea don’t have a championship entrance but Nikki’s entrance still looks great nonetheless.
If Nikki’s entrance wasn’t wacky enough in comes Shotzi frickin blackheart with her tank in one of the coolest WWE 2K entrances of all time. Shotzi’s tank entering the arena is one of the coolest sights to behold especially when you have Shotzi jeering on who looks just as bad ass. The titantrons, lighting and tank animations encapsulate the entrance perfectly and I can easily see this going down amazingly with players. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to test if the tank can be used during breakout entrances but trust me I will certainly testing that out.
For my final entrance I ended up siding with Lacey Evans which was a super hard decision especially when you have the likes of Carmella, Candice and Rhea’s new entrance. While Lacey’s entrance is pretty much straight forward it captures her southern belle sass perfectly and in all honesty it just made me miss Lacey on TV.
One of the coolest things about the new camera and visual effects this year is that old entrances feel completely new due to dynamic camera cuts, lighting and blur effects that truly elevate the entrances. One thing I did notice specifically about Alexa’s entrance as well as a few others is that the camera at start of some entrances pans as if it’s about to display AR graphics like the one of Lilly on current WWE programming. During my playthrough I didn’t see any AR Graphics ingame but fingers crossed these are added down the line, especially the Lilly graphics which would make Alexa’s entrance even more epic.
Whilst I’m not going to go into full detail about MyGM this time around I will say that for my MyGM experience I went with Sonya Deville as MyGM which showcased another version of Sonya in a blue variation of the suit we see her wear on TV.
Most importantly I can confirm you can book purely a female centric show with one women’s championship belt that corresponds with the show you choose which in my case was Friday Night SmackDown. Although I was excited about booking a women’s only show I was nervous that having only women on the show would affect my ratings and income compared to rival Adam Pearce who was spearheading NXT with a variety of male and female superstars. Thankfully I can confirm not only can you purely just focus on the women but that it doesn’t hinder your experience either. Initially I was coming second in ratings for at least the first six weeks but that was purely down to Pearce throwing his money at everything whilst I played it far more reserved and focused on building rivalries and acquiring new arenas, crew and visual effects. Once I had acquired upgraded logistics the momentum just kept building and building for my brand to the point I was thrashing Adam in not only ratings but revenue too. This meant I could then sign Chyna and Trish Stratus to legends contracts where I booked them as spectacle wrestlers boosting my brand and reputation.
Considering I’m not someone who really buys into management style games I had a pretty cool time here, especially in the opening moments of the MyGM mode which had a really awesome and motivational intro from the Billion Dollar Princess herself Stephanie McMahon. The initial draft picks and show menus look seriously cool and are accompanied by an epic sports backing track which really gives the feeling that you are making huge decisions. Each pick is narrated by the commentary team with a brief overview of the chosen superstar. Post draft can be a little repetitive when playing against the AI with a lot of information to read and recap including titbits from Triple H and your roster which although cool can get a little tedious when you want to book and play matches. I also don’t think it helps when matches are tied to single and tag team matches with only a few special matches thrown into the mix which I tended to try and keep for certain PPV’s and heated rivalries. Having managers and multi person matches would have really spiced things up especially for those in tag team rivalries which could only really be elevated by repeating the same tag team match ups. I would have loved being able to recreate tag team feuds that allowed me to have managers at ringside to break up the same tag matches week in week out. I do however think this whole dynamic will feel completely different when playing against friends, especially in person because you can experience and see every move in a bid to try and harm the competing brand.
Overall I did enjoy MyGM and enjoyed it far more than I ever thought I would but I do think it’s more of an appetiser of what’s to come in future versions instead of the main course many think it will be. Being able to focus purely on the women is a huge win and I certainly didn’t think the option would be there to do so, consider me happy!
In summary I really had a great time playing WWE 2K22 and even the things I wasn’t completely in love with still turned out pretty good so I think we may be on to a winner here. It’s clear to see the team have put in some serious grafting after WWE 2K20 to create a better game not only visually but also when it comes to the gameplay. I entered feeling somewhat optimistic and left feeling excited about the future and eager to get my hands on some more, sooner rather than later. I really hope this is the beginning of something special and I can’t wait to see what you at home make of the game when it hits shelves next month.