WWE 2K Battlegrounds – not a knockout (pic: 2K)
There’s no WWE 2K21 recreation this yr however this cartoonish-looking substitute goals to be a worthy various for wrasslin’ followers.
Many video games have been delayed this yr due to the coronavirus however the pandemic is just one purpose amongst many who there’s no WWE 2K21. The collection has been in decline for years now, because it struggled to deal with the yearly launch schedule and, extra not too long ago, the change from long-time Japanese developer Yuke’s to American staff Visible Ideas. Add the coronavirus to the record of issues and writer 2K simply determined to skip straight to WWE 2K22 subsequent yr.
They didn’t need the yr to cross with out some form of new WWE recreation although and so instead is cartoonish, over-the-top celebration recreation WWE 2K Battleground and it’s… okay.
In comparison with the glitchy mess that was WWE 2K20 this can be a appreciable enchancment, even when it has its limits and isn’t what wrestling followers are used to after years of a extra real looking product.
Proper from the off, it’s clear that WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a completely totally different vibe, with the realistic-looking wrestlers changed by exaggerated avatars of superstars previous and current, all defying the foundations of physics for a easy, senseless, however comparatively fulfilling recreation.
The place Battlegrounds succeeds is in being a very good celebration recreation, because it’s extremely straightforward to dive straight in with a reasonably largely batch of characters already unlocked and able to use proper from the get-go. From Randy Orton and The Rock to Bray Wyatt, AJ Types, and Hulk Hogan, the sector is about for dream matches in what’s virtually the WWE equal of Tremendous Smash Bros.
The varied modes are as simplistic because the motion, with Exhibition providing a very good vary of match-ups, going from fundamental singles and tag staff bouts to a cage match and multi-man Royal Rumble – with enjoyable mini-games for the latter two to deliver the drama up a notch.
The Battleground Problem mode permits gamers to create their very own distinctive WWE celebrity, rising via the ranks and creating their wrestler’s bodily appearances, vainness gadgets, and magnificence of fighter.
King of Battlegrounds is a web-based Royal Rumble-esque free-for-fall with superstars competing to be the final man standing with a brand new character coming in when somebody will get eradicated. It’s the chaotic moments like this the place the sport actually shines, as every little thing comes collectively in one of the best ways. Equally, the net match mode is a superb probability to expertise the sport because it’s meant to be performed, with different avid gamers battling to be topped the last word champion.
Regardless of the social component, followers may get pleasure from a easy however thrilling marketing campaign mode, which is advised within the type of traditional comedian strips, which is a pleasant contact that additional helps to distinguish the sport from the pseudo-realism of the principle franchise.
Enjoying as a number of vibrant, fictional new wrestlers (launched at the beginning of every chapter), you’re guided by Paul Heyman and ‘Stone Chilly’ Steve Austin to assist lead the cost to seek out the following WWE superstars.
Day by day challenges additionally add a purpose to maintain taking part in, which is welcome as a result of whereas the gameplay itself is simple to familiarize yourself with and luxuriate in, it may get slightly repetitive at instances.
There’s not a lot to the controls past the punch button, kick button, grappling, blocking, and hitting the on-screen button to do a reversal – and button-mashing to get out of a pin fall or submission.
Gamers of WWE 2K20 (and earlier) will discover the comparatively stripped again move-sets, however there is sufficient to mess around with, and the thrill while you defy gravity with the wrestlers, hovering into the sky to ship a sensational slam, by no means will get previous.
Sadly, the very fact every wrestler’s arsenal is essentially the identical as one another of their corresponding class (for instance, excessive flying, technical or brawler) means issues can grow to be fairly repetitive, significantly when wrestlers like Shinsuke Nakamura and The Miz combat in virtually the identical method.
Nonetheless, the three power-ups you choose between every combat, and the advantages of every wrestling fashion, do assist break this up, with the latter providing you with a particular enhance or transfer you are able to do to realize a bonus over an opponent.
The battlegrounds themselves add to the attraction, with every of the particular worlds being rather more than an aesthetic change. You may work together with the setting, throwing your foe into the jaws of a crocodile and even taking cost of a remote-control sheep in Mexico. It’s ludicrous nevertheless it’s moments like this which save the sport.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds – a minimum of it’s higher than final yr’s recreation (pic: 2K)
As a lot because the gameplay and easy modes could be defended, the reliance on microtransactions all through the sport is a disappointing one. Though 2K claims a 70-strong playable roster you really solely begin with round 24 unfold throughout the female and male stars, with the remaining having to be unlocked via the marketing campaign or the in-game store.
The sport makes use of two currencies, the primary being Battle Bucks, which could be earned in each mode and require no additional spending. The draw back right here is it’s essential actually grind to hit a degree the place you’ll be able to unlock a number of the greater names and outfits. The opposite forex is Golden Bucks, which prices actual cash.
They’re not overly costly in isolation however unlocking each character and customisable possibility runs the danger of turning into a repetitive or costly chore (though the every day challenges are a easy, straightforward and fulfilling approach to earn these Battle Bucks).
Props must be given for the presentation of the unlockables, with wrestlers and their additional apparel present in motion determine fashion packing containers, earlier than bursting out in a nostalgic method. Much less enjoyable and completely inexcusable is the truth that a number of the largest names in WWE must be unlocked from the start, which means Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Drew McIntyre, and Kevin Owens are all amongst those that can’t be used at the beginning.
In fact, the flipside is the sport itself prices simply £34.99 for the common model, which makes it respectable worth for the general package deal.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds evaluation abstract
In Brief: A easy however fulfilling celebration recreation that’s very straightforward to choose up and play with mates – and a significantly higher online game than final yr’s WWE 2K20.
Execs: Simple and enjoyable to play, with enjoyably foolish presentation and loads of modes and challenges. Comparatively cheap. Nice roster, when you unlock all of them.
Cons: The microtransactions are as usually offensive as all 2K sports activities video games. Transfer-sets lack selection between totally different wrestlers, growing the sense of repetition.
Codecs: Xbox One (reviewed), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Swap, PC, and Stadia
Developer: Saber Interactive
Launch Date: 18th September 2020
Age Ranking: 12
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