WWE 2K Battlegrounds is developed by Saber Interactive and is published by 2K Sports with the game being scheduled to be released on 18th September but we got our hands on a demo build for the game and here’s our review on the game!
Do note that our review for this demo is more focused on the multiplayer aspect of the game so please keep that in mind when reading our review.
To put things briefly, WWE 2K Battlegrounds is an arcade-style brawler with over the top wrestling action featuring some of the fan favorite WWE superstars such as The Rock, John Cena and many more.
The Match Types of the Century
Some of the match types that are available in this demo build are the 2v2 Steel Cage match and the Fatal 4-Way Match types.
In the 2v2 Steel Cage match types, as the name suggests, two teams of two WWE Superstars must compete against one another, all while collecting the money bags that hanging on top of the steel cages to fill up your money bar. With the money bar filled up, you’ll win the match by escaping the steel cage.
Keep in mind to avoid the electrified cages which will be switched on at random parts of the match. Honestly speaking, I’m not a big fan of this game mode, having to climb up the ropes feels a bit wonky which can be pretty crucial since that’s the winning condition of this game mode.
Meanwhile in the Fatal 4-Way match type, (which is my personal favorite) is a free for all match between four chosen WWE Superstars where rules aren’t typically applied. The win condition for this match type is being the first to successfully pin down an opponent or by forcing a submission. There’s also various of items which are scattered throughout the map which can be used to gain an upper hand.
I feel like this is the main essence of a fun party game where you can just mess around with your friends for a heightened enjoyable experience.
The other reason as to why I prefer Fatal 4-Way over 2v2 Steel Cage Match is because the latter has that certain win condition objective which honestly makes the game mode more competitive than Fatal 4-Way and that to me isn’t particularly fun as in comparison of the chaotic enjoyment that Fatal 4-Way can bring to the table.
Legends Returning to the Ring
The game offers some of the specified roles characters which are available in the game. Each of these roles have their own unique stats and play-styles which makes these characters diverse. The characters also have a set of 3 power ups that can be picked out before starting a match.
Although in the demo, they only offer 3 power ups so far which means they can’t be swapped out so I hope that they release more power-ups in the official game which are completely different from the current set to make things more interesting since as for now, the power-ups feel a tad bit lackluster because it doesn’t offer much of a comeback mechanic.
The roles of these characters are as follows:
The High Flyer role are essentially characters with high Speed and Stamina stats and are owned for their aerial prowess as they exceed in pulling off aerial combat.
Powerhouses are characters with high Health stats, Punching stats, as well as Throwing Stats. These roles are good at dealing punches as well as being able to take them with the aid of their high Health stats.
Not to be confused with the Powerhouse role, the brawler has higher Kick stats than the Powerhouse role and has a more balanced Health, Stamina as well as Punching Stats. Brawlers do well in close quarter combat.
The jack of all trades, master of none; The All Rounders have balanced Stats and the most easy to use in my opinion.
The technician role has good Throwing stats as well as Speed, Kicking and Aerial Combat. The Technician role are best at disrupting opponents during fights.
The roles are assigned with each of the most iconic WWE Superstars that had shaped the wrestling scene. While the demo build only offer these stars, the official game will offer up to 70 superstars to choose from. The characters that can be played in the demo are:
- Andre the Giant (Powerhouse)
- Daniel Bryan (All rounder)
- Edge (All rounder)
- Jeff Hardy (High flyer)
- John Cena (All rounder)
- Rey Mysterio (High flyer)
- Stone Cold Steve Austin (Brawler)
- The Fiend Bray Wyatt (Brawler)
- The Rock (All rounder)
- Undertaker (Powerhouse)
- Xavier Woods (Technician)
- Asuka (Technician)
- Ronda Rousey (Brawler)
- Sasha Banks (High flyer)
- Stephanie McMahon (All rounder)
The Arenas of Fame and Glory
There are 2 different Arenas to choose from, and it is only for the Fatal 4-Way Match type at the moment. We aren’t able to pick the maps before the match starts but both these maps have pretty similar layout and mechanics, the only difference is in aesthetic choices. So hopefully they add in more Arena that have varying mechanics as well as the option to choose arenas in the official launch.
