Watch our review of WWE 2K Battlegrounds…
After the mess that was WWE 2K20, developers 2K have decided to offer a palette cleanser in the form of a more arcade-y cartoony offering. Does the new direction pay off? Watch on to find out.
Hey how’s it going guys! Welcome to our review of WWE 2K Battlegrounds, available on PC, PS4, Xbox One & Nintendo Switch. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know before you play, but before I do, make sure to hit subscribe and the notification bell for more reviews every single week. You’re not going to want to miss it.
Wrestling fans, particularly those who watch WWE have to put up with a lot. From dodgy storylines, to fan favourites being underutilised, it’s not always easy to stay tuned to Vince Mcmahon’s grappling empire.
But even the most patient of us had to draw a line with the debacle that was WWE 2K20. It was an absolute failure, with game-breaking glitches, subpar graphics and whatever the heck this is. It sucked so much, 2K decided to forgo 2K21 entirely, and whip up something entirely different.
Enter WWE 2K Battlegrounds, a much more arcade-y looking title, and a spiritual successor to the 2011 cult classic WWE All Stars. But does this new direction shake the franchise out of complacency, or do the problems that linger year on year follow us into the battleground? Watch on to find out…
The first thing you’ll notice is that Battlegrounds is much more over the top than your regular, more simulation-based 2K affair. Not only can you fight in more outlandish locations, like a swamp or car garage, but the choice of weapons is also pretty wacky. You can throw a motorbike like it weighs nothing, crocodiles can literally eat you, and violently exploding barrels aren’t even enough to end a bout. While that might sound like a 90s Japanese deathmatch, it’s somehow even more ludicrous than that, and I’ve seen a match where a guy gets a sickle to the gut! But seriously, this makes the game feel so much fresher than the last few entries in the series.
To compliment the cartoony presentation, the combat has been greatly simplified. While it’s still very much based around grappling, it’s a lot more forgiving for newcomers and casual players looking for a more accessible experience. Matches are much shorter too, with most clocking in at around 2 to 5 minutes. In that regard, it reminded me of a Smash Bros/wrestling hybrid, and also means that much like Smash, it’s a huge amount of fun with friends, but can get dull pretty fast when playing solo.
But to be fair, there’s still enough depth to please longtime fans. Among the 70+ wrestlers playable at launch, there are 5 different classes of superstar, and each fighter has their own attribute ratings to help them perform like their real life counterparts. If I’m honest, you don’t really notice it when you’re brawling with weapons, but get into hand to hand combat and you’ll soon realise who’s a heavy hitter and who’s a high flyer. As expected, the latter is much more fun to play as. What’s more, you can pick 3 different power ups to help give you the edge (no pun intended) too, such as being able to freeze your opponent.
With that being said, Battlegrounds still can’t shake some of the baffling technical faux pas of its 2K predecessors. Unfortunately it’s the same old story: poor frame rate, misplaced commentary and texture clipping still affecting more than a few matches. It might not be as bad as the dumpster fire that was 2K20, but it’s still inexcusable.
To wrap up, WWE 2K Battlegrounds is in many regards a nice palette cleanser that offers a fun, dumb experience, going a long way to help us forget about what came before. However, my lingering opinion is that it still feels like a lazy and unfinished product, and considering how good it can be when it all works, it’s a massive shame. If anything it might’ve been better to miss the entire year and focus on 2K22. Ah well, at least we always have WCW vs. nWo: World Tour. Now that’s some good shit.
But what did you think of WWE 2K Battlegrounds? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more video game reviews every single week. See you next time!
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