WWE 2K Battlegrounds (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 31.10.2020

Review for WWE 2K Battlegrounds on Nintendo Switch

2K have received a lot of criticism in the past for their previous WWE titles, with many consumers citing game breaking and often hilarious glitches, as well long load times and often backwards steps in gameplay designs. Although these mainstream titles aren't disappearing any time soon, it's refreshing to see 2K begin to experiment with the idea of sports entertainment. Does this first foray have the 'Edge' needed to reinvent the genre? Well I've got two words for ya…….

From the initial loading everything looks promising, it's encouraging to see 2K clearly lean into the more ridiculous side of professional wrestling with a bright menu filled with oversized action figure-esque representations of some of the biggest names in the 'sport'. Excellent, great start. From there the normal modes that are expected are all present, and a normal introduction would be a quick exhibition match. Time to correct the outcome of that AJ vs Undertaker JCB debacle. Ok, so it's just a matter of picking…. Akira Tozawa?

It's the early alarm bell that only leads to more issues. A handful of fighters are available from the outset and 90 percent of them are characters nobody has any real interest in playing as. These D-listers fill the initial roster and although a hardened fan is going to appreciate their inclusion, nobody expects them to be the initial options. Hairs on the back of the neck begin to rise as the menus are navigated until all the initial worries are confirmed. Microtransactions.

Screenshot for WWE 2K Battlegrounds on Nintendo Switch

Currency is explained early, with each match gaining a small amount of XP that can then be spent in the store to purchase new characters, buffs, and super moves. All of these can also be purchased by using real-world currency at any time. What puts off any purchase, however, is the same issues that have riddled previous 2K titles. Of course the first purchases should be Jeff Hardy and Becky Lynch for any self-respecting fan of oil-based grappling, but as you hover over the selection, more often than not the name is right but the character model isn't even close. That is certainly Jeff Hardy's entrance theme and name but The Miz is in the box? With all the hours earned just to gain enough currency for one, its certainly worrying to think it's a gamble on who is going to be unlocked. If these graphical issues are ironed out though, the presentation of the store is great, with stars busting out of their action figure boxes to be part of your roster, with entrance themes booming as they do.

Screenshot for WWE 2K Battlegrounds on Nintendo Switch

The biggest gripe with WWE 2K Battlegrounds as a whole though, is that these microtransactions should exist. The standard carrot and stick approach is front and centre to give players just enough of a taste to keep going. Large XP bonuses to begin with, fizzling out just when you are on the verge of unlocking a character that can actually be recognised. It's hard to enjoy any aspect of the game when it's so clear that over thirty quid has been spent on what is in all aspects, a mobile phone game.

What about the gameplay though? Is that enough to overlook the glaring cash grab? Essentially, all types of matches are reduced to one button punching until the power bar unleashes to be honest a great looking, OTT finisher, then repeat. All characters act and control the same regardless of whichever speciality they fall into, with the same tried and tested punch and kick combos doing the job against any opponent. The ability to throw Roman Reigns into a crocodile is one that should be included in all future titles and live shows however. No real difficulty is presented in whichever mode is being played, except for throwing away any previous ideas that might be present on how matches are won in the first place. In all my years of watching wrestling, from memory at no time was a cage match won by gathering up enough dollars to leave. It can only be assumed they are grabbing the cash that has been taken from consumers after buying a mobile game at a premium.

Screenshot for WWE 2K Battlegrounds on Nintendo Switch

It's not all bad news, and on occasion there really are some interesting choices that it would be nice to see transferred into the main titles in future. As with the rest of the game though, any bright spots are overshadowed by mental choices. The campaign mode has a story that borders on the ridiculous and fits the WWE universe perfectly. Resident legend Paul Heyman feels that the wrestling world is going stale and Big Boss Man (not that one) Vince McMahon sends him out to find new locales and wrestlers for a grand tour of America, complete with stages like swamps and subway stations to match. All have stage interaction matching the theme that are genuinely fun to be involved with. With create a wrestler mode also included it would be safe to assume that a player would be taking their new upcoming star across the country, clashing with WWE's biggest and brightest. Instead characters are pre-selected and represent everything Vince would love in new hire; massive, dull, and hilariously stereotyped. Take New Yorker Bolo Reynolds, give him tattoos and a goatee, have him live in a swamp, give him a rope for a belt. Repeat the same matches ad infinitum.

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

With WWE 2K Battlegrounds, 2K has made it impossible to recommend for price and value. All aspects of the game revolve around microtransactions and by offering so little to begin with, the motivation to continue playing isn't present. Even the little things that make WWE games worth playing, such as seeing your favourite star enter the arena, are ruined with short audio clips and the same punch out of casket or box entrance. With baffling modes and gameplay that doesn't ever need to extend past single button bashing, it really highlights how 2K have gone for the cash grab and decided a mobile game may reach a wider audience on consoles. This is one title that needs to Rest….In……Peace.

Also known as

WWE 2K Battlegrounds

Developer

2K

Publisher

Take-Two Interactive

Genre

Sport

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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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