WWE 2K20 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on October 22. I’ve had a chance to play a near final build of the game, and I’ll have a complete review within a week.
I did however write up my hands-on impression from the early build here. On the strength of my hands-on experience and a complete feature breakdown, here are the 15 things you should know about WWE 2K20.
There is a Visual Upgrade
It’s difficult for franchises with annual releases to show significant visual improvements. The WWE 2K franchise isn’t immune to this struggle. However, WWE 2K20 does offer a noticeable improvement in visuals over WWE 2K19.
Most of the improvements are based on colors that pop more, and the use of deeper blacks that make for some of the more vibrant character models you’ll see in any game.
Also, the characters are rendered with slightly exaggerated bulk, which might sound like a negative, but it’s the complete opposite. This take gives the game a distinct and positive look.
Gameplay Changes and Button Remapping
The developers wanted to make the gameplay system a little more simplistic. The reversal button has been moved to Y/Triangle. Climbing is now done with the RB button to prevent confusion with the command to pick up weapons. Signatures, finishers and OMG moments are now done with a double-button press.
It takes just a little getting used to, but ultimately these changes could provide a better experience for gamers.
You Can Create A Female MyPlayer
For the first time in series history, you can create a female MyPlayer. In fact, you have to create both a male and a female to go through the MyCareer story this year.
Your characters will be referred to as Red and Tre, no mater what you name them, but the story is fully voiced by WWE Superstars and other voiceover talent.
The MyCareer Journey Takes 20 Hours
The entire journey, which consists of 100 matches/brawls and 18 chapters should take you about 20 hours to complete. Depending on who you ask, that might be considered too short, and some might imply it is too long.
For me, it’s just about right. I don’t want to put it too many hours on the single-player experience with so much else to do in other modes. However, I also don’t want something so short that it winds up being unfulfilling.
That said, 20 hours seems about right.
The 2K Showcase Features The Women’s Revolution
The WWE 2K push for equality isn’t exclusive to MyCareer.
The theme of this year’s 2K Showcase is the Women’s Revolution. You’ll play through most of the meaningful and iconic moments that have elevated female WWE Superstars to prominence.
Online Lobbies Return
Thankfully, online lobbies returns to the series for 2K20. This platform will support 1v1, Triple Threat, Fatal-Four Way, and Six-Man matches with support for specified genders. There are also search filters for rule set, gender and more.
The new Tonight’s Match theme offers a quick online play option that cycles through all of the match types offering gamers something fresh on a daily.
It feels a little like The Agenda in NBA 2K20’s MyTeam mode.
What’s New in Road to Glory?
There are 5 core classes to choose from: Cruiser, Striker, Specialist, Powerhouse and Giant. Each class has 2 styles which allows for a little more flexibility between archetypes.
There are also five earnable presitge ranks: Rookie, Superstar, Living Legend, Titan and Immortal. You progress through the prestige ranks by accumulating XP. Progression also renders rewards, and the male and female MyPlayers have their own specific prizes.
The MyPlayer Skill Tree has been redesigned. You can allocate your attribute points in a less restrictive way which also piggybacks on the expanded style concept.
Side Plates and Challenges have been combined into one system. Your MyPlayer will earn the side plates by completing a series of challenges. The challenge system has been expanded to include more situations.
Female MyPlayers are completely integrated into RTG, and the new “Featured Match” option builds on the “Tonight’s Match” theme. In turn, you’ll now see Triple Threat, Fatal 4-Way and 6-man matches.
There is No Create-A-Finisher
Unfortunately, one of my favorite features from older WWE games still hasn’t returned. That’s Create-A-Finisher.
WWE gaming fans need this feature back, but chances are the developers haven’t figured out a way to bring it back free of bugs.
There is No Create-A-Story
Similarly, Create-A-Story won’t return in this year’s game. That feature wasn’t very user-friendly in the past.
It’s unlikely to return until the devs can deliver it in a way that allows gamers to more accurately create custom angles within the Universe mode.
There is No GM Mode
Another feature fans have been requesting is GM mode. That too isn’t in this year’s game.
Universe mode has seen some upgrades, but the sprawling franchise mode that WWE fans have been asking for is still out reach. In truth, the GM mode has been romanticized in a way that makes it a bit overrated.
The same functionality and more can be attained within Universe, it just needs a few small tweaks.
Create-A-Championship is Coming in a Post-Release Patch
Many fans love creating custom championships in WWE 2K games. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to do this at launch.
That feature needed a bit more seasoning and won’t make it out by October 22. However, I was assured the feature would be included in one of the first post-release patches.
New Things in Universe
While GM mode isn’t back, Universe in 2K20 has more layers. Match limits have increased to nine for major shows and seven for the minors. You can use up to 14 matches in pay-per-views.
Major shows can have seven titles, and four rivalries. The number of co-hosts for the virtual broadcasts of PPVs and minor shows is now up to 3. There are 50 female cutscenes and 25 new cutscenes to augment new storylines.
New storyline structures include 1v1, enemy vs. enemy, low intensity, and 1v1, ally vs. ally, low/medium intensity. Universe mode creators can now incorporate custom matches. Also, users can specify certain match types be attached to any championship belt.
Lastly, mixed tag matches can now be included in Universe. It’s not a complete overhaul, but these changes will help the overall functionality and creative freedom of the mode.
Tons of New Towers
There is a 16-match tower that showcases Roman Reigns’ greatest rivalries. Reigns does the intro on each of these matches. This concept blends a bit of the Showcase approach with the more straightforward Tower structure.
There are also tag-team, triple threat and Fatal-Four Way towers, which wasn’t available in 2K19.
Some of the towers will have enemies who cause increased damage with their attacks. Others will challenge you to complete the task without a HUD. At launch, there will be more than 50 new towers.
The towers will come in three categories:
- Legends – Play as or against WWE legends
- Women’s Revolution – Take a brief run through the careers of some of the most influential female WWE Superstars
- 2K Central – Similar concept from last year’s game.
WWE 2K Originals Explained
WWE 2K20 Originals are content packs designed to take gamers on a more fantasy-based journey using WWE Superstars in an altered form. You have likely seen videos like the one below that has The Fiend and others battling in over-the-top environments.
This is an example of a WWE 2K Originals concept.
There is one content pack available at launch, and there will be three released as DLC after the game hits retailers.
Each Original contains its own Showcase that is presented by The New Day. The Originals also come with Story Towers that focus on a single concept that will offer users in-game rewards.
Lastly, the release and lifespan of the Originals will coincide with a special event that offers exclusive rewards. In all, the Originals offer an opportunity to unlock characters, Superstar parts, weapons, arenas, moves, entrances, emblems, banners and new Payback abilities.
The Roster is Enormous
With a whopping 238 wrestlers, this has to be the largest roster in any WWE video game. Depending on how you look at it, WWE 2K20 might have the largest roster of playable characters of any fighting game in history.
Tobal 2 had 200, and few have come close to that number while WWE 2K20’s selection is far bigger.
I’m looking forward to publishing my complete review for the game shortly.