WWE 2K Battlegrounds is so bad that it doesn’t even deserve a full review. Fuck, it’s bad. The only positive is the huge roster. But, surprise– you have to unlock most of it!
It does the tried-and- true “premium currency” shtick: you can unlock this with in-game currency, no problem; but it’ll take you three days. With the B.S. coins, it’s 300 premium fucks instead of 12,000 buttgrabs! And it’s not even to unlock special characters or niche wrestlers. Huge names like Rollins, The Rock, Styles, Stone Cold, Hogan are locked right off the bat. Ugh. Gross.
The worst offense? The moves. Everyone falls into one of 5 categories: All-Rounder, Brawler, Technician, High Flyer, and Powerhouse. And each one gets *drum roll* like, four grapples! (I don’t care enough to boot it up and check), a signature, and the finisher. What a joke. This crap was fine for NES or SNES, but we’re way beyond that. Know what’s sad? That the core gameplay isn’t bad. But, the lack of move variety in a form of entertainment that is known for tons of suplexes, slams, and throws is inexcusable.
The graphics and art style works with what they were aiming for. That’s honestly the only other positive I can think of. Battlegrounds makes WWE 2K20 look like Fire Pro Wrestling World. For those that aren’t familiar with wrestling games: WWE 2K20 was a trainwreck. It was Anthem. Fire Pro is Halo 3. Goddamn. Fuck this game so hard. Thank God(HatesGeeks) I didn’t go digital so I can trade this turd in and pass this curse onto someone else. 0.5/5 Bibles.
Oh, Battlegrounds. Creation Suite is very limited, with the the more interesting cosmetics and even character progression for CAWs, requiring either Battle Bucks (in-game currency from playing) or Real $$$ to unlock. The roster’s supposed to be about 70 something with another 60 coming as free DLC, but only 20 or so are actually unlocked at start, with the rest requiring, you guessed it, Battle Bucks or Real $$$ to unlock. Cue Farooq: “DAMN!” Each wrestler has two or three additional skins that also require you know what.
Grappling is either use the A button (Xbox) for one move or flick the right stick up, down, left or right for other moves, though some classes only have two moves assigned to the right stick. It’s pretty basic. The craziness can be fun, to be sure, but it has a lot of bugs, horrible hit detection and Saber Interactive clearly takes a lot of shortcuts, with microtransactions being the main goal/focus.
The King of the Battlegrounds multiplayer mode is fun, but that’s where the biggest Battle Bucks payout is based on time survived in the ring; so — yup! — you’re getting groups of people who just climb to the top rope and all stay there and just farm the XP/Bucks since no one else on the outside can enter the match until one of them gets eliminated, so they hold the whole game hostage. If there’s only three of them, they’ll just triple team the fourth player and toss him so they can keep the ring to themselves to keep farming the Battle Bucks. When that happens, it forces anyone else waiting outside the ring to enter the match to just quit and hope you don’t get put right back into the same game.
Some others are also using some sort of cheat since you have to alternate LT/RT when trying to eliminate someone (and they’re doing the same to avoid filling the meter) but some Xbox players are exploiting that somehow where the meter fills instantly when they toss someone into the ropes, so they just use the irish whip button over and over to get rack up easy eliminations for more Bucks/XP. When that type of shit isn’t happening, it can be really enjoyable. But that’s only about 30-40% of the time when I’ve tried it.
And… how fucked it is to have a Royal Rumble match lacking a two-player option? Worse, the match ends as soon as you’re eliminated instead of taking over the next entrant. This literally killed the very elements that have made the Royal Rumble a classic since the AKI days. In the end, Battlegrounds hosts some fun gameplay and an enjoyable campaign, but no unique movesets, unacceptable level of glitches and crashes, a mobile game monetization system, plenty of janky animations and multiplayer enjoyment stymied by constantly getting put into the same game of cheaters/exploiters that you just left. 2.5/5 Bibles.