WWE 2K20 Preview: A Return to the More Zany Days of Wrestling Games

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

All eyes are on developer Visual Concepts this year as far as the next WWE 2K game is concerned.

For nearly 20 years, wrestling fans have come to recognize Japanese game development studio Yuke’s as the main team behind WWE’s mainline wrestling games. After parting ways with the franchise to go work on a new wrestling game of their own, Visual Concepts has been handed the reigns to WWE 2K20. The development studio certainly has their work cut out for them, but fans shouldn’t worry too much about what’s soon to come on October 22. After sitting down with the latest entry in the WWE 2K series, my hopes for a quality WWE game in 2019 are much higher than ever before.

There are several areas to cover concerning what’s new and exciting about WWE 2K20, so let’s get into each of those below.


WWE 2K20 is Moving Further Towards a More Arcade-Like Gameplay Feel

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

WWE 2K19 was a step in the right direction when it came to its overall gameplay feel. The in-ring action was clearly sped up and the game as a whole stepped away from the realm of a slow-paced wrestling simulation. WWE 2K20 stays on track with that much-requested change and adds a few new wrinkles to that new gameplay focus. The control scheme switches things up to avoid less confusion for all types of players and also eases newcomers into the more intricate maneuvers WWE 2K is known for.

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

The reversal button has now been moved to the Y/Triangle button, which honestly feels a lot better since players’ hands are more tied to the face buttons anyway. Signatures/Finishers and OMGs can now be pulled off with double button presses (X & A/Square and X for Signatures/Finishers, Y & B/Triangle &Circle for OMGs). The object interaction and climbing actions are now tied to separate buttons, which means the right shoulder button is primarily used to ascend steel cages. Submissions can now be pulled off with a combination of the right trigger and holding the A/X button – now there’s no need to grab your opponent in a Front Facelock in order to activate a standing submission hold. The newly added “Assist Mode” has now been put in place to allow casual and first-time players to hop into the game and learn every aspect of their favorite wrestler’s move set with some AI assistance.

The controls lend themselves well to gamers who are more prone to playing fighting games, while also giving longtime fans a much easier control scheme to wrap their heads around. Matches against the AI unfold in far more interesting ways now that computer-controlled opponents utilize all of their Signature/Finisher slots. This has a huge effect on multi-man matches and brawls that take place in environments with more hardcore rules put in play. The extra bonus of a slow-mo camera effect for big move replays is further proof of Visual Concepts’ bigger emphasis on fun and less on delivering a much too serious simulation experience.


WWE 2K20 is Embracing the More Outlandish Themes of Professional Wrestling

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

Besides your usual gamut of legacy modes and straight-up match types, WWE 2K20 has thrown in a wealth of features and modes that reflect the crazier parts of professional wrestling. The debut of the “2K Originals” mode is all the proof you need in that regard. Playing through the very first batch of content from this new mode showcased zany original storylines, fantastical renditions of several superstars and a wealth of surprising unlockables. Locking up with a “Wicked” version of Aleister Black (who comes with an even cooler take on his traditional entrance) within a swampy ring while Bray Wyatt talks on commentary is more fun than it has any right to be.

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

2K Originals has the potential of being the best part of this year’s WWE 2K release. It offers a fresh deviation from the “realer” aspects of pro wrestling and gives players a wholly different experience from the storylines they’re used to seeing on TV. The far-out themes present in WWE 2K20 are further reflected in the original arenas and usable weapons (by the way, you now have the ability to bring your favorite weapons into a match and edit the ones that appear underneath the ring via the “Match Creator” mode).

This year’s lineup of custom arenas from the devs themselves features the aforementioned Wyatt Compound, a completely empty arena known as the “Pin Drop Plaza,” a fiery arena referred to as “Hell’s Colosseum” and a WrestleMania arena placed in the year 2029 that must be seen to be believed.


WWE 2K20 is Jam Packed with Modes (No Surprise There)

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

Taking a look at the game’s easier to follow main menu (which plays assorted scenes of the roster in action) points to the game’s huge selection of modes. This year’s rendition of “MYCAREER” sticks to the winning formula seen in last year’s entry and finally gives you the chance to throw a female wrestler into the mix. MYCAREER’s story path can diverge in different directions this year thanks to the addition of varied decisions, which offers up more replay value for your male and female duo should you decide to play through their story again. WWE 2K20’s MYCAREER goes all out with 18 chapters, 12 new environments, 15 outfits to unlock, various clothing parts and weapon skins to collect, 100 matches/brawls to participate in, over 2,700 lines of spoken dialogue, over 900 lines of commentary that are unique to your wrestling journey and over 270 cutscenes.

WWE 2K20

Visual Concepts, 2K Games

“2K Central” once again features “Showcase” and “Towers” mode. Showcase Mode takes a similar approach to past renditions, while Towers offers up a few additions worth mentioning. New match types for Towers are available this time around – Tag Team, Triple Threat and Fatal-Four Way. New match modifications/stipulations (such as increased/reduced damage and no HUD) present new challenges to overcome.

And over 50 new Towers divided into three categories (“Legends,” “Women’s Revolution” and “2K Central”) are playable right from the very start. One mode that won’t be available at launch is “Create a Championship.” The devs have made it clear that it will come to WWE 2K20 in the near future as a free update, however.

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