WWE Games have been in decline the past few years, it seems the developers were left with no choice but to bring something new (experimental). Wrestling games with original faces were highly popular and ruled for years. The things that made it stand out, in the beginning, are starting to make the same games stagnant as there’s not much creatively you can do about sports entertainment and this is where 2K decided to go on an alternative path and create WWE 2K Battleground.
After the unfavorable launch of WWE 2K20, the developers decided to take a one-year hiatus in the series and focus on delivering a much more compact game. To revamp the wrestling mechanism, 2K took a leap of faith to bring over the top wrestling game that feels like a hit and a miss. This is our honest review of WWE 2K Battlegrounds.
How I feel playing WWE 2K Battlegrounds?
I remember testing out WWE 2K20 during the official launch event on PS4. The game was fun, even though some mechanism were tough to learn. The feeling of wrestling was intact playing with your friends, dueling it out while play-acting as your favorite WWE superhero felt awesome because at the core of it the game had a sense of realism.
WWE 2K’s release cycle went through a lot of bugs and crashes, but this did not reduce the interest of gamers in WWE Games. From the offset, it was expected that WWE would deliver a bug-free experience of WWE 2K20 branded as something else but Battlegrounds took things sideways and ran with it.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds tries its best to be the coolest wrestling game for this year. It has a story better than what the bigger brand of WWE 2K20 had to offer. The game mechanics worked perfectly well. There’s not much of a learning curve except for a few combinations that even a third-grader could master in minutes and from the offset it is clear that the game does not take itself seriously.
And neither should you take it as a main title in the WWE series but without the main game in 2020 all hopes rested on Battlegrounds to fill the gap and if you’re expecting for the game to be as exhilarating and enormous, you’d be a bit sad.
I am not happy about 2K ignoring the most iconic and electrifying moves in sports entertainment which used to be the highlights of past WWE Games. Taking your favorite wrestlers and performing their signature move used to give you a sense of satisfaction is sorely missed.
Micro-Transactions – the weight on WWE 2K Battlegrounds
All cosmetics in the game feel like they’re hidden carefully behind paywalls that inspire you to spend real money rather than earn them in the game and spend those. All the characters look comically same, and even though their attires are well crafted that help you distinguish one from the other, something feels lost when you translate traditional wrestling based on an arcade game.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds looks like a feeding frenzy for microtransactions as even though there are 70 playable characters only about 24 are available and the rest are locked behind story mission that you can even purchase from in-game shops.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds feels like a game released in haste, certain factors put it down after you are done playing it a few hours. Like replayability or limited moves set, developers focused on pulling out cool animations from the moves. It does look fine but does not help to keep the feeling of wrestling intact in gamers. Games like Street Fighter or MK11 uses a ton of cool animations which suits their genre. WWE is more about realistic wrestling, about the characters, their background stories, rivalries, championship, and audience.
While there are considerably fewer bugs in this game as compared to the previous games, it feels like this game is a celebration of making a complete game rather than a game that is fun. Not much stands out apart in WWE 2K Battlegrounds other than the $40 price tag that it parades around.
I am restricting myself to rate it in numbers, the genre falls less into a category of fighting game and more into a category of a wrestling game. The tweaks in it forbid the judgment of low ratings yet the new concept makes it intriguing for wrestling fans. I leave the choice on you to buy WWE 2K Battlegrounds, if you are a WWE fan then it is an ok addition to your library among all the other WWE versions.