For more than 15 years, the developers from Yoke’s studio have been wrestling, and the latest releases of WWE 2K have been assisted by another team from the publisher 2K Games – Visual Concepts. However, when creating WWE 2K20, Yoke’s only advised Visual Concepts, who this time were forced to take full responsibility for the new part, because their Japanese colleagues left the publisher for free bread. What happened in the end and why WWE 2K20 deserved such notoriety from the very release, we can find out by looking at this project in detail.

You have probably already seen strange and almost creepy videos and frames with WWE 2K20 bugs on the net, where, for example, some kind of tentacle creature devours an opponent right in the ring, and some fighters take on the role of the New Face of Fear and smile with all 32 teeth with a grin skinned demons. But before us is the version of the game for the PlayStation 4 and I almost never met bugs of this level. At the same time, a lot of cosmetic flaws, strange work of body physics, epileptic facial animation and flickering lighting could be observed regularly.

Midcareer mode offers to create two heroes at once – Trey and Red. The best friends are obsessed with the dream of becoming WWE stars and start their journey by training at a local wrestling school and matches in amateur competitions. Although at the beginning of the story we are shown how the heroes have already taken place in their careers and are preparing for the award ceremony and inclusion in the WWE Hall of Fame – Hall of Fame.

Through flashbacks, we feel in their battles both in reality and in a dream. The scriptwriters decided to remove the restrictions of sports simulators and in one of the chapters Trey will have to help The Undertaker on his journey to the afterlife, and in another scene we will be lucky enough to take away the title of WWE Universe Champion from Samoa Joe. Some may consider such tales silly, but the story is replete with humor and self-irony over the universe and WWE stars, which allows you to perceive what is happening as a light comedy.

Heroes of the career mode can be upgraded not only by moving through the story, but also by participating in online matches, in Towers mode or in 2K Originals. Even when creating a character, we are offered to choose his specialization, which affects the techniques and direction of his attacks.

But the leveling tree destroys this concept, because skill descriptions open as we unlock the ability icons adjacent to them. That is, it is impossible to plan your build in advance. Add to this the cumbersome branching of leveling skills, and you get an inconvenient progression system where you have to build your fighter’s arsenal by touch.

2K Showcase about the women’s revolution and the four main WWE divas turned out to be emotionally rich. The events of this storyline show the girls’ journey since 2015, where they proved their mettle by winning top honors in NXT.

The end point here is the climax of the conflict between Becky, Charlotte, and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 2019, where for the first time in WWE history, a diva showdown was the main event. Everything was at stake in this triple threat match, including the WWE Raw Championship and the WWE SmackDown Championship. I followed the show during this period and I can say that the developers conveyed the emotional intensity of the confrontations well.

However, the 2K Showcase mode had problems in the previous parts and they did not disappear here. First of all, this is the problem of a large number of small tasks that need to be performed in order to trigger certain match events. In an environment where you could get stabbed at the end of an hour-long match.

or the game might bug and have to replay the entire fight from the beginning, completing these tasks is a tedious task. Also, due to the ambiguity and complexity of the controls, you often have to pause the game and study tips on how to perform certain tricks to launch the next scene. On a positive note, these so-called “objectives” are optional to complete the match, unlike the Midcareer mode, where you simply won’t complete the mission without completing the assigned objectives.

The 2K Originals Mission Pack has been playable since Halloween. It is a pity that this component is available as a paid DLC, because there was a place for unusual fights in it. There is a small storyline here, which is implemented as a narrative in a visual novel. The conductor in this theater of nightmares is Bray Wyatt. In the updated incarnation of The Fiend, the former World Eater kindly invites you to crush a dozen or two skulls in the graveyard.

Smashing faces with tombstones and cracking spines with a witch’s broom is surprisingly satisfying. In other 2K Originals sub-modes, you can compete in otherworldly championships with many Halloween-themed cosmetic rewards. The Chaos at the Crypt described above in the graveyard is also available in online matches. And, if we are talking about online, then here, just as in the previous parts, it is poorly implemented. A noticeable delay between pressing and displaying techniques on the screen, as well as a long search for opponents are attached.

Separately, the Towers mode should also be noted. Now you can calmly clear these towers from challenges without unnecessary nerves, since when you lose, you are not thrown back to the very beginning, as it was before, but left on your current opponent. Towers featuring male athletes have a higher difficulty setting with preset AI strength settings of Normal and Hard.

Women’s are less complex. In this mode, there are many towers where you can compete for various titles and belts, or you can simply take part in a chain of battles in some iconic confrontation for the WWE universe. The plot Tower of Roman Reigns is pleasantly distinguished by the production, like Showcase.

The rest of the modes migrated to WWE 2K20 from the previous parts, but some confrontations are missing.  Also in this part, the roster of fighters sets a new record – 180 athletes. But due to the deplorable visual performance, many stars are almost unrecognizable and the whole variety of both characters and cosmetic means of changing the appearance goes down the drain.