- Game: WWE 2K20
- Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC
- Publisher: 2K Sports
- Developer: Visual Concepts
A WWE 2K20 review code was provided by the publisher.
A dark cloud has developed over this year’s digital WWE effort from 2K Games. Yuke’s, the longtime developer behind most of the entries fans look back on fondly, chose to move away from the latest WWE 2K release in order to work on a wrestling game of their own. Due to this shocking development, developer Visual Concepts were handed the reigns to the franchise and given the sole power to follow up on the commendable quality of WWE 2K19. Hopes were high that Visual Concepts would rise to the occasion and show their hungry fanbase that they can be trusted with improving upon Yuke’s previous accomplishments. Sadly, that’s simply not the case. WWE 2K20 is a colossal fall from grace that does away with all the goodwill earned by the last entry and presents an unfinished mess that needed another year in the oven.
There are actually a few things worth applauding in WWE 2K20, shockingly. The game’s content suite is chock full of modes to become engrossed in. Besides putting on regular exhibition matches, you’re able to play through a host of Towers mode matches and relive the storied run of “The Four Horsewomen” through this year’s Showcase. WWE 2K20’s serving of Towers is even more of a treat thanks to the inclusion of a special set of matches that delve into Roman Reigns’ career. Creating your own male and female superstar for a run-through of the extensive MYCAREER journey is also available, as well as your usual gamut of legacy modes. The creation suite is decent enough, but the omission of Create a Championship at launch is a massive letdown. The biggest star of the WWE 2K20 show (“WWE 2K Originals”) isn’t even playable at launch, which makes little to no sense.
Even though there’s a lot to do, see and create, frustrations will quickly mount for those who were pleased by WWE 2K19’s solid performance. This year’s roster is massive, without a doubt. But the missing legends and current-day greats that are missing from this year’s release will infuriate most. Standout legends such as Vader, Bam Bam Bigelow, British Bulldog, Lex Luger, and Sycho Sid have been given the boot. And even more infuriating is the fact that a host of major superstars are nowhere to be seen, such as Lio Rush (who just so happened to be in last year’s game!), WALTER, Kushida and Dominik Dijakovic. Parts of the game feel completely outdated as well, as the use of old main show logos and the lack of new theme songs are wholly apparent. The average hardcore wrestling fan will have no choice but to rely on the online community to turn WWE 2K20 in an up to date title, which is something the developers had an issue accomplishing for some reason.
If there’s one major aspect of WWE 2K20 that must be mentioned, it’s the story mode structure of this year’s MYCAREER. Like last year’s installment, WWE 2K20’s custom superstar tale features a fully cinematic plot packed with voice acting from original characters and WWE talent. This time, you’re put on the road to Hall of Fame greatness with a male and female duo. While the cringy attempts at humor are hard to ignore, the overall presentation of this year’s MYCAREER is a major plus. The deep upgrade system, associated Towers challenges, and the way optional matches are activated make this central hub for your created wrestlers a worthwhile experience. It’s evident that a lot of work was put into making WWE 2K20’s MYCAREER a lengthy endeavor that’s worth every minute of experiencing.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue tied to WWE 2K20 gets in the way of its worthwhile features – the unfinished feel of it all and the shocking presence of far too many bugs/glitches. Every time you start to have a modicum of fun in the ring, a visual snafu saps all of it away. Wrestlers’ limbs get caught up on the ropes, the crowd audio randomly drops out, referees float in the air without any rhyme or reason, the hair physics are still unwieldy, etc.
During a backstage brawl, I retrieved a sledgehammer from the trunk of a car. The only problem is that the car trunk itself never actually opened, which led to me developing superpowers and grabbing the weapon through the trunk with no issue. Speaking of visual errors, a few of this year’s facial scans look downright horrific. Superstars such as Ricochet, Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn look just like their real-life counterparts. But then there are downright hideous representations of The Rock, Becky Lynch, Mandy Rose, and Molly Holly that make you question the work of Visual Concepts. It hurts to realize that past WWE 2K entries have better-looking roster members than this current release.
WWE 2K20 Takeaways
2K Games and Visual Concepts should have made the hard decision to take a year off and truly deliver a WWE 2K game worth championing. Instead, they chose to push out a bug-riddled release that’s far too broken to enjoy. The outdated presentation, ugly facial scans for several members of the roster, and lack of polish put this game miles behind WWE 2K19. There’s still some fun to be had through the well-produced MYCAREER story, the overabundance of match options, and assorted legacy modes. But there are far too many negatives in place here that disrupts all the good WWE 2K20 tries to deliver. Perhaps it’s time for another developer to try their hand at WWE’s video game efforts…
Our WWE 2K20 Review Score: 5.5 out of 10