For now, the different arenas are:
In the Everglades, players are able to punish their opponents in the Florida swamps and toss them into the jaws of a hungry alligator to deal damage to them.
Meanwhile, in the Auto Shop, give your opponents a fine tune-up by tossing explosive barrels at them as well as sending a car crashing down onto their heads.
The art of Wrestling, through gameplay
In the current demo build that we tried out, we are only able to access the male and female exhibition matches for the 2v2 Steel Cage and Fatal 4-Way Match Types.
The gameplay of the game was pretty smooth for most of the time but there are some frame rate drops as well as the game crashing twice throughout the time played but that’s normal for game demos so hopefully they’re able to fix that issue when the game officially launches.
The moves that the WWE superstars pull off feel pretty impactful and can feel like they actually pack a punch and when they move, you can also feel the weight of their attacks. There are also tons of specific combos to pull off and the combos doesn’t feel dull.
While the AI in the game can get a bit wonky at times, the game is indefinitely best to play with your mates if you’re looking for a fun and easy to pick up right off the bat.
Not to mention, the HUD of the game looks pretty clean and doesn’t have unnecessary information that would clutter up the screen.
The heatbar which is shown under the character) determines the meter before you can use your signature move (it’s filled up by taunting or dealing damage to the enemies, it can also be filled up by taking damage but it wont fill up as quickly, is pretty balanced and not too broken where one character is ridiculously overpowered and it acts as a pretty good comeback mechanic which can turn the tide of battle.
Controls that Determine the Fights
While playing the demo, I used an xbox controller which is also the recommended choice and here are the list of main basic buttons:
- Kick (Y)
- Simple Hit (X)
- Throw (A)
- Pin (B)
- Block (R)
- Run (Holding down RT)
- Moving your character (Left stick)
- Locking on to a character (Press down Right stick)
- Picking up objects (L)
- Combos Mode (Holding down LT)
The tutorials that the game offers are quite in-depth but it’s also easy to understand. The buttons are pretty responsive with minimal input delays in between the performed action. Combos are also relatively easy to pull off without the need of inputting those insane combo buttons in comparison to other fighting games which is great since the game will be easy to pick up even for beginners.
Looks can Kill in the Ring
With Max settings, the game still looks pretty decent with the certain aesthetic of the half cartoon style that they’re trying to go for and it really fits with the overall WWE 2K Battlegrounds style. Although I’m personally not a big fan of the character models in game. The UI is also amazing looking as I personally think it really fits in with the WWE style.
The specialized skills looks pretty nice with its own cinematic as well as the signature moves of the wwe characters staying true to the original characters in the real WWE.
The game is best enjoyed where you can gather up your mates and play it as a party game for some enjoyable and mindless fun. It’s also a love letter to WWE fans since the characters have their signature moves and opening sequence like John Cena and its entrance theme.
Picking characters in the game can act like fantasy football but instead you can have your dream matches that won’t be made possible in real life such as fighting Andre the Giant as the Rock or re-imagine some of the iconic matches such as Stone Cold Austin vs John Cena. The game also manages to portray the whole WWE experience with the over-exaggerated moves and announcers which increase the overall fun experiences.
Although, you can’t skip the opening sequence of the game which makes booting it up take quite a long time. A large amount of modes are still locked from the demo such as single player campaign, tournament and royal rumble.
|Fun party game||Game could be better optimised|
|Easy to pull off combos||Character models could use a bit of touch up|
|Staying true with the real-life wwe wrestlers||AI can be a bit unfair and wonky at times|
With that being said, I do hope to see improvements in the finalized build of the game. For more information on the game, check out the official website for future announcements.
- Minimum Specs
- OS – Windows 7 64-bit
- Processor – Intel core I3-540 3,06 GHz
- Memory – 4 GB Ram
- Video Card – NVIDIA GeForce GT 710
- DirectX 11
- Storage 9 Gb available space
- Sound Card
- 40-50 fps average
- Resolution 1280×720
- Settings – Low
- OS – Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
- Processor – Intel Core i5-4690 3.5 Ghz or better
- Memory – 8 GB RAM
- Graphic card – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670, similar or better
- DirectX – Version 11
- Storage – 9 Gb available space
- Sound Card – DirectX 9.0x compatible sound card
- 60-70 FPS average
- Resolution 1920×1080
- Settings – High