‘WWE 2K’ developers promise “significant evolution in gameplay”

It is looking at ‘Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain’ for inspiration

2K Games’ new executive producer for its WWE 2K games has promised fans that they can expect a “significant evolution in gameplay” in the franchise’s next entry.

During a Q&A session on Reddit, Patrick Gilmore shared with fans the company’s renewed focus after the cancellation of this year’s WWE 2K game. Gilmore also detailed how the development team is going back to the drawing board.

“Core gameplay is one of the major investments we’re making in the next installment. We are looking at much-loved previous games like No Mercy or Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain, along with top franchise installments, and more modern wrestling and fighting games to build an all-new philosophical foundation for the game,” Gilmore said.

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He went on to reiterate that the previous games are only being used as reference. “People who hope that we holistically adopt the control scheme or philosophy from one of their favorite games are likely to be disappointed; we are trying to combine the best ideas out there into a brand new wrestling experience that sets a new standard,” he added.

Gilmore also noted that WWE 2K22’s gameplay would be focused on “Accessibility, Depth and Wrestling Experience”. He goes on say that the team is “obsessed with a simple, intuitive interface which has meaning and depth in a wide variety of contexts. New players should be able to accidentally pull off awesome moves just by playing with and experimenting with controls”.

To improve depth, Gilmore stated the team has been looking at “ring position, deeper combos and ‘working’ moves, limb damage, technical capabilities, match momentum and unlocks, and rock-paper-scissors (RPS) strategies by archetype and player style”,

The game’s depth will not come solely from the manual skill of pressing the correct buttons, but from “the psychological game of anticipating and countering your opponent’s strategy”, according to Gilmore

Finally, Gilmore said the WWE 2K22 team has been putting effort into capturing “the essence” of professional wrestling, including the “drama, changing context, massive roster, backstage action, weapons and props, audience participation and spectacle”.

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Back in April, 2K announced WWE 2K Battleground, a new arcade-style WWE game, in place of the now-cancelled WWE 2K21. The company has described the upcoming game as “over-the-top”, with a focus on “social pick-up-and-play fun, but with plenty of depth for those who want to get way into it”.

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