The concept of an arcade-like wrestling game featuring some of the most famous stars today wrapped in a cartoony art-style seems like a winning formula. No simulation-like gameplay, only over the top action littered with graphical spectacle is the kind of fun one might need during dire times, unfortunately, the ideas never reach the same levels of excitement as the description of WWE 2K Battlegrounds. If only the developers spent more time creating a worthwhile arcade wrestling game instead of forcing another half-baked WWE title out the door, Battlegrounds might have brought something good to 2020.
Substituting the simulation wrestling gameplay for more arcade-like focused gameplay, Battlegrounds can be described as "dumb fun," at least for the first few matches. The differences between the 5 classes soon become apparent and introduce the point where Battlegrounds generally fell apart for me. The five classes which are Powerhouses, Brawlers, Technicians, High-Flyers, and All-Rounders at least all play differently from each other. Powerhouses are slow-moving, heavy-hitting goons, while Brawlers can materialize weapons out of thin air. Technicians have powerful throw moves while High-Flyers can jump from the top ropes. All-Rounders can do a bit of everything of the above, though to a lesser degree. The neat class-based system is sadly held back by the fact that each character in a specific class plays exactly the same. It would have been great to see each wrestler in their respectful class play differently from another wrestler in the same class.
To try and give some meaning to all the matches, WWE 2K Battlegrounds tries to introduce a story players can follow. Following Paul Bearer as he tries to create his own wrestling spectacle, the story is presented in a comic book format. Needless to say, the story is about as intriguing as its presentation. Make no mistake, this is no comic strip masterfully crafted to deliver maximum punch through a 2-page spread, it's simply a couple of bland images thrown together to try and invoke a sense of purpose for each wrestler it is currently focusing on. A zany, over-the-top story to compliment the cartoon-like art style would have gone a long way in the story department.
To try and give some meaning to all the matches, WWE 2K Battlegrounds tries to introduce a story players can follow.
...Battlegrounds boasts an impressive line up of 70 wrestlers, with only 24 available at the start.
Kingdom Hearts devotee, From Software fanboy and aspiring Audiophile (the good kind that believes in FLAC files). Vincent enjoys writing about games almost as much as playing them.
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18 September 2020
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