A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that WWE 2K20 is the latest entry in the 2K Games and World Wrestling Entertainment sports game franchise, and is available for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows-based PCs. The game features a roster made up of WWE stars from the past and present who fight one another in a variety of matches in choreographed combat that's part soap opera, part stunt show, and part gladiatorial games. While violence is constant, with pain and injury, there's little blood ever shown onscreen. WWE 2K20 does includes mild profanity and suggestive comments in some of its dialogue, and wrestlers, both male and female, are often shown in somewhat revealing outfits. Parents should also be aware that the game features options for custom content creation, as well as online play, both of which could expose younger players to potentially offensive content.
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What's it about?
The WWE Superstars make their return to gaming in WWE 2K20, the latest entry in 2K Games' series based on the popular sports entertainment brand. You can relive your favorite rivalries or create epic dream battles with a massive roster of superstars from the WWE's past, present, and future. There's the option to keep the action in the ring with standard matches, or go extreme with Hell in a Cell, TLC, or Extreme Rules bouts. Or, you can take the fight beyond the confines of the squared circle, moving through the arenas in Fall Count Anywhere or Backstage Brawl matches. And if that's not enough, you can visit all-new playgrounds of destruction for anything goes battles set in fiery dungeons, creepy swamplands, and other fantasy settings. Players can create their own superstar in MyCareer mode and recount their path from WWE rookie to Hall of Fame inductee, or live the groundbreaking journey of WWE's Four Horsewomen, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte Flair, and "The Man" Becky Lynch, as they shattered the WWE's glass ceiling during the Women's Evolution. This may be the WWE Universe, but the journey, the fight, and the legacy are yours to define.
Is it any good?
The over-the-top showmanship and suspension of disbelief that comes with every WWE event climbs the top turnbuckle and reaches new heights. In WWE 2K20, the latest entry in the popular sports entertainment franchise, players find themselves in different stories told from the viewpoint and actions of those lived them. In the MyCareer mode, players live their own WWE adventure with all the cheesy drama and plot twists one would expect from the WWE. The real fun, though, comes in certain story beats and in the downloadable "2K Originals" packs (or DLC), which throw reality completely out the window. These feature settings and stories with themes ranging from zombie horror to post-apocalyptic wastelands to neon-infused futuristic sci-fi. While most of these are DLC packs, available for purchase separately or via a season pass, the main game still features some fantasy settings, including a haunