There IS a new way to play though, which lets you select a single Superstar and play as them each week, with an the option to do things like “Have a Title Match”, “Form a Tag Team” or “Start a rivalry” offered to you on a scheduled basis.
It sounds like a fun concept, but I played for around 15 weeks as Dolph Ziggler and in that time I faced The Miz about 10 times, randomly squared off against my tag partner Robert Roode with no explanation or consequence, and failed to get a Tag Title shot despite being #1 contenders for 2 months and specifically choosing “Have a Title Match”.
If you enjoyed Universe mode in the previous games you’re going to enjoy it here too, but just be aware that a lot of the problems and inconsistencies in those previous games don’t seem to have been addressed.
WWE 2K22 MyRise Mode
This is a big step in the right direction, especially in comparison to last years bizarre, cheesy, polarising career mode.
MyRise allows the player to create a male or (for the first time ever) female Superstar, and progress their career from the Development Centre right to the Main Event of WrestleMania, increasing stats and gaining new abilities along the way.
Superstars will be able to shape their path by making decisions that align them as a heel or a face, and that attribute shapes further interactions as they move on. I think this aspect needs some fleshing out (often your GM will ask you to flip from a heel to a face on a weekly basis) but it’s a strong jumping-off point.
My first impression of MyRise was that my actions weren’t having an impact from one week to the next, and everything was a bit samey.
As an example I won the 24/7 Championship by responding to a DM on Twitter, but after a few matches it was forgotten about. I don’t carry the belt with me, I don’t get attacked in the back, it’s not mentioned anywhere that I’m the Champion.
It all felt a bit… throw-away.
But the longer I played the more I realised there are some meaty storylines built into this mode, such as one where your Superstar tries to pull together a WCW Reunion night.
I have no idea how much longevity this mode will have, but I’ve sunk a good 10 hours into it already and I’m still having fun.
WWE 2K22 MyFaction Mode
I’d love to talk more about MyFaction as it looks really fun, but almost every time I’ve tried to play it I get kicked to a screen that says ‘You must be connected to the internet to play this mode’ or something to that effect.
I did wonder if it was my internet connection, but everything else on my PS5 seemed to be working OK, so I have to assume the 2K22 servers are taking a while to bed in.
The handful of times I DID get to play, I quite enjoyed it.
It’s WWE 2K22’s answer to NBA 2K’s MyTeam, which is in turn 2K’s answer to FIFA Ultimate Team, and sees the player putting together a 4 person, 1 manager faction.
The faction can then be used to complete various “challenge” matches and “Towers” to earn more randomised packs of cards. These packs contain more Superstars, cosmetic items and disposable items such as contracts, which are required for your Faction members to wrestle more matches.
It’s an infinite gameplay loop that has been proven to work amazingly well in the FIFA series, both in terms of engaging gameplay and parting players from their hard-earned, real-life cash.
I couldn’t write a first impressions piece about a WWE 2K game without having a section on glitches.
It didn’t take long for reports of glitches to come flooding in, but personally I haven’t experienced that many.
The game crashed completely once during Universe Mode, and I lost a match because my tag partner got stuck in a loop of climbing the turnbuckle rather than leaving the ring, leading to a 5 count and a DQ, but that’s about it.
It’s not perfect, but in comparison to 2K20 where every other match would have some degree of madness going on, it’s a huge improvement.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first.
You may have noticed that I didn’t mention General Manager Mode when I just covered off Game Modes. It’s something I’ve wanted to see make a comeback in WWE games for well over a decade.
I even went as far as to drunkenly harass THQ Game Director Cory Ledesma at a boozy WWE ’13 pre-launch press event, demanding the mode be reinstated; it didn’t work.
I fully intended to cover it off here, but I realised I’d rambled on way more than I expected to already, and I have A LOT to say about G.M Mode.
So much so I decided it would be best addressed separately, at some point in the near future.
Aside from that there is still A LOT of ground I haven’t covered in WWE 2K22. The creation suite looks gigantic this time around, there is a lot more to MyFaction than I’ve been able to see and there is a ton of DLC in the pipeline.
But to loop back to that initial question; is WWE 2K22 a good game? Yes.
It’s not the best of all time, everyone knows that accolade belongs to
Royal Rumble on Dreamcast No Mercy on N64, but things are definitely moving in the right direction!
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