The gameplay remains largely the same from last year but now you get two payback moves that add complexity and rhythm to its fighting mechanics. Combat feels a lot welcoming for new players and the combo-based moves and grapples add visual and gameplay elements that look and hit with conviction. Each wrestler feels different because of the different combos between them. Even if you pick the same wrestler from two different eras, the combo is switched up to feel different and frankly, refreshing. Hitting square, square and circle on the PlayStation 5 will land two punches and end the move with a grapple. You can perform different grapple moves very quickly because it’s all based on your relative position to your opponent. Just flick the analogue stick in the four basic directions and hit the circle button. Countering is also fun and requires a judicial attempt to hit the reversal button on time.
As simple as 2K has made this, you can’t just button-mash your way here though. There’s a strict stamina meter along with payback moves that turn the tide of any battle. Your special meter which fills after dealing or taking damage lets you slip out of a tough situation through payback or deliver a finisher.