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WWE 2K22 is using a new face scanning system – and it’s rather impressive

WWE 2K22 Rey Mysterio
(Image credit: 2K Games)

After the disastrous launch of WWE 2K20, WWE 2K22 needs to make a comeback of epic proportions – something akin to Edge’s emotional return at the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble.

It’s easy to forget that the last entry in the annual wrestling series was so buggy and broken that WWE 2K21 was actually canceled as a result. So to say that the pressure is on WWE 2K22 to deliver, then, is a bit of an understatement.

Thankfully, though, it looks like the extra development time should serve the game well. Developer Visual Concepts has shown off some new technology that will help the game “hit different”.

First off, WWE 2K22 will use an all-new face scanning rig that’s equipped with 80 high resolution cameras that allows Visual Concepts to create high-precision 3D sculpts of the superstars. The clip below shows WWE stars Booker T and Ric Flair enter the contraption – which looks like Darth Vader’s personal chambers – and pull various faces as they get scanned by the cameras.

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Patrick Gilmore, one of the developers at Visual Concepts, shared that the studio has two of these face-scanning rigs, so that the team can follow the WWE superstars that are frequently on the road, and scan more characters into the game.

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While Gilmore hasn’t shared the exact number of how many superstars will receive the new facial scans, when asked by a Twitter user, Gilmore said “It’s a lot”, and that WWE superstar Bayley was one of the first to be scanned for WWE 2K22. We’d at least expect the biggest names on the WWE roster to be covered, then, but we’ll have to wait until 2K Games shares more.

WWE 2K22 should also make the superstars’ entrances more believable than ever before, and the team shared a video of how its motion building animation will help to achieve those show-stopping entrances WWE fans are used to.

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Visual Concepts will be hoping to avoid the catastrophic issues that plagued WWE 2K20, which was widely mocked for the hilarious game-breaking bugs that would occur during matches. Wrestlers would frequently clip through the stages, physics would go awry, and the general level of quality control players expect simply wasn't there. It ended up with Metascore of 43, and an overwhelming negative user score. 

Wrestling games in general are still incredibly popular, though many believe the heyday for the genre occurred during the N64’s era. WWE 2K22 will hopefully be a return to form, then, and it’s encouraging that Visual Concepts are being so transparent with the game’s development up to now.

WWE 2K22 was first revealed during Wrestlemania 37, but no release date or platforms have been announced at this stage. Historically, the games have been released in October, so we might get more information during E3 2021, which takes place from June 12 to June 15.

Adam Vjestica

Adam is a Senior Gaming Writer at TechRadar. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites, and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. (He’s still recovering to this day.)