WWE 2K20 Review: Glitches, Gameplay Fails Make Wrestling Comical and Cringeworthy
The number of glitches, flaws and irregularities in WWE 2K20 are so many that this has to have set some kind of a world record.
The number of glitches, flaws and irregularities in WWE 2K20 are so many that this has to have set some kind of a world record. (Image: 2K Games)
It will perhaps say something to write that WWE 2K20 is worse than the football that Manchester United has played, ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. The annual video game rendition of the wrestling franchise has gone through a similar change of hands this year, after long-time developer Yuke departed to hand the reins over to Visual Concepts, while 2K Games retained its distribution rights. When such a change happens, it isn’t unusual for a video game to go through a patchy one year. But, what WWE 2K20 has turned out to be is nothing short of shambolic.
For someone that does not play every WWE game every year, WWE 2K20 will seem pretty decent at the onset. Having been occasional to this franchise, I personally found the new control scheme more streamlined and easier to operate for first-timers and bit-part gamers. The two-character story has been around before as well, but if you’re playing this for the first time, 2K20’s story mode does pretty well to keep you engaged, at least for some time. While these two elements meant that my tryst with the game went off to a reasonable start, it pretty much skid downhill since then.
At the centre of this downhill slide are the million-odd glitches that the game has. Inside the ring, characters keep getting inexplicably stuck, chairs, tables and ladders magically disappear after breaking, referees encounter a strange glitch and slither around on their knees like an 8-bit sloth, commentators keep repeating the same statement no matter what you do, and even the crowd animation looks like they’re borrowed from FIFA 08.
Compounding these are gameplay frailties — opponent targeting is so off-radar that you keep missing punches and strikes even when you directly point at your in-ring rival. Targeting is even worse when you attempt to use a special weapon, e.g a steel chair, when your character will at times simply refuse to hit the target. At times, certain opponents keep kicking out of the falls count even when they are injured and the health is depleted, and they do not have a stored comeback, resiliency or payback on their radar — until you hit your designated Finisher (even a Signature move won’t count).
If you’re targeting an opponent’s limb, he/she would get up after an attack spell and continue fighting without any sign of the limb injury. In ladder matches, even when you throw an opponent through the announcer table, or hit them with a finisher on the ringside, they would always get up and run back to the ring the moment you climb the ladder — bearing no semblance to your array of attacks, or their erstwhile health bar.
Then, comes the way the game and its levels are designed. In the Showcase mode with The Four Horsewomen, while the 15 preset matches are reasonably engaging to play through, failing a single objective means you resume the match from the beginning, and there are no mid checkpoints to resume a match from. This can be especially annoying during the Money in the Bank ladder match that comes in the middle of the showcase. The same does not really bother you during the story-based journey mode, since most of the matches are easy and straightforward.
However, the story itself, while nicely framed, ends with a rather abrupt ending, one that feels as if the developers ran out of good ideas after a point, and stitched together a hasty ending. While it is not bad per se, it’s not one that registers as ‘good’, either. As for the 2K Originals, wherein special modes (such as the superpower-themed Bump in the Night that was advertised pre-launch) were to be introduced in order to make the gameplay more interesting, the DLCs (downloadable contents) have not been released, nearly a month after WWE 2K20 was released.
All of these factors come together to make WWE 2K20 feel like a trainwreck, and even calling it ‘playable’ feels like a stretch. Online reports have clearly detailed the pitiable graphics, which too are further worsened by progressively comical glitches. There was a point where, while playing a Hell in a Cell match with John Cena and Edge (me), I was driven through the top of the cell with Cena’s finisher. However, while Cena executed his move well and climbed back down, my character remained stuck at the top of the cell, suspended in mid-air, only to suddenly crash down on the ring moments later and getting up immediately.
To sum up, if you already have a previous version of WWE games, you must give WWE 2K20 a miss. If you’re planning to buy it as first-time purchase, be sure to not go for WWE 2K20, for it does nothing but give you complete disappointment for the Rs 3,499 price tag that you’re expected to pay up.
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