WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a valuable package of some sweet, adrenaline-filled action. Though held back by a few relatively minor flaws, the game is still well worth checking out.
I, for one, have been longing for some old-school, arcade fighting action that would make my fingers genuinely hurt at the end of each session - and I'm happy to report that WWE 2K Battlegrounds has managed to scratch that itch quite successfully, with only a few downsides to show for it.
The game features a campaign mode where you get to play with a bunch of different, fresh new superstars, and is told in an appealing comic book style.
What I liked about it the most, is the fact that it doesn't drag itself out for no reason for the sake of longevity - it's there to give you a sense of progress as you learn the game's mechanics through various different modes, and it does the job quite well.
The writing, much like the game itself, can be downright silly but it's very entertaining, and even more so given that the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and plenty of other big names are featured in it.
Throughout the campaign, you will unlock a number of in-game items, such as new power-up moves, new battlegrounds and even some superstar wrestlers - something that is sadly seldom seen in modern-day fighting games.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds is definitely one of those easy to pick up, hard to master games. While it does feature an utterly over-the-top arcade gameplay style, it is by no means a button-mashing fest.
The controls are fairly straightforward and what you'd expect to see in a game like this, but executing different combos and having impeccable timing to parry or counter your opponent's attacks plays a massive role.
The roster features over 70 WWE names, with each one belonging to one of the five classes: Powerhouse, Brawler, All-Rounder, Technician and High-Flyer. All of these have their own pros and cons, together with unique combat moves that are geared to suit the style of their respective class.
The battlegrounds themselves aren't just a mere visual setting either, as most of them feature interactive elements that you can use to wreck your opponent - or be a victim of them yourself. I still dread the swamp alligator and being tossed in its mouth more times than I care to admit.
If none of the existing superstars and arenas are enough for you, you can take matters into your own hands, and quite literally so as the game allows you to create your own fighter and your custom arena as well.
Special moves feel particularly satisfying to execute, especially in those clutch moments where you nail a crazy slam right before making your opponent tap out.
I can safely say that WWE 2K Battlegrounds is an excellent choice for a title to play with your mates if you're looking for some insane, adrenaline-packed action, and a fair amount of genuine laughs.
Now, when it comes to the game modes, with WWE 2K Battlegrounds, players are absolutely spoiled for choice.
Aside from the aforementioned campaign mode, you can take part in a variety of other modes as well, such as One-On-One, Tag Team, Triple Threat, Royal Rumble, King of the Battleground and many more. Each of these has a different set of rules that you must adhere to in order to win the match.
Offline and online multiplayer are supported as well of course, and I am glad to say that my online experience was buttery smooth, even with multiple players present in the arena.
It also took me a mere few seconds to find a match as well, so it's safe to say that the game's online play is satisfactory to say the least.
Graphics and sounds
The artstyle of the game manages to do great justice to the game's arcade nature. Powered by the Unreal Engine, the visuals look great, and performing special moves or using power-ups brings out the shiny, special effects that make everything just buzz with either flames, lightning or whatever else each superstar has up his or her sleeve.
When it comes to the audio department, I found the original entrance songs of superstars to be the game's strongest suit here. In-game action during matches is followed nicely by various sound effects, though I found the commentary to be rather uninspiring and lackluster, with repetitive lines that get old way too quickly.
My gripe with the subpar commentary is just one of the things that I disliked about this game. Yes, it has a price tag of £34.99 so you can't really expect the regular AAA experience that full-priced games offer, but that still doesn't justify the game-breaking bugs I encountered during my gameplay sessions.
Though it didn't happen all too often, the game had severe issues with framedrops that made it borderline unplayable. My platform of choice for the game is a PlayStation 4 Pro, and seeing such horrible stuttering made me question if my console was in proper working order or not.
On top of this, I experienced some random crashes a few times as well, where the game simply froze out of nowhere and then completely crashed, making me lose my progress. This was particularly infuriating as I was on my way to winning the Royal Rumble when I was booted out to the PS4 dashboard screen.
However, I am fairly certain that these performance issues can be ironed out with a patch update, and I sincerely hope that 2K roll out a fix as soon as possible.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a title that offers tremendous amounts of fun, even if you aren't a hardcore WWE fan. With fantastic visuals and exhilarating gameplay, the game is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat no matter what game mode you choose to take part in.
Despite being held back by monotonous commentary, the game's presentation and overall experience is still very much a valuable package. All things considered, and provided that the performance issues get rectified soon, I can truly say that WWE 2K Battlegrounds is a game that's very easy to recommend.
A massive thank you to 2K for providing us with a PlayStation 4 copy of the game and making this review possible.