Last week we were treated to the annual release of 2K’s professional wrestling showcase – WWE 2K20. Usually a staple in every wrestling fans calendar, the excitement had been building for a while but not without some underlining concerns… it turned out that people were more than right to be concerned and here’s why.
The first worry for fans of the series came back in August when news broke that Japanese based developers Yuke’s would no longer be involved with WWE games, ending a partnership that stretched back nearly twenty years with both current publisher – 2K, and former publisher – THQ. 2K were quick to announce that their own in-house developers would be taking on the project. It seems as if this is where things began to fall apart.
Before I go much further, I just want to give a quick update on my relationship with these titles. I’ve always been a massive fan of pro wrestling video games, dating all the way back the first title I ever owned – WWF Warzone on the PS1. Since then I’ve played pretty much every wrestling game that’s hit the market from my obsession with WWF No Mercy on the N64, all the way through to the last wrestling game I picked up – WWE 2K18. There have been plenty of distractions along that journey from the highs of the Def Jam series to the lows of that awful TNA Impact game by Midway in 2008. Over the years though, I have found myself becoming more and more frustrated with the actual on-screen WWE product which is ultimately what led me to skipping last years WWE 2K19. I did manage to play it and technically it was a brilliant game, hell it even made my top 10 wrestling games of all time! But given how little I cared about WWE at that point, my only interest was using the games massively impressive creation suite and online community creations to essentially create a roster of wrestlers from outside companies such as NJPW, Progress, ROH and more which is exactly what I did with 2K18, the problem was I couldn’t really be bothered to do it all again so soon with 2K19 so I thought I’d wait to see what 2K20 offered up instead… oh boy. It’s looking like I should maybe think about going for 2K19 after all!
It turns out that the departure of Yuke’s has a massive effect on the game, in fact from what I’ve seen, it looks to be a complete step backwards. And no, I haven’t played it myself because on the evidence of what I’ve seen, there’s no way I’m giving 2K a penny for this dumpster fire! Just take a look at some of the tweets below for what I mean..
I know right? Now yes, this may not be happening to every person regularly but it seems to be happening enough that #FixWWE2K20 was trending on Twitter last week. Will it be patched? Maybe, 2K have now at least acknowledged the issues and have stated that they are looking into it. No mention of an actual patch though and worst of all, no apology either. So will they actually deliver on a fix? To be completely honest, who knows? Without Yuke’s on board, I can’t help but feel that this is what we’re getting. It’s not like the #FixCareerMode issue that EA had with FIFA 20 a couple of weeks back, that was purely EA being lazy with Beta testing and although career mode was a mess on release, EA have pulled their finger out and pretty much fixed every problem with their latest patch. That’s to be expected though, EA Sports have been developing these games for years and know exactly how to fix a situation like this where as 2K don’t have that, their in-house team has only recently started coming to terms with making wrestling games and seem like they’re trying to do whatever they can with the engine that Yuke’s built, without breaking it further. Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and make 2K20 playable again with the next patch, for the sake of the people who purchased this on day one I hope they do!
Another issue aside from the broken gameplay (which they reported tried to simplify but actually made it more confusing according to certain reviews) is the state of the one thing which had kept me on board with the series for so long – the creation suite. As mentioned above, the creation suite allows me to use wrestlers, arenas, titles and more that WWE are not licensed to do so, much like you can with PES. I follow a lot of the very talented creators in the community such as Defract, GameVolt, DrGorillaNuts and many more. These unsung heroes create me the roster I’d rather be using year on year, but now even these guys can’t do what they do best because even the creation suite is broke as well. Again, check out Gamevolt’s tweet below to get an idea of that I’m talking about.
Not only this but create-a-championship is not even there this year! It was a perfectly fine feature last year that didn’t need altering but now has vanished (apparently to be added again later but we’ll see), meaning my dreams of an AEW roster goes up in smoke as I can have Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks (well I can’t yet as create-a-superstar is currently broke) but no option to create any AEW title belts to go with the wrestlers and arenas. It may not sound like much but for somebody like me, this is the only reason I play the WWE 2K series so if I wasn’t out already, I am now!
I could go on and touch on the horrible character models or the laughable hair physics but I think I’ve said enough. Here’s hoping all this can be fixed, not for my benefit because I dodged a bullet and skipped this poor excuse for a game, but for the poor loyal soles who stuck by 2K despite the rumoured issues before release. On the plus side, Yuke’s are apparently working on a new wrestling game away from WWE so watch this space!Become a Patron!