If you’re having flashbacks to Assassin’s Creed Unity we wouldn’t blame you. Some of the glitchy monstrosities appearing online right now are very reminiscent of the ones we saw back during Ubisoft’s Parisian nightmare. Okay we shouldn’t be so mean to Assassin’s Creed Unity, there was actually a good game hidden behind all those glitches. But has the inevitable churn of the annual release caught up with WWE2K like it did to Assassin’s Creed?
Some if the monstrous character creations appearing online from this year’s WWE outing are actually more frightening than The Fiend Bray Wyatt, mask and all. We’ve all had a good laugh online at them, but for those who’ve spent their hard-earned cash on the game it’s not funny at all. 2K may patch the game half to death like Ubisoft did to Unity and possibly redeem it, but for many the damage is done.
While this is naturally going to raise questions regarding the sustainability of 2K’s annual release strategy when it comes to WWE games, is that really the problem here? And if it is, why are the problems appearing now? Truth be told, they’ve appeared before. Last year’s 2019 edition of WWE 2K was actually pretty great and one of the best in recent memory. With ‘The Phenomenal’ AJ Styles getting his (much deserved) time in the sun as WWE Champion and also featuring on the cover art, there was a lot to love. Those questioning 2Ks annual release model were silenced for another year. But there was a reason their hackles were up.
2K19 was under scrutiny you see, mainly because 2018’s game received some mixed reception. The PS4 and Xbox One versions were as expected, garnering positive reviews, however the developer Yukes leaned heavily on a third-party developer called Visual Concepts to create the Nintendo Switch version. While a Switch version was always going to be less technically impressive than the other versions, that didn’t mean it would be a bad game. There are plenty of Switch ports out there that deliver a fantastic experience, see our review of the Witcher 3 here as an example, but WWE 2k18 was not one of them. It was considered the worst game on the Switch. It may still be.
This brings us back to 2K20, this time Yukes have taken a backseat and left the development of the whole game in the hands of Visual Concepts, the developers blamed for the poor Switch version from two years ago. It seems 2K have taken their eyes off the ball when it comes to Yukes workload, Visual Concepts are a fine developer and do have some success under their belt. But as the poor reviews and ungodly character creations appearing online are a testament too, something has gone very wrong here and a few patches may not be enough this time.