Everything new in WWE 2K22’s MyRise, MyGM, and Universe modes
Apr 17, 2022
WWE 2K22 actually had the chance for a full development cycle after years of WWE 2K games being rushed out one after the other, and it’s much better off as a result. The MyRise, Showcase Mode, Universe Mode, and MyGM modes all add something different to the WWE 2K22 experience. So what’s new in WWE 2K22?
Much of the game’s content will be familiar to fans. Universe Mode and Showcase Mode are effectively staples of WWE games at this point. MyGM and MyRise are technically new modes, but should be familiar to players who have stuck it out with WWE games over the years. Here’s what each of these new options offer, and how they differ from previous years.
WWE 2K22 MyRise mode offers a story for created wrestlers
MyRise is essentially the story mode of WWE 2K22, letting players take a created character from trainee status at the WWE Performance Center to the world championship of their choice.
The game mode is the perfect encapsulation of WWE. It has big, well-executed moments bridged together with poor writing packed with buzzwords that make it difficult to take anything seriously. The square pegs of real-life wrestlers are jammed into the circular hole of voice acting, with generally poor results. Some shine in this role, including Drew Gulak and the Miz, but the early stages of WWE 2K22’s MyRise mode will largely center around an aged Shawn Michaels grumbling his way through his lines.
MyRise still isn’t bad and it’s compelling enough to be the proper single-player experience of WWE 2K22.
2K Showcase focuses on Rey Mysterio’s WWE career, sort of
Alongside MyRise, WWE 2K22 boasts a new Showcase Mode centered around the WCW and WWE career of Rey Mysterio. As is often the case with WWE-produced historical content, it’s not particularly true to life.
The gameplay of Showcase Mode in WWE 2K22 is the same as ever. Players are put into in-game matches that are meant to accurately retrace notable real-life matches. This is done through in-game objectives that pop up to steer players towards emulating the original match. Between the matches is documentary-style footage of Rey Mysterio discussing each match and its significance.
This has been a solid formula in the past but it largely falls flat here. Those who aren’t fans of Mysterio won’t care much for the gameplay as it isn’t much different from a regular match. Hardcore Mysterio fans will be disappointed by the fact that Showcase Mode isn’t comprehensive, missing many key matches from Rey Mysterio’s career.
For the sake of comparison, WWE 2K16’s Steve Austin showcase digs deep enough to highlight his lone ECW match against hardcore legend Mikey Whipwreck. 2K22 doesn’t even have Mysterio’s first WWE championship win over Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 2006. There’s also a DLC skin of Mysterio’s outfit from Starrcade 1996 where he wrestled Jushin “Thunder” Liger, but the actual match isn’t included in Showcase Mode either.
This could have been salvaged with candid discussions from Mysterio, but his contributions are exhaustively scripted and in-character. None of it feels authentic and no new light is shed on his career.
Showcase Mode can be beaten in just a few hours so it never becomes a slog, but MyRise still stands as the clear centerpiece of the WWE2K22 single-player experience.
MyGM struggles against fierce competition
GM modes have been highly sought after for years, and they return in WWE 2K22 with MyGM.
MyGM revisits the beloved game mode of Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 that lets players take over a promotion, put together shows, and try to out-draw the competition. While this is a dream for many longtime fans of WWE video games, it does have shortcomings that may sour the experience.
Pieces of a strong experience are there with players able to draft a roster, manage a budget, put together matches, and organize segments each week. There are many restrictions that will likely frustrate players, however.
Each show is rigidly restricted to three matches and two promos, match stipulations are minimal, there is no tag division, and match booking is fairly rigid in terms of making progress. There is no online multiplayer and each run through the mode only lasts 15, 25, or 50 weeks. Players cannot run the mode indefinitely, which seems a strange decision.
While WWE 2K22’s MyGM mode is hypothetically a great addition to the game, the sheer number of wrestling simulator options out there leaves it feeling unremarkable compared to what it might have been.
Universe Mode returns in WWE 2K22
Universe Mode returns in WWE 2K22 and once again fits the niche normally filled by a franchise mode in traditional sports games.
The mode is largely what fans are used to from previous installments in the series. It allows players to put together shows, dictate the primary story beats, and steer things in whatever direction they’d like. Improvements have been made relative to past years, but the mode should feel largely familiar.
The biggest addition is the curation menu, which gives players greater control over how things play out and how active they are in the weekly matters of the show schedule. There is also Superstar Mode that hones in on one specific wrestler that players can direct, albeit with the requirement of playing every single one of their matches. This isn’t transformative by any means, but it’s a strong quality of life improvement.
Those coming into Universe Mode in WWE 2K22 with greater expectations can find some extra fun in the form of more events. There is more variety on a week-to-week basis which should be compelling even for longtime fans.
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