WWE 2K Battlegrounds is taking a sharp turn from WWE’s ‘this is the real deal’ approach to an easy pick-up-and-play-one.

It’s been more than a decade since the wrestling franchise decided to switch its name from World Wrestling Federation to World Wrestling Entertainment. It was mostly due to the dispute with the World Wildlife Fund, but that helped to shush naysayers from bringing up the fact that much of its fights are staged. Entertainment is what drove the franchise to its glory. Sadly, recreating the same glory through video games was not smooth sailing. Especially the game from last year. It got choke-slammed out of the ring before it could even land a punch or two with the audience. 

WWE 2K Battlegrounds rides that scepticism with caution. It’s a bold move from the franchise to let go of all its ‘oh-so-real’ antics and offer what the fans truly wanted - a good fighting game. Albeit, not always entirely a wrestling one.


Battle where?

Battlegrounds is something I would play with friends if they came over for dinner. Pass as many as 4 controllers around and you’ll have a fun night. Doesn’t matter if you’re a purist or no, the ease of pick-up and play is something most people can get behind. 

The face buttons on the Xbox controller execute kick, punch, throw and pin. The shoulder buttons have block, run, pick-up object and combos mode. Each fighter also has three Power-Ups which can be used in a match using the arrow keys. 

This basic layout can then be mixed and matched for combos and special abilities. None of which will require you to remember a spreadsheet-worth of move sets. It’s pretty simple and getting the hang of things takes a game or two. Quite like Tekken, minus the plethora of moves. To be fair, there is a healthy list of moves for returning and hardcore WWE fans. This is not a stripped-down version of the previous games but rather a rehaul of core mechanics to be inclusive and not laser-focused just for that one person who still watches WWE in your group.


2K seemed to have shifted away from the charismatic entrances for a rather comical one. Your character basically is dropped from the sky in a wooden container. The game doesn’t take itself seriously, which is fine and entertaining, but I was expecting a bit more theatrics from entrances. After all, it is WWE and not WWF. Characters seem a bit dead during entrances. Even their taunts ain’t very creative for something that looks like it’s cooked by a five-year-old with a crayon and an Arts degree. 

Matches almost always end up with the ring getting squished to the floor. Gasoline tanks, crocodiles and car's rears are all around you waiting for a sorry opponent to get whacked. 

Fighters are divided into five classes - Powerhouse, Technician, High-Flyer, Brawler and All-Rounder. Names are pretty much verbatim for what the fighters can do. That said, it’s a good way for players to choose their fighters depending on how they want their playstyle to pan out. 

Even with a controller in hand, you can sometimes feel like a backseat driver. The action is not as toe-tapping or nerve-wracking as we’ve come to expect from fighting games. And most of it has to do with audio. The sound and background score doesn’t pump your blood the way Tekken or Super Smash Bros does. Albeit, neither of them is close to a wrestling game but even so, the background score needs a bit of polishing.

Stuff says... 

WWE 2K Battlegrounds review

Battlegrounds has its moments even if it’s not fully desirable
Good Stuff 
We like the idea of a pick-up and play WWE game
Easy for newcomers
Categorizing wrestlers make it easy for people to understand
Fun and arcade-y
Bad Stuff 
Grind to unlock most wrestlers
The story mode is boring