WWE 2K22 Gameplay Impressions: Combos pair HUGE with new control scheme

Ahead of the WWE 2K22 release date in a few short weeks, we got the opportunity to spend a few hours playing an early build to try the new gameplay out first hand.

Even in that brief window, it's clear that WWE 2K22 gameplay takes a big step forward this year as new innovations like combos pair well with the adjusted controls.

WWE 2K22 Gameplay First Impressions: Tutorial or not tutorial?

With WWE 2K22 almost here, Visual Concepts and 2K Games offered us and others a chance to try the game first hand to see whether it truly "hits different" as they've loved to tout during the build towards launch.

While our time with the game was limited, just a few hours with an early build of the title and much of that occupied by exploring the new MyGM mode, we also had a chance to compete in a handful of matches and feel things out.

Right out of the gate, we'd like to recommend (as the developers continue to stress) that even veteran players go through the full tutorial when starting in WWE 2K22.

However, we can confirm that the controls are intuitive and similar enough to past versions that you can get a feel for things without the tutorial, as it does have the "pick up and play" feel that developers have stressed when speaking about the changes they made.

While WWE 2K22 gameplay is littered with nuance and extra ways to improve your strategy or style, aspects that are explained well in the tutorial featuring Drew Gulak, the average player should still be able to pick up a controller to play with a friend and enjoy their experience.

WWE 2K22 brings combos to the table with revamped controls

In recent years, WWE games have had a tendency to let their gameplay become formulaic and stale. In WWE 2K20, it felt much like going through the motions to hit each of your various moves rather than actually creating a flow with the match.

While we'll have to see how that changes over time, our first impressions in actually playing this new control scheme was very positive, and the way combos filter into everything are a big part of that.

Reversals have been simplified to have just one button, and that same button is one you can use to actively block attacks, something that we've not seen in the franchise before.

WWE 2K22 gameplay controls
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NEW CONTROLS: This year the whole control scheme got some changes

On top of that, the WWE 2K22 controls have a a new dodge button, also a great defensive tool, but it's combos that shine on offense as you get to perform fighting game style button combinations to deliver some of your superstar's biggest moves.

Just like classic fighting games, combos are specific to every individual competitor, which isn't exactly a small undertaking with the size of the WWE 2K22 roster.

On top of that, they've added some clarity to controls by making the Finisher, Signature, Payback, and Submission into their own button combinations while pinfalls were simplified as well.

All of this comes together to provide more fluid in-ring gameplay that we've felt in years, with plenty of challenge as you fight against things like the Stunned status condition or reversals, the latter of which is no longer limited like it had been in the past.

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