WWE 2K22 is less than three weeks away from launching with Early Access, and we got to a chance to try the new MyGM mode ahead of time.
With a full two hours to experience the rebirth of GM Mode, our first impressions of WWE 2K22 MyGM actually put this ahead of the classic that inspired it.
WWE 2K22 MyGM feels just as fun as GM Mode did in SmackDown vs. Raw
WWE 2K22 is scheduled for a release date on March 11, 2022, but 2K and Visual Concepts were kind enough to let us preview an early build of the game ahead of launch.
While things were restricted to only MyGM and standard Play Now exhibition matches, this alone allowed us to get a great idea of how the game will feel to players at launch.
Right from the start, the MyGM experience feels very fresh and the user interface was informative and responsive at every turn, something that a lot of sports games and their own Franchise Mode iterations don't really pull off.
Choosing your GM and going through the MyGM Draft is an easy to understand experience while keeping it challenging as there are multiple factors to consider with each decision.
Once things got rolling, it was the extra pieces of the puzzle that really made MyGM shine, including the new Power Cards mechanic which allows you to save money or boost your Superstars at key moments.
On top of that, the weekly Commissioner Goals and challenges that come through communication with superstars helps guide and test you every step of the way.
While there are clear differences, WWE 2K22 MyGM actually captured the spirit and enjoyment of GM Mode in SmackDown vs. Raw while upgrading the overall experience.
MyGM isn't GM Mode, but that's actually a good thing
As simple as it may seem to clone a game mode from over a decade ago, making it work exactly the same in a completely different era of gaming with different developmental challenges isn't a quick or easy task.
With that said, it's also not the case that MyGM needs to actually be a replica of GM Mode, as players should rightfully expect the developers to innovate and improve on a game mode from another era.
Unfortunately, some of those changes aren't going to be ones that every player likes, and there are a few big ones that could end up receiving significant criticism.
MyGM uses a much smaller match card for shows than GM Mode did in the past, cutting standard weekly events in half with just 3 matches instead of the standard 6 seen in SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, and that expands to just 4 or 5 matches in MyGM for big events.
On top of that, MyGM has been further simplified with only two championship per brand, one men's and one women's title each, meaning that secondary belts and tag team titles are completely absent from the game mode.
With that potentially bad news for some out of the way, these changes don't actually hinder the actual experience of MyGM, but rather than shift the focus to other areas.
Having recently replayed GM Mode in SmackDown vs. Raw 2006, it quickly got difficult and time-consuming to keep track of up to six rivalries at a time for a brand with a minimum of four championships and to book a minimum of six matches each week, not including secondary shows of the era like Sunday Night Heat or Velocity.
MyGM takes away some needless complexity and moves it to other areas, instead challenging you to handle a smaller roster with new obstacles like spending your budget to upgrade production value or fulfilling requests from superstars or Commissioner Triple H.
As much as things have changed, playing through a handful of weeks of MyGM during our brief preview still left us begging for more, not in what the mode delivered but simply more time to play what they've brought to the table this year.
If you're hoping to see a modern replica of GM Mode, you may want to temper expectations, but don't let that prevent you from giving WWE 2K22 MyGM a fair shot and seeing how much fun this new iteration can be.