WWE 2K20 (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 15.11.2019

Review for WWE 2K20 on Xbox One

Blaze Fielding and Zoya "The Destroya" strut down the ramp, golden belts on their shoulders, all the while waving off a deafening chorus of boos. With a microphone in her hand, Zoya eggs on the crowd. "You call us traitors. You call us cowards. Yet here we stand before you; the tag team champions." - she laughs and then continues: "this is the 'Land of Opportunity', right? We saw an 'opportunity' and took it. Now you capitalist pigs can see why we're the best in the world." Elsewhere in the WWE Universe, Jenna Stokes and Adam Grisly are about to take their first steps toward superstardom. Also, there's the legend of the Four Horsewomen. In just a few years, they revolutionized the WWE women's division. Step into the ring to experience their trials and tribulations first hand. This is WWE 2K20, where the wrestling world is yours to explore and command.

Boasting the largest roster yet, and a wealth of game modes, there's no question that WWE 2K20 is massive. However, as this series has proven time and time again, you can have all of the content imaginable, but still fail to deliver an enjoyable product. Sometimes the blame rests with the content itself, maybe it's a failure to account for the fundamentals, or perhaps the frequency of glitches is too much to bear. This entry is a special case, because it manages to suffer from all three issues.

After creating both a female and male MyPlayer, you're welcome to partake in their story. This tale follows your creations as they look back on their illustrious wrestling career. What could be a compelling storyline is quickly rattled by poor dialogue, and awful attempts at humour. The protagonists are just plain dorky, and exchange embarrassing one-liners on a regular basis. There are some clever bits, like a flashback sequence that takes place in a wrestling ring, complete with commentary. The interactions with various WWE superstars tend to be pretty interesting. Also, there's something inherently endearing about following your dreams, in spite of constant hurdles and setbacks. It's just a shame that the player-characters are laughably inept.

Screenshot for WWE 2K20 on Xbox One

Aside from the uneven story, the MyCareer mode is fairly solid. In the hub, you'll reminiscent with WWE stars, participate in matches, and cross off goals in your wrestling "bucket list." Be sure to check out the towers. You can compete in a series of bouts to earn experience, tokens, and other rewards. Right off the bat, it's easy to create a decent-looking wrestler with a solid repertoire of techniques. Unlocking stat-boosts and skills through the "MyPlayer Tree" is also much more gratifying than burning through tons of VC. Yes, the virtual currency system hasn't gone anywhere. VC is spent on tokens, which are then used to purchase loot-boxes. At least this system isn't as obnoxious as in WWE 2K18. You're not going to be stuck with generic tights and rudimentary scoop slams for hours.

The matches themselves generally come in two flavours. Most of the time, you're going to try to put on five-star bouts. That means using all of your available moves, while also allowing the opponent to land a few hits. Pro-wrestling is filled with excitement and drama, so you need to do your part. Near-falls, high-risk manoeuvres, and reversing finishing moves are necessary steps for putting on an amazing show. The other match-type is more of an extended tutorial. Players are required to perform specific tasks in order to advance the "story" of the match they're participating in. This can involve something simple, such as Irish-whipping someone into a turnbuckle, or it can be a bit more complex, like performing suplex 4. In any case, the objective menu explains exactly what buttons need to be pressed, so you're never lacking for information.

The 2K showcase plays home to two major retrospectives. One of them chronicles the rise of "The Four Horsewomen." It's a documentary focused on the WWE women's division, particularly its four most-decorated stars. You'll relive a number of classic moments, such as Sasha Banks' winning the NXT Women's title in a Fatal Four-way at NXT Takeover. Note however that the matches play out similarly to those in MyCareer's story mode, so you'll have to perform specific objectives in order to win. If you or your opponent gets pinned, then it's game over. In certain circumstances, such as the aforementioned Fatal Four-way, this can get supremely annoying. During one attempt, Sasha had to brawl with Charlotte Flair outside of the ring. Inside, Bayley had just hit Becky Lynch with her patented "Bayley-to-belly" finishing move. Unfortunately for Sasha, and the player, she couldn't prevent break up the resultant pin, causing Bayley to win the title.

