WWE 2K20 [Review]: Will Leave You ‘Fiend’ing For Something Else.

“Pastor” Shawn Puff

Well this game has finally strolled down the entrance ramp and it’s entered the critical squared circle with a lot of pomp and circumstance. Unfortunately, the deal, here, is that WWE 2K20 is a shoddy game. I’ve avoided watching and reading reviews as much as I could so as not to be biased. I mean, the negative stuff has literally been everywhere…

There are things I liked — yes, there are things — and elements I didn’t.. really didn’t.. like about this year’s version of 2K. While I haven’t experienced any of the crazy glitches we’ve seen on YouTube, I’ve witnessed my share of frustrating botches. Off the top turnbuckle, there aren’t many upgrades to talk about. I mean, we have Mixed Match Challenge Tag Matches now because we’ve all been clamoring for the opportunity to emulate those fantastic Facebook mixed tag matches– all 200 of us who tuned in, that is. Way worse, my favorite part of the WWE 2K series — Universe Mode — had near damn nothing new added to it.. and more on that later. Let’s “tope con hello” to Showcase Mode.

After Daniel Bryan’s story brought back the much heralded single player challenge mode in last year’s terrific WWE 2K19, this year’s edition unveils the origins of the Women’s Revolution to Showcase. Now, I’m not going to hate on the decision to spotlight the WWE’s four horsewomen but I know a lot of people who will. There is problem number one: Showcase is only going to appeal to a certain group of fan, which will probably cause it to get played a lot less than it should. But, if you want to unlock everything you’re going to have to get through the 15 matches in Showcase. I appreciated the number of matches here as it’s not too much and not too little. Even if you despise Botchley, you shouldn’t get bored with it.

Are we heels today, or faces?

The story of the Revolution is narrated by Charlotte, Sasha, Becky & Bayley. They’ll interject you into certain points of their story as the Showcase moves along. And, of course, here are my gripes. First, I was playing on Easy and I play 2K every year. I’m one of the few marks still going strong with my 2K19 universe. I found this Showcase to be extremely hard despite my veteran experience, which is def not a good look if 2K is looking to appeal to the non-veteran gamer crowd. But I guess Showcase isn’t really for that group. Some of the directions Visual Concepts dished out to accomplish the progressive goals were not very clear; fuck, I found myself taking an hour to perform a moonsault off the top rope with Charlotte. I almost quit after that frustration– and very well likely should have.

You also can’t skip any of the story scenes with the Horsewomen. Which sucks since all of these matches can be watched on the WWE Network minus the shoddy graphics and annoying glitches, so there really isn’t a point. I’d prefer Showcase Mode to have created more of a fantasy booking aspect with women from today featured in dream matches against WWE Legends. Maybe even have the women choose who they would fight and have them tell a story about their favorite legend. But I mean, that would be creative and outside the box. Who’d want that?! Otherwise, Showcase is mildly entertaining and merely fine if you’re into the whole Women’s Revolution thing. Thankfully, once you’re done, you’re done though. No need to replay it.


Now to Visual Concepts’.. visuals. To quote the Great One, “What in the blue hell is this pile of monkey crap?” I mean, the guys that have been in the game look decent in-match, but anyone new and everyone in the selection menu looks horrible. Females are especially bad. To put it to comparison, it’s like their awkward faces came out of The Sims — the original one that came out in 2000, and that still might be giving these models too much credit.

If you want an example, just take a look at Randy Savage, Mandy Rose or Chyna. Horrible. When I first got WWE 2K19 my girlfriend walked in the room and thought I was watching RAW. When I asked her if this year’s version looked like I was watching the Network, she asked me if I was joking, as if I were insulting her intelligence.

Pretty sure Braun’s former teammate Nicholas created all these faces.

Piggybacking off of the graphics is character movement. Arms flail around like they’re double-jointed or, in some cases, totally out of socket. At one point, I thought I murdered Sasha Banks because her neck looked like it snapped when Charlotte walked near her on the mat. As for the environmental interaction, holy shit-show. So far I’ve experienced Sasha getting stuck in the ropes because I walked near them, and a trash can from the crowd levitating and vibrating uncontrollably since I slammed AJ Styles next to it.

Then there’s the mat being turned into quicksand with weapons sinking into it. And, I’d stand at the side, feet or head of an opponent and attempt a move only to have my superstar slide to another body part and perform a move there instead. But the most annoying glitch? My wrestler is aimed at their opponent but looking the exact opposite direction and grabbing at air, leaving me prone to my opponent’s attack instead. Fun.

Ok, if you can get through all of those annoying ass glitches and continue on with the game there’s the MyPlayer career mode. So let’s get right to the Yokozuna in the room: The writing for MyCareer is just as bad as the current real life product’s writing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dana Warrior was behind it. But it’s definitely fun. It’s literally the only mode I expect to spend any time playing until they fix this heap of junk. The ability to have a female career is something the universe has been asking for a hit minute so integrating two superstars, one male (Tre) and one female (Red), is a nice little touch.

