REVIEW: ‘WWE 2K Battlegrounds’ Could Have Been More (Xbox One)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

WWE 2K Battlegrounds

WWE 2K Battlegrounds, a WWE 2K game published by Saber Interactive, was released last week. In this arcade-style fighting game, fans get to play as their favorite WWE superstars. There are various game modes that players can choose from and can even create their own superstar. In addition, a new Campaign mode lets players embark on a journey as they witness a new class of rising WWE Superstars take on the best of the best. The interactive and creative fights allow new and long-time fans to experience something new.

WWE 2K Battlegrounds has similar mechanics to previous WWE 2K games while also introducing new ones. As seen in previous games, players can perform various combos to inflict damage. However, punches and kicks are done by pressing separate buttons. Players can still perform signature moves and finishers but must pay attention to how to activate them. In every match, players have a stamina bar and a momentum bar. The stamina bar drains after taking damage. The more the stamina bar drains, the harder it will be for a players’ superstar to kick out of a pin. The momentum bar rises as players dole out damage. Once it fills up, players can perform signature moves and finishers. There is also the crowd bar which fills up as players perform different moves and combos. Filling up that bar gives characters a boost when performing pins and submission holds.

The new mechanics in WWE 2K Battlegrounds aim to create a novel experience for players. In order to escape a pin or submission, players will be prompted to press buttons. Punches and kicks can be blocked and any grapple or Irish whip can be countered so long as players press the correct button. Being able to block punches and kicks has its advantages, but it can become difficult since the blocks have to be timed well. However, this mechanic is what makes the game stand out since it adds something new to the previous WWE 2K games.

Different weight classes have advantages and disadvantages in matches, so make sure to check those out before starting the match. Each weight class has different special moves associated with them, which is also something to be on the lookout for. When players select superstars, they already have specific power-ups equipped. However, these can also be swapped out for other power-ups before the match starts. The power-ups are activated during the match once certain objectives have been met. Players can add up to three power-ups to their character in order to gain an advantage in a match.

As with the mechanics, some game modes from other WWE 2K games have been are carried over into WWE 2K Battlegrounds while also including new modes. The more traditional matches like Tag Team, Steel Cage, and Royal Rumble matches are included. A new edition is the Campaign mode, which is a single-player story told through a comic book style. Players get to play as new WWE superstars that have been created for that specific mode. As the story progresses, players unlock other superstars, power-ups, and items. In the King of the Battleground mode, players compete with up to seven other people online to be the last person standing in the ring. The longer a player stays in the ring, the bigger their score gets. As players get eliminated, a new one makes their way into the ring. Various unlockable elements can be purchased with Golden Bucks gained from completing matches.

WWE 2K Battlegrounds

There is also an Online Tournament mode, which allows players to participate in tournaments and get rewards. Every match in the tournaments has specific winning conditions, providing a more difficult element to the matches. The tournaments are constantly changing so make sure to check out new conditions and rules. In the Battleground Challenge mode, players can create their own characters and battle to the best of their abilities. Creating characters allows players to customize not only how the superstar will look but also their power-ups. Players can also create their own battlegrounds, ranging from adding weapons and designing how the ring will look.

One of the main letdowns of WWE 2K Battlegrounds were the limited characters that players can choose from. It makes sense that more characters should be unlocked as gameplay progresses, but limiting this progression to only one game mode takes away from the overall game. Players will have to dedicate time to just one game mode to be able to unlock superstars they want to use. It only gets worse depending on how far players need to get through the Campaign to get the superstar they want. Having the full roster at the start of the game could have made the game experience much better.

Previous WWE 2K games have provided players with memorable moments and have even let fans re-experience some of WWE’s greatest moments in history. However, WWE 2K Battlegrounds doesn’t offer the same feeling. The comic book telling in the Campaign mode is a great addition, but it’s not enough to add novelty to the game. The other new game modes act as a rehashing of game modes that originated from other WWE games. Everything in the game just feels very repetitive and tedious. There’s a lot more that could have been done to encourage players to play a few weeks or even months after release.

Overall, WWE 2K Battlegrounds turned out to be a major letdown. There was a lot of outcry over WWE 2K20 because of the multiple glitches and the fact that the game felt unfinished. There was hope that WWE 2K Battlegrounds would be a new addition to the series that would add something novel but it was just a step in the wrong direction. It wouldn’t be surprising if WWE fans or fans of the WWE 2K series would have wanted for the original series to continue rather than trying something new.

WWE 2K Battlegrounds is available for purchase now for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Stadia.

WWE 2K Battlegrounds
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

WWE 2K Battlegrounds turned out to be a major letdown. There was a lot of outcry over WWE 2K20 because of the multiple glitches and the fact that the game felt unfinished. There was hope that WWE 2K Battlegrounds would be a new addition to the series that would add something novel but it was just a step in the wrong direction.