Screenshot for WWE 2K20 on Xbox One

The other major showcase details the highlights of Roman Reign's career. This mode takes place in the tower. Therefore, if you want the most rewards, then you'll have to put on five-star matches, while under some sort of negative effect. For example, in the very first match, both Roman and his partner Seth Rollins are down to two thirds of their normal amount of health. The AI is also set to the hardest difficulty, so good luck trying to get the win. A wealth of other towers is available. If you're just that good, you can beat WWE legends, and score a ton of tokens.

While the MyUniverse mode hasn't seen any significant updates, it's still a decent experience for would-be General Managers. Almost immediately, this critic was able to create his own show, and fill its roster with an odd assortment of created wrestlers. Promos are still an afterthought unfortunately. It's impossible to create a good rivalry, when the participants are giving long-winded speeches that don't go anywhere.

Content-wise, there aren't that many complaints to be made about WWE 2K20. Not all of the features are as good they could be, but you can still get an idea of what the developers were going for. However, this entry falls apart where it matters most: the gameplay and user experience. It feels like every aspect of this title has at least one issue. Some are less significant than others, but you can still expect to run into at least one with every 20 minutes of play-time.

Screenshot for WWE 2K20 on Xbox One

To begin with, the controls have gotten just a bit too complicated for their own good. Yes, it's nice to have a massive selection of moves to work with, but even series veterans are bound to be confused by the ridiculous amount of button combinations. The assist-mode is supposedly designed to help ease newcomers into how everything works. More often than not, however, it just takes control away from them, and performs actions they might not want. Further compounding the issue is the fact that the targeting is wonky. Some moves only connect during specific circumstances, some won't connect at all. During the review process, this critic had a match where his opponent lost, partly because they couldn't land their finisher. They'd spend their finisher "stock," lunge at the rival, but then do absolutely nothing.

Glitches are a near-constant occurrence. Usually, they're fairly mild, like a table being flung into the air, or wrestlers contorting their bodies in a manner most inhuman. However, there are some problems that can't be laughed off. During a backstage brawl, Ice Ribbon superstar Risa Sera attempted to DDT an interplanetary cat-girl, but got trapped behind an invisible wall. Phantasy Star 2 villain Neifirst was supposed to interfere in a Shayna Baszler match, but her AI broke, and she spent the remainder of Shayna's match staring at the crowd. AI breaking seems to happen pretty often. They'll get stuck performing the same actions over and over. Using the Xbox One Guide button can cause the background music to stop playing.

Worse still are those times where this stops working entirely. Maybe you're trying to download a created wrestler, or moving through menus a little too quickly. In any case, eventually you'll get stuck at a loading screen that refuses to disappear. Thanks to the frequent auto-saves, you're unlikely to lose a lot of progress, but it's still a needless aggravation. These and many other issues maintain a constant presence throughout, which drags the entire experience down. Aside from some admittedly intriguing content, there's nothing here that WWE fans can't get from last year's entry. WWE 2K19 doesn't suffer from nearly as many bugs, and can be had for a fraction of the price.

Screenshot for WWE 2K20 on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Ultimately, WWE 2K20 is the same old story of good ideas and bad execution. Having both female and male main characters in the MyCareer story mode is great. When presented alongside the "Four Horsewomen" mode/documentary, it shows 2K's commitment towards inclusivity. However, this is frequently undone by a plethora of bugs and glitches. In just a short amount of play-time, you're guaranteed to run into any number of them. Even if you can inexplicably manage to look past these problems, you're treated to original content that's also pretty flawed. Wrestling fans deserve better.

Developer

Visual Concepts

Publisher

2K

Genre

Sport

Players

6

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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