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    Sunday, November 21, 2021

    Play Henry: WWE 2K22's Hit List Hits the Right Spots

    It hits different. This is WWE 2K22's tag line for this year and as seen from the recently released "Hit List" trailer, it may prove to be true. The latest video from 2K Games shows ten features that will surely distance this game from the abysmal WWE 2K20. WWE.com even released a short article detailing the items shown so we can be excited for the things coming in next year's video game release.

    After watching the new trailer, a few things stood out right off the bat. First of all, the long-awaited return of "General Manager Mode"—now referred to as MyGM—has finally been announced. This was a feature last seen in SmackDown vs. Raw 2007 and was well-loved by many players—even getting featured regularly on King Woods' YouTube channel UpUpDownDown. I love this announcement, and I love the fact that they didn't try to mix it with Universe Mode or replace Universe Mode altogether.

    Though not a lot of information was released, judging from the screenshots, it looks like we'll be seeing weight classes and the WWE Draft featured in this mode. I hope it'll feel like the GM mode of old but with cutscenes inserted in for longevity. You can be sure the Smark Henry offices will be playing this mode the most. Who knows? We might even start our own Twitch or YouTube channel just to showcase who the best armchair booker is from the group.

    Another interesting feature shown was the MyFaction mode which looks to be a version of 2K's MyTeam mode from its other sports games. Players will be able to collect, manage, and upgrade Superstars and join weekly events and see regular updates. I hope this will bring some variety to the game, especially with the possibility of making faction-specific uniforms—I'm already imagining my own version of the nWo or DX! I do hope that Superstar doubles be addressed shall it come up during online matches as it will take away from the realism if it isn't.

    MyCareer mode also returns, although via a different name—MyRISE. While I personally did not enjoy the MyCareer mode from the previous outings, I hope downloadable content or storyline updates will be made available since the WWE.com article does state that "new storylines will be available for both male and female MyPlayers." Imagine a career mode with ever-changing goals, stories, or Superstars. Think of it as Universe Online if it happens (though that may be me asking for too much.)

    The WWE 2K Showcase also returns this year, with Rey Mysterio seemingly being the focus. This was not blatantly confirmed, however, he was shown in the trailer talking about some career moments so the possibility is highly likely. If they are featuring Mysterio in this game mode, I want them to treat it like they did in WWE 2K16's Stone Cold Showcase. Imagine seeing Rey's early ECW or WCW days, which might allow some legends to be put in the game. Ultimo Dragon perhaps? Juventud Guerrera? Psicosis? Unmasked Rey maybe? There's so much to be added if they revisit this portion of Mysterio's legendary career!

    Other features that were announced include the Universe Mode, the Creation Suite, the redesigned gameplay engine, the new graphics style, and new controller options. Honestly, these were things that we might have already expected, but not much was shown about how these features have evolved over time. The graphics shown were definitely more life-like than 2K20's—perhaps looking the best it has to date. The camera options looked slightly different, although admittedly, I'm not a fan of what looks like camera shakes during moves. I hope you can turn that off in-game.

    The new control scheme is interesting, but I really think they should allow the option to switch back to the 2K19 controls because those are the most comfortable option for longtime players. Last year's control scheme was a step in the wrong direction, and I felt it was done just to claim that they changed something with the controls. The new dodge button stood out from the screenshot, so I'm curious if it will end up similar to WWF No Mercy's step-back button but that's really all we know for now.

    As for Universe Mode, I pray that we finally get to set specific cutscenes or actual storylines every week so that we can finally live our dreams of becoming wrestling magnates. One new feature implied was the ability to play as one specific Superstar for the mode's duration. The game might just end up as an unlimited version of the MyCareer mode instead of becoming the randomized GM mode I was expecting.

    Lastly, there was a brief clip about the Creation Suite and what looked to be class templates. Striker, Technician, Powerhouse, and High Flyer were the classes shown, although hopefully, these templates don't restrict us from making hybrid characters. This was a mistake that I felt SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 made because it limited the possibilities in terms of moves and styles. As someone who uses most of his time playing around with this feature, I'm hoping that they add more features and not take them away so we can finally create the custom Superstars that we've wanted without requiring paint tools or hair hacks. A suspiciously absent feature was the image upload tool though I expect it to be still present in-game.

    With more information promised by January 2022, WWE 2K22 already looks like an improvement over WWE 2K20—as it should, considering the two-year hiatus. However, with rumors of 2K Games/2K Sports dealing with problems regarding the roster, along with the recent wave of roster cuts, one has to wonder what the final roster of Superstars might look like. With WWE 2K19 sporting the largest in-game roster ever (224 characters), one has to wonder how big of a hit the game will take from the releases over the last couple of years.

    Well, we've still got a few months until the game's release, and the possible lack of roster slots can easily be remedied by adding more Create-A-Superstar slots (or even adding Legend slots). So with that in mind, I think things may still turn for the better. With most fans craving for a new game that would rival or end up being better than WWE 2K19, I hope WWE 2K22 does hit different as advertised.

    Photos and videos from WWE.com and the WWE 2K22 Hit List trailer


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your resident Young Rock and NXT reviewer here at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) Instagramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz), and streaming videogames on Twitch (@the_migz) while he pursues his musical career via his YouTube channel (Migz Llado) and courtesy of his band The Mox (TheMoxRocks). You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE 2K (or any PS4) skills.
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    Item Reviewed: Play Henry: WWE 2K22's Hit List Hits the Right Spots Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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