WWE 2K22 takes on the massive task of rescuing the series after the disastrous launch of WWE 2K20 and non-existent WWE 2K21.
With plenty on the line, is WWE 2K22 the wrestling game we all need, or just another step backward?
Here's our WWE 2K22 review covering the highly anticipated return of GM Mode with MyGM, expanded single-player career mode MyRISE, fresh new Ultimate Team variant MyFACTION, and everything else 2K has brought to the squared circle this year.
MyGM offers a deeply strategic and replayable take on GM Mode
MyGM is 2K's take on the beloved GM Mode game mode that hasn't been featured in the series since WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2008. In this game mode, players compete with an AI or player opponent to take over two WWE brands and go head-to-head, booking shows for a set period of time to try and earn the most fans.
First, we'll address the elephants in the room for WWE 2K22 MyGM. The game mode allows players to only book 3 matches per week and offers just two titles per brand (a women's and men's singles championship). That means there are no Tag Team Championships on any of the four playable brands.
This might seem like a massive downgrade from GM Mode's past until you look into the massive depth that WWE 2K22 MyGM offers.
MyGM offers a unique experience with every new save with tons of variables to contend with each week. This starts from the Draft, where players pick from a random pool of superstars to build rosters under a set budget.
All superstars have a Class, and these Classes have Class matchups that make for better matches. Outside of the draft players can also hire random Free Agents and Legends each week.
In MyGM matches are rated based on matchups, rivalries, match types, synergies, stamina, popularity, and plenty more. Further, shows are rated based on match quality, show pacing, arenas, crew, special effects, advertisements, and more.
A combination of these ratings decides how many fans you gain and how much money you make each week.
With so much to think about, these 3 matches and 2 promo slots a show (more for PPVs) end up feeling like a ton, and the variance makes for a more replayable experience.
MyRISE brings back the spirit of some of the best wrestling Career Modes
WWE 2K22 MyRISE is a new Career Mode that expands the experience with tons of potential storylines, consequential decisions, and for the first time ever, a different path for Men's and Women's divisions.
2K has stated the overall length of WWE 2K22 MyRISE totals 50 hours of gameplay (with 1000 possible matches). With tons of decisions to make, storylines to engage in, and dialogue along the way.
MyRISE starts from your character's arrival at the WWE Performance Center (PC), a state-of-the-art facility that trains the next generation of WWE superstars. Along the way, players draw from their background of choice (with four options including Indie Wrestler, MMA Fighter, Actor, and Pro Athlete) which fuels storylines as well as offers some unique stats.
MyRISE puts its story in the hands of players, with tons of choices along the way, all with consequences that shape your WWE career from start to finish. This includes being a hero or villain and making allies or enemies on your road to the top.
Whether you find yourself fighting in Japan, Mexico, the WWE PC, NXT, Raw, or Smackdown any given week, your story is always progressing to new places based on the choices you make, and this freedom draws from some of the best wrestling Career Modes of history.
MyFACTION falls short of the Ultimate Team experience
Ultimate Team-style game modes have taken over sports video games across the board including FIFA, NBA 2K, Madden, NHL, MLB The Show, and more, and the craze has finally reached the WWE 2K series.
WWE 2K22 takes Ultimate Team in a very creative direction however with MyFACTION.
In MyFACTION, players collect cards to build the faction of their dreams with unique pairings of superstars to tackle challenges with and take over wrestling.
While the concept is very innovative and the potential of MyFACTION is very clear, WWE 2K22 doesn't exactly offer the final version many players were hoping for.
This is due to the fact that WWE 2K22 MyFACTION is only a single-player game mode.
Ultimate Team game modes thrive on their communities, whether it's for competition, the market of buying and selling cards, or taking on your friends, multiplayer access is a key piece of the puzzle. WWE 2K22 MyFACTION is lacking this multiplayer functionality, and as a result, won't have nearly the level of success it deserves.
While we expect 2K will innovate MyFACTION to offer multiplayer in the future, whether it's in an update to WWE 2K22 or development for WWE 2K23, for now, the mode will end up a massive disappointment for many strictly for being single-player-only.
After significant time going through everything the game has to offer, it's time to get to the verdict of our WWE 2K22 review. So how good is the game overall?
- MyGM brings back a beloved game mode in a new way that innovates the experience, rewarding deep strategy and casual play alike and offering a ton of replayability.
- MyRISE elevates the WWE 2K standard career mode to new heights, recapturing some of the glory of its famous predecessors like WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain
- MyFACTION has a ton of potential as 2K's first foray into an Ultimate Team game mode in the WWE 2K series with an innovative concept behind it.
- Core gameplay changes create a less stale experience in matches, expanding striking systems, defensive play, and grappling across the board.
- An expanded creative suite allows for tons of customization options as well as the addition of archetypes to let players cut to the chase if they prefer.
- Showcase blends gameplay with real-life wrestling history in an exciting and cinematic way.
- The WWE 2K22 soundtrack is the best we've heard in years from the series, and the creative input of MGK has led to a great selection from a range of genres.
- MyFACTION's hype is almost entirely dashed by being a single-player-only Ultimate Team experience.
- MyGM's innovation is hampered by only offering local multiplayer.
- MyGM is missing tag team championships and many common match types like Triple Threat, Fatal 4-Way, Six-Man Tag Team, Handicap, and more.
- Some corny dialogue and story consistency issues can take a bit away from the MyRISE experience.
- Universe Mode falls behind as new game modes steal the show and no significant changes are made.
- Slow performance and stutters can make character creation a much more time-consuming exercise including movesets and entrances.
WWE 2K22 does an amazing job of reviving the series we all know and love and has all the potential to be the best wrestling game we've seen in years.
The only thing truly holding WWE 2K22 back is its lack of multiplayer options for the new MyFACTION and MyGM game modes.
Unfortunately, this is a glaring issue that leaves MyFACTION much less exciting and MyGM limited with an AI that changes next to nothing based on how you play.
RealSport Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)