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Game review: WWE 2K20 loses by pinfall

01 Nov 2019
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Professional wrestling has always been a favourite pastime of mine ever since I first saw it when I was four years old. Fast forward nearly three decades later and I’m still a fan of the industry, although things haven’t been great about the games lately.

When I was a teenager, the best WWE video games were so awesome. I remember having fond memories of playing Here Comes The Pain on PS2 as well as Smackdown vs Raw 2007 on Xbox 360 just to name a few.

Ever since THQ stopped publishing the WWE franchise, 2K Games took over and the quality of the games started to dip a bit. Things looked like they were improving with last year’s release of WWE 2K19, but sadly WWE 2K20 brings the series down yet again.

WWE 2K20 may not be as unplayable as WCW Nitro back in the day, but it’s not a very good game either. 2K Games released the game far too early and they should have waited a few more months to fix all of the bugs and improve the gameplay.

There has been a lot of memes and video created for WWE 2K20 showing all of the shocking glitches and technical issues. I have been playing this game for several hours and the bugs and problems are very real. You cannot play this game without seeing some type of issue.

I’ve experienced crashes, missions not being properly completed, referees dropping on their knees and more. My issues have not been as bad other people’s experiences, but it’s still not acceptable for a full priced game to be released in such a horrible state.

Even if the technical issues get fixed with future update patches, the core game itself is a disappointment compared to other wrestling video games. WWE 2K20 just feels like a major step back for the series and it’s not making me a happy fan.

Graphically, WWE 2K20 looks very inconsistent as some of the character models look shockingly bad.

Australia’s Peyton Royce looked okay in last year’s game, but here in 2K20 she looks like a non-living doll. She’s not the only wrestler to look ugly because many of her colleagues look bad in this game as well.

I think the one thing that needs to improve is the lighting and hair physics. The older game engine actually looked better, but this was changed last year and everything looks a little off. The hair physics are also awful because long hair on wrestlers look like cheap stiff wigs! You just need to play as young Triple H and Bianca Belair to see what I mean about awful hair…

If you really want to see bad graphics, you should see the cutscenes in the game’s MyPLAYER mode. I’m not joking when I say the cutscenes in this mode make the character models look like they come from an average looking PS2 video game! Graphics should not look this bad when I’m playing the game on my Xbox One X with a 4KTV.

My biggest issue with WWE 2K20 though is the fact the developer Visual Concepts inexplicably changed around the control scheme for no reason. Supposedly the developer changed the controls to make it ‘easier’ for beginners, but I feel the change makes things harder instead.

In the older games, all you needed to do was press one button in order to execute both signature and finishing moves. Here in 2K20, you now need to press two buttons and it feels awkward. Not to mention they’ve changed the reversal button too.

To make things even worse, 2K20 does not feature a training or practice mode for you to learn the new control scheme. All you have to rely on is reading the small tutorial text boxes that usually pop up. 

The gameplay is also very annoying this year because the MyPLAYER and Showcase modes still don’t have checkpoint during matches. If you somehow fail an objective, you have to start the match from the beginning all over again.

The AI also seems to be worse in this year’s game because the computer always seems to counter your finishing move all of the time. This gets super frustrating because you have to earn a finisher again before you can actually complete a match most of the time.

That’s not to say I hate everything about WWE 2K20, because there are a few things I still enjoy about the game. For one thing, I like how this year’s game focuses heavily on women’s wrestling. The Showcase mode allows you to play in famous matches featuring the Four Horsewomen of Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Bayley.

The MyPLAYER mode also expanded this year giving you access to play as both a male and female wrestler. The story is quite enjoyable as your characters look back on their famous wrestling careers over the years. The only thing I didn’t like about MyPLAYER is that it goes on for too long as it’s a 20 hour storyline.

The core game is the same as many of the match types of not changed. You can also spend hours on Universe mode which features a ton of new cutscenes and updates.

Lastly, the roster is pretty updated and features many past and present wrestlers. For Kiwi fans, you’ll be happy to know that New Zealand’s own Dakota Kai has managed to make her debut in the WWE 2K franchise.

Anyway, WWE 2K20 is just a bad iteration and it’s a shame to see the series fall down like this. If you are a huge WWE fan, it is better off you wait to buy this game once the update patches have been released. If not, you can always wait till next year to buy WWE 2K21 instead.

Verdict: 5.0/10