Both superstars are at the end of lengthy, illustrious careers, able to interact with a ton of WWE Superstars, past and present; you’re able to relive matches and rivalries from the both of their career, match-ups you can choose to play or skip over. Some have certain goals you have to reach during the match, and some aren’t even full matches. The new ability tree that allows you to grow your character how you choose is pretty cool and makes the entertaining MyPlayer very replayable. The one major issue aside from the poor dialogue is that there isn’t any specific direction for the player to aim for. That said, it’s a shame that WWE 2K20 is such a pile of crap that most people won’t even take the time to dive into MyCareer and see how much fun it can be despite these inconsistencies.

Now featuring all new “The ring is quicksand” mode!!

The creation mode doesn’t see any upgrades and actually is a pretty big downgrade from past versions. It seems like hair has gotten much worse than 2K19 and the original game doesn’t even have the ability to create championships (although the 2K team says it will be back after a future patch), which makes Universe Mode pretty much unplayable. Oh well, guess I’ll have to wait until the patches. Add to it that the current group of CAWs hold much to be desired (search WALTER and you’ll see what I mean). I don’t know if the usual creators just aren’t switching over yet or they’re not coming this year.

Worse, if you agree to the EULA terms for 2K20, you won’t be allowed to upload any new images to 2K19. I think this might keep some of the best creators out of 2K20 at least until they fix all the crap this thing is stuffed with. I guess if you’re looking for a positive out of this, you won’t have to worry about running out of image space this year. The best addition is that you can finally edit in-game superstar’s default gear instead of just making a new one. As a person who plays Universe mode a lot, I really appreciate this change. I mean, they had to get something right, right?

Next, I dove into the Player Towers– a pretty cool mlde that allows you to get out of the regular MyPlayer story and play a ton of other matches. There are even towers specific to the day and the month, so there is definitely constant playability since there is literally something new every day. Then there’s the 2K Central version of Towers. From the Reign of Roman to the Women’s Revolution to Legends, there are 76 different towers to play. Pretty solid. The downside? (You knew there was a lot of downside right?) Some of the challenge aren’t attainable. I’ve been to a time limit draw six times in one match after applying 25 submission holds to no avail because the submission mini game wouldn’t allow me to get my opponent to tap, and that was only the second tier. Needless to say, I haven’t bothered getting frustrated with that tower again.

Since I’m not a “Beta tester”, I didn’t get access to WWE 2K Originals. Guess that’s coming soon. Oh well. I had to give online a try even though it’s not my thing. The lack of players made it hard to find a match to play. That will probably get better once more people get this game (as long as they don’t return it and get a refund.) Online was very laggy, and after playing the game and getting used to timing for reversals and moves, it just frustrated me to no end. I don’t expect to give much time to this mode in the future.

It’s Bayley!!! … I think??

And why are we still getting three or four versions of a superstar instead of combining them into one? I don’t want Sasha Banks, Sasha Banks ’16 and Sasha Banks ’17. Just make them unlockable additional attires already. It’s so annoying, but I guess with this monstrosity, I can’t expect past problems to be addressed.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t get The Fiend. Kind of ridiculous that he’s the focal point of so much of the game, including the title video and most promotion but you can only get him if you pre-ordered. I got a review code from 2K and still don’t have Bray’s Evil-Ego. Whose bright idea was that?

Let him in. … No seriously. He’s not in the game. Let him in

Overall, WWE 2K20 is the WCW-era Vince Russo of wrestling video games. Even the hardest WWE mark won’t be able to get past the countless glitches and horrendous graphics. I certainly won’t be looking forward to next year’s installment unless they clean this one up with a few patches and make some considerable improvements next year. Or, better yet, take the entire year off. I doubt that will happen though. My Ringside Apostle advice: if you haven’t bought this now-gen jobber yet wait until VC patches it up and the community accepts these updates. And if they don’t, just keep playing 2K19. I’ll be putting mine back in right after I finish writing this.

This is a far cry from a classic game like WrestleMania 2000, even though graphics are pretty similar, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon with Yukes nowhere else to be seen (maybe they’re working on that AEW game? Something from New Japan?). Instead of spending $80 on the Deluxe Edition of WWE 2K20, just get yourself a couple of Steveweisers and get yourself drunk. I’m pretty sure the developers did when they put this piece of shit together anyway.

Graphics: -2/5
Online: 1/5
MyPlayer: 3/5
2K Central: 2.5/5
Showcase: 3/5
Gameplay: 1.5/5
Creation Suite: 1/5

Overall = 1.5/5 AEW Dynamites.

-Shawn Puff

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