In a surprising turn of events following a disastrous 2020 outing, the WWE 2k franchise has been brought back from the brink.
The wrestling series had been in increasingly rickety shape after 2K took ownership of the franchise from THQ in 2014. 2K handed the series to Visual Concepts, who co-developed with original Japanese studio Yuke’s until 2018. Development duties on the 2019 edition fell entirely to Visual Concepts, and here things began to fall apart. WWE 2K20 launched in such an appalling state that 2K was forced to put the series on ice for a year while Visual Concepts reassessed its approach. From what is now understood, 2K came quite close to losing the WWE license over the state of the 2020 game, adding to the pressure on VC to pull the series back from the brink
With WWE 2K22, it seems Visual Concepts’ back-to-basics approach has paid dividends, with fans and critics alike finding the experience much improved.
Over on Metacritic, the game currently holds a 76 score from critics, and a 7.9 from user reviews. This kind of broad consensus doesn’t happen very often, which means VC must have hit the mark.
Press Start Australia’s review called it “a wrestling game packing more than a few (superman) punches.” Player 2 was slightly more reserved in its assessment, saying “While not perfect, it is hard not to be excited about the first genuinely enjoyable WWE title in what seems like an age.”
GamesHub’s 4-star review, written by former Kotakuan Leah Williams, called it “a vast improvement on WWE 2K20, and one of the best games of the entire WWE 2K series.”
I trust Leah’s opinion on this. I’ve met few who know more about the sport than her. If she says it’s that good, it must be so.
On the user reviews side, from the 115 takes on the PS5 version of the game, 91 were positive. Among the positive reviews, many authors voiced sincere enthusiasm about the forthcoming Logan Paul DLC. This enthusiasm did not come from a desire to play as Logan Paul, but an eagerness to beat the shit out of his digital avatar.
And so, as Philip DeFranco might say, we pass the question off to you: Is WWE 2K22 a striking return to form or is it more of the same? Have Visual Concepts managed to turn its wayward ship around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!