Hey and welcome back to the Revelleution and some new WWE 2K22 information as earlier today WWE and 2K unveiled a brand new series by the name of Ringside Report hosted by wwe 2k’s art producer Christina Diem Pham and WWE 2K’s creative director Lynell Jinks. In the Ringside report the duo go over the visual improvements made in WWE 2K22 as well as the brand new gameplay system and what you can expect when you get your hands on the game.
Before we get into anything I just want to say I absolutely love the dynamic between Lynell and Christina and it makes for a far more entertaining yet informative way to give the fans an update with fellow dev team members set to pop in and out over the coming months. When the January trailer hit I said I loved the fresh take with new energy and that I hoped that same energy would continue through the rest of the campaign, thankfully it looks as though this might be the case and I wholeheartedly hope it continues.
Seeing as today’s ringside report goes a little deeper than usual we’ll be doing things a little differently and splitting the video into sections and picking out the most important information.
This time around 2K approached the game and it’s production with the goal of having the WWE superstars represented to the best of their ability and one of their ultimate priorities. With that goal in mind the team decided to bring in the same technology used in their fan favourite NBA 2K series with the cross polorization scans and the hugely requested update to hair physics and design. After seeing the results of just how big an improvement the new technology made in NBA 2K22, it was a no brainer for the team to replicate and remodel the WWE Superstars in WWE 2K22. According to Jinx the technology allows WWE Superstars to have a new level of detail but without the brand new lighting and vfx, none of that work would look as good as it does righthere.
The WWE Superstars are only a fraction of the huge task of overhauling the game with the the lighting and VFX engine being updated this time around. Overhauling the lighting and VFX engine means that the game looks more TV accurate than ever before, especially when you compare it to previous iterations in the 2K series.
Speaking of new and improved, Jinx and Christina also provided a quick sneak peek look at the highly teased new and improved Championships with a look at the United States Championship, Intercontinental Championship, SmackDown Women’s Championship, WWE World Heavyweight Championship, RAW Women’s Championship, Universal Championship, NXT UK Tag Team Championships.
Whilst the Superstars may be an integral part of the game you can’t leave out the environments and arenas with 55 playable arenas this time around including what looks to be two versions of the Thunderdome with one version featuring the virtual crowd as seen during the Performance Centre era.
As Chistina and Jinx move onto the new and improved gameplay the pair are joined by the gameplay leadership team which includes the Principal Designer Jason Vandiver, Senior Designer Derek Donahue and Senior producer Jonathan Rivera. With intoductions out of the way the team give us our very first look at official inring gameplay.
On discussing what makes WWE 2K22 ‘hit different’, Jason explained that the new animation system has allowed the team to greatly improve the look and the feel of the characters. From how the superstars move and interact with the environments around them, to how they interact with other superstars, every animation has been overhauled. Jason also added that the superstars and ai are way more responsive this time around and you no longer have to fight against the controls to make your chosen superstar to do exactly what you want and make those important moves connect.
Another aspect that has been improved this time around are the physics. In previous instalments the main focus has been animating the hair and cloth textures, for WWE 2K22 the team have introduced breakable props such as fraying kendo sticks, chairs and more dynamic breaks to the outside environments including barricades as well as all new table breaks.
Moving on to gamplay Derek said the focus this time around was for WWE 2K22 to have the element of a pick up and play title, opening the game up to new players as well as providing a challenge for returning players. As part of that the team have revamped the control scheme with three focal points being the new Light Attacks and Heavy Attacks as well as the Grapple system.
Light Attacks are the fastest attacks in the game, which although quick provide minimal damage compared to other moves.
Heavy Attacks, formerly known as the strong strikes are bigger yet slower attacks that deal more damage to opponents.
When it comes to grapples, players can press the grapple button with the option to follow up with a light or heavy attack as well as an irish whip or the cary and drag system. According to Jonathan the combos this year are simple and dynamic and offer a more strategic gameplay with the execution of a light attack beginning a string of possible combo moves. Different combos will suit different superstars and playstyles and are completely customisable to cater for each player’s suited playstyle.
