The reception to last year’s broken mess that was WWE 2K20 was so bad the game was scrapped this year and replaced with the NBA Playgrounds-inspired WWE 2K Battlegrounds. We review WWE 2K Battlegrounds so you don’t have to.
Of course the original inspiration behind this kind of over-the-top, arcadey twist on sport comes from the brilliant, iconic NBA Jam series.
But brilliant and iconic WWE 2K Battlegrounds is not.
What is WWE 2K Battlegrounds?
For those who don’t know, Battlegrounds is a fast-paced, arcade-style take on wrestling.
A world apart from the realistic main entries to the WWE 2K series, its fighting style has been compared to WWE All Stars from 2011.
The game has received mixed-to-poor reviews so far and I can understand why. Firstly, though, it must be taken in context.
The game isn’t a full-priced release so you get what you pay for in that respect. And there are extremely fun elements here for all to enjoy. It’s easy to pick up and play too.
Where WWE 2K Battlegrounds comes into its own
The graphics and art style are awesome and the crowning achievement is the co-op gameplay. That’s where WWE 2K Battlegrounds really comes into its own.
But overall there’s just too much lacking for this to score well. The over-use of microtransactions is a concern and there aren’t enough gameplay features but, again, remember you’re not paying full whack here so expectations must be tempered.
The roster is awesome and includes some wrestling legends as well as many current superstars.
The online mode generally is great fun and works well. It is fluid and easy to use and this saves the game in many respects.
Boring career mode
Career mode is boring, though, and there’s not enough depth to the controls and gameplay. The focus instead seems to be on getting players to spend more in-game, which leaves a sour taste, to be honest.
The fighting mechanics are just too shallow to be rewarding or make it interesting to play. The roster is separated into classes such as Brawler, High-Flyer and All-Rounder. And these classes determine all your wrestler’s moves, except their finisher.
As a result, it means that beyond how they look on screen, instead of no two fighters being the same, it is more like one in two fighters ARE the same.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds was meant as a distraction while the main game gets an overhaul. But it won’t last you too long, even if there’s plenty of fun to be had initially.
Overall, there’s no longevity here and no real future for the format in its current guise.