WWE 2K22 was officially announced at Wrestlemania 37, but against the odds, I’m not at all convinced by the upcoming game.
Being a life-long pro wrestling fan (and for the most part a fan of the WWE video game series), I should be excited about the WWE 2K22 announcement. However, I feel far from thrilled right now.
The trouble is with the WWE 2K series is that we’ve been burned too frequently in recent years, and it’s fair to say that my trust has been lost, at least for now.
As the famous quote goes: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.”
WWE 2K20 – What Happened?
Last year the WWE 2K series took a year-long break, meaning that we never got a WWE 2K21. In a nutshell, the reason being was that WWE 2K20 was a bit of a trash fire.
WWE 2K20 was glitchy and full of bugs, offering burnt-out gameplay that had more than lost its smile. The series’ once-beloved career mode was simply woeful. I could go on for longer, but I have to get on with this article.
In truth, the WWE 2K series had been on a downward spiral for a number of years, and when veteran developer Yukes left the WWE brand during the development of WWE 2K20, Visual Concepts took over mid-cycle.
To be fair to Visual Concepts, video game development is tough enough as it is, but to take over mid-development is an even more challenging task.
Using my incredible Captain Hindsight powers, looking back, perhaps WWE 2K20 was the game that should have missed its release. At least then we might have missed its many, many problems, and 2K21 could have released with having had longer in development.
WWE 2K21 was the game that inevitably missed out, and finally we should be able to look forward to WWE 2K22 this year. But can we?
WWE 2K22 – Getting It Right?
When the awesome-looking gameplay trailer for WWE 2K22 dropped during Wrestlemania 37 featuring the “Greatest Mask of All-Time”, Rey Mysterio, I was initially excited. But once that dust had settled, I began to feel concerned.
Pretty much every gameplay reveal trailer for a WWE 2K game has looked great, but when you finally play the full game, for better or worse it all feels very familiar. That is unless they change the controls for no good reason other than to cause unnecessary confusion.
The main concern that I have is this: has developer Visual Concepts had enough time to put its own stamp on the series, and ultimately ensure that WWE 2K22 is a good game? Or will we get a rehash of a formula which, clearly, isn’t working for the series?
We can probably expect Visual Concepts to be reusing old assets from Yukes’ time working on the series. I’m sure that Visual Concepts would have created its own assets to an extent, but for existing wrestlers, it would make sense to tweak the assets that already exist.
I have concerns that no matter how great the game might look, the likelihood is that WWE 2K22 will essentially be running on the same software as before. Will that just blow the curtain wide open to invite all the issues that had plagued WWE 2K20 and those games that came before? I really hope not.
Online modes are also a worry. Ever since the WWE video game series went online generations ago, I loved the thought of playing against other players across the world.
However, in reality, you’d be thrown into a Wrestlemania Lagfest, with matches being all but impossible to get through. Can Visual Concepts finally give us a smooth online experience?
Then we have the prospect of outdated wrestlers no longer on the WWE roster, and with Visual Concepts already playing catch-up, plus when you consider that WWE release batches of “Superstars” a year, it’s likely that we’ll once again get an outdated roster that will only be updated via paid DLC.
At this stage as much as I want to be excited for WWE 2K22, I’m struggling to feel that power of positivity right now.
At the end of the day, all I want is a game that functions fully, is an enjoyable experience, and is ultimately a game that is worth our hard-earned cash.
But isn’t that just the minimum requirement that we’d want from any video game we buy? Sadly in this day and age, that minimum requirement seems to be few and far between for some genres.
To be optimistic, I really hope that Visual Concepts knocks it out of the park with WWE 2K22 and proves all the doubters wrong (including me), but at the end of the day, that trust needs to be earned.
Thankfully if all else fails, at least we have the upcoming AEW console game which, coincidently, is developed by Yukes.
WWE 2K22 is expected to release sometime in 2021. What are your thoughts on the prospects of WWE 2K22? Let us know across our social media channels.
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Featured Image Credit: 2K Games