It seems as though strategic playing is a game changer this time around which opens the game up to players of all skill levels with a new defensive way to play. A new addition to the series are breakers which coincide with reversals, this time around counters and grapples don’t use up reversals but remain in place for striking animations. This time around players use a rock paper scissors style system called Breakers which come into play once combos and grapples are activated. If the opponent choses the same light, heavy or grapple input the opponent will then counter said action with a reversal. So in summary moves are countered with breakers and everything else is countered with reversals.
Another new feature is the implementation of blocking stances which can withstand light and heavy attacks as well as running attacks. Blocking stances come into play when holding the block button and when performed correctly can counter-attack opponents faster in retaliation. Players can now also dodge with the right buffer when chosing a direction and although more risky compared to a block can be quite handy if excuted correctly.
The Right bumper can also be used to allow players to get back on their feet faster when downed, but at the cost of player resources. Alternatively players will have to resort to button mashing to get up off the mat as well as when being pinned.
Defensive play will be a lot more strategic this time around and even when attacking you have to think about how the opponent may counter your every move.
Switching to the HUD Jonathan said the team wanted to strip down all the unessary parts seen in previous HUD menus and only display the relevant information for the players.
The Top of the HUD displays the players Vitality Meter which is essentially the players health bar. Underneath the vitality bar we have the special meter which contains resources that are used for players signatures, payback and defensive actions. The bottom gold bar is the Finisher metere which can store up to 3 finishers. This time around the team decided to remove the reversal stock bars due to the introduction of unlimited reversals and more strategic gameplay. According to the team the removal of limited reversals has provided a wild variety of gameplay sessions, with players going back and forth in memorable matches.
As part of that motion they also implemented a new stun meter which is displayed on Superstars after taking damage. Light attacks while doing less damage to the superstar increases the stun bar, once filled the superstar becomes stunned and unable to reverse or a use a breaker which provides the opportunity to use grapples and finishers.
In previous games players would have to wait for their opponent to use up all their reversals before attempting to hit a finisher but now thanks to the variety of options such as the breakers and stun meters it really does become a game of chess between opponents. According to jinx all the new features create a more intense matchup and encourages players to practise their button mashing skills prior to release.
Switching away from the gameplay in the closing moments of the video Christina quizzed the team on what their favourite moments have been and what they are most looking forward to once the game launches. With Jason focusing primarily on gameplay, he said he’s most looking forward to the introduction of MyRise after hearing great things from fellow team members working on that portion of the game. In a slight tease Jason said after hearing what they’ve been working on they are ready to deliver an awesome story to the fans.
When it comes to Derek he’s most looking forward to exploring the brand new redesigned backstage areas with a lot of really cool things going on that have yet to be seen by the fans.
Jonathan said he’s most looking forward to diving into the Rey Mysterio showcase mode and replaying those classic matches that have been recreated in WWE2K22. Although Christina may have overlooked him originally Jinks said he’s been lucky enough to have explored all avenues in WWE 2K22 and he can’t wait to see how all the different modes gel together and for fans to start having fun in a new WWE 2K game.
I have to say I really do love the vibe the team gave off here today, not only did we get a huge chunk of information we’ve been waiting on for weeks, but we also got to have some fun in the process. Like I said in the opening Christina and Jinks have some really great energy and I hope this is how things pan out going forward in future Ringside reports.
I will say I’m pleasantly surprised by how much more open and excited I am about the different playstyle after being someone who usually much prefers the simulation style we have all come to know and love. Having this strategic method constantly playing throughout a match will create a more intense matchup between fellow players and AI, even moreso when it comes to important events such as title matches.
The addition of breakers and the tweaks to existing features could really open the game up to more competitive match ups between players and create a complete new faction of WWE 2K fans and competitive content. I can only gauge so much watching the matchup and I can’t wait to get my hands on the actual game itself so I can see how it feels for myself. Last month fellow content creators Vybe insisted that playing the tutorial upon starting the game is the best way to go and now I can honestly see why. In all honesty I can’t remember the last time I had to play a wrestling video game tutorial but I kind of can’t wait to see just how different things may be.
But that’s enough about what I think of today’s video I want to know what you at home make of the changes to the controls and gameplay. Later today we’ll be going over all of the showcases male and female superstars shown in the trailer as I didn’t want anything to get lost in the shuffle especially given how long we’ve waited for gameplay.