WWE 2K Battlegrounds

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
WWE 2K Battlegrounds Game Poster Image
WWE arcade fun hampered slightly by microtransactions.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Tag team matches promote idea of teamwork and cooperation, but this can quickly get tossed out the window in other match types. Bulk of game is centered around giving characters an excuse to fight each other, with some even using more underhanded tactics to gain a win.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Deep roster of WWE Superstars runs the spectrum in terms of heroes and villains. Already over-the-top personalities are even more exaggerated due to game's cartoonish, comic book style. Outside of initial presentations, though, not much  deep character development.

Ease of Play

More of an arcade fighter than a full-blown wrestling simulation. Controls are much more streamlined and simplified, making it easy for players of all skill levels to dive into.

Violence

Foundation of game is built on characters beating each other up. Characters punch, kick, throw each other around inside and outside the ring area. They can also use weapons and special attacks against one another or get injured by different hazards. But violence is exaggerated and cartoonish in nature; no blood shown on-screen.

Sex

Some female characters are presented in outfits or use taunts that are mildly suggestive in nature.

Language

No profanity in dialogue, but online gameplay could open players up to offensive language from others in party chat.

Consumerism

Based on World Wrestling Entertainment brand, known for its live sports events, TV shows, pay-per-view events, numerous other licensed products. Supports microtransactions, where players can use in-game currency or real-world money to purchase additional content, such as new Superstars, unique outfits, and skill points for custom characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WWE 2K Battlegrounds is an arcade-style fighting game based on the World Wrestling Entertainment brand, and is available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Stadia, and Windows-based PCs. Players choose from a roster of WWE Superstars and compete in over-the-top combat, battling it out against other Superstars using a variety of melee moves, throws, special abilities, and weapons. Although combat is central to the game, the violence is exaggerated and cartoonish, with no blood or injury ever shown on-screen. The game does have a heavy reliance on microtransactions to unlock new characters and to develop skills on custom characters, though players can earn one form of the in-game currency just by playing. Parents should also be aware that online gameplay could expose younger players to offensive language from others via party chat.

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What's it about?

WWE 2K BATTLEGROUNDS brings all the high-flying thrills and fast-paced action of the WWE universe to a brand-new, over-the-top venue. WWE Superstars from the past and present battle it out in outrageous, no-holds-barred arcade-style fighting. You'll face off in interactive battlegrounds, from the swamps of the Florida bayou to the New York subway and other unique locales. You'll also compete in multiple different match types as you climb to freedom in steel cage matches, test your endurance in gauntlet matches, or earn your crown as King of the Ring in the Royal Rumble. You can join Paul Heyman and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the single-player campaign mode and follow the adventure as you recruit potential new Superstars for the upcoming WWE Battegrounds brand. And finally, you can hit the locker room and create your own custom Battlegrounds character, building up your character's abilities and rising up through the ranks from rookie jobber to potential world champion.

Is it any good?

The characters and personalities of World Wrestling Entertainment have always been larger than life. WWE 2K Battlegrounds takes all of that and cranks it up to an 11, tossing any semblance of realism out the window along the way. Gone are the complexities and technique of the simulation-style WWE 2K games of the past. In its place is fast-paced button-mashing arcade mayhem that's simple to pick up and play but hard to put down. The characters have the look and feel of action figures, and Battlegrounds serves as a sort of interactive toy box fueled by a kid's imagination. As outrageously fun as it is to see the characters defy physics with exaggerated moves and flashy special effects, it's even more fun to play with the props outside the ring, like a remote-controlled goat you can use to smack opponents around, or a hungry alligator that's watching the match ringside with the rest of the audience, waiting for you to toss your foe into its jaws. One match even resulted in a barrel exploding, blowing the ring posts and ropes off, which completely changed the mechanics of the match. It's insane. It's chaotic. And it's entertaining as heck.

As much fun as WWE 2K Battlegrounds is, it does have a few botches on its wresting package. For starters, the reliance on microtransactions can get a bit frustrating. Many of the bigger Superstars and Legends are locked behind a paywall, waiting to be purchased with either currency earned in-game or with real-world cash. It's not difficult to earn money in the game, with every match earning players a small purse and daily challenges offering bigger rewards for specific actions. But the grind to do so can get a little frustrating. Also, the available options for creating your own Superstar or Battleground feel a bit limited, especially for anyone used to the hyper-detailed features present in the main WWE 2K games. Still, Battlegrounds does have a fair amount to offer WWE fans and serves as a great casual entry in the WWE game library.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the Impact of the violence in WWE 2K Battlegrounds affected by the exaggerated and cartoonish style of the gameplay? Does this cartoonish presentation have a lesser impact on younger players than the more realistic violence shown in the WWE 2K simulation games?

  • Are arcade games more appealing than realistic simulations? Why? Do you have more fun with something that's over-the-top, or with something that's realistic and close to the actual thing?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

Themes & Topics

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