Grappling with WWE2K20

By Dean Moses

Game: WWE2K20
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4
Rating: T for Teen
Price: $59.99

The internet is both a blessing and a curse. In one respect we have access to the largest educational database ever known to humankind at our fingertips, and in the other we have a breeding ground for unsubstantiated facts with little to no quality control. Through the internet facts, rumors, and news spread faster than wildfire, and this is exactly what happened in the case of WWE2K20. You see, before the latest version in the yearly wrestling franchise even released, videos and rumors were making the rounds on social media showing a buggy, near unplayable mess of a game. So, was the internet right or wrong on this one? Let’s find out.

Development Hell

It would be impossible for me to review WWE2K20 without first citing its development hell. Developer Yukes—a company that has been working on WWE titles for nearly two decades—abruptly left this project, leaving Visual Concepts to finish the game in time for its release. This added to the speculation that the game was put on the shelf unfinished. But enough about conjecture, let’s dive into the game.

This year there is a lot to keep players busy. We have Showcase Mode, which lets you relive some of the biggest and best matches from the career of the four horsewomen: Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Bayley. In this mode you must complete objectives during each match in accordance to how they actually took place. There is also a career mode in which you must create a male and female grappler before following them from high school all the way to the WWE Hall of Fame. This portion of the game is fun, yet leans too much on comedy elements. Other distractions include 2K Towers, a Mortal Kombat-esque arcade mode, and, of course, online sections.

Control Debacle

The control scheme has remained the same for years and years… until now. The developer has inexpertly swapped the button layout while the overall gameplay remains the same. This feels like a lazy attempt to make the game feel new, wherein instead it ends up feeling somewhat awkward as players are essentially playing the same game with new controls. Other than this control debacle, the gameplay remains pretty much unchanged from last year’s outing, this is good seeing as WWE2K19 was one of the franchise’s better iterations. Of course, the roster has also be updated, with fantastic additions like Matt Riddle, Toni Storm, and (if pre-ordered or purchased the deluxe edition) The Fiend. In addition to the aforementioned game modes, Universe—a game type which allows players to customize storylines, shows, belts, and more—likewise returns, but this theme of either laziness or time restriction continues because like the gameplay itself, it is mostly unchanged.

Graphical Glitches

Now we get to the glitches, which, at least for me, has been few and far between. There are plenty of videos out there showcasing just how bad these glitches can be, extending but not limited to wrestlers floating, twitching, and freezing between the ropes. Luckily, I have only experienced a few graphical glitches, along with a few crashes—but this by no means will guarantee you won’t experience worse issues. Speaking of graphics, unfortunately this year is a big downgrade when compared to previous current generation 2K games.

Conclusion

Despite WWE2K20’s problems, hardcore fans of WWE programming, like myself, will still find much enjoyment here. However, causal fans will surely be disappointed.