After a year away, 2K announced it’s stepping back in the wrestling video game arena with the reveal of WWE 2K22. The publisher debuted a brief teaser video during Night 1 of Wrestlemania 37 that doesn’t offer much in terms of in-game footage but serves to get fans excited that the series is making a comeback.
Rey Mysterio headlines the trailer in a cinematic match-up against Cesaro. The live-action video incorporates gameplay footage of the same bout, providing glimpses of the superstars’ in-game character models. Unfortunately, outside of the game’s tagline of “It Hits Different”, the trailer doesn’t divulge platforms, a cover star, or a release date.
This marks the return of WWE 2K after it took a year off in 2020. Besides the pandemic complicating game development, the other big reason for the hiatus was that the previous game, WWE 2K20, was an unmitigated disaster. It launched with a myriad of technical issues that made it nigh unplayable at times, and the game’s more outrageous bugs launched a thousand memes that made it the laughing stock of the gaming world. While Visual Concepts went back to the drawing board, Saber Interactive released the arcade-style WWE Battlegrounds last September in place of a 2K game.
As someone who reviewed WWE 2K20 (and hated it), 2K22 has a steep mountain to climb if it wants to right the ship. Glitches are one thing, but the series has long suffered from legacy issues like the sluggish and overly convoluted gameplay and scaled back features. 2K22 needs to do a lot more than not catch fire while playing it; the series needs a fundamental redesign from the ground-up.
The main problem has been that, as an annual series, you can only change so much with such a tight deadline and, in theory, who cares? WWE 2K is the only major wrestling sim in town (at least for now), and fans buy these games in droves no matter what because of that. That doesn’t create much incentive to shake things up, but, to their credit, 2K and Visual Concepts said it’s taken 2K20’s reception to heart and promises a substantial overhaul for 2K22. With an extra year of development, not to mention the added horsepower of the new consoles, they’re in a better position to do so than ever before. We’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Are you excited for WWE 2K22 and what do you hope to see in the game? Let us know in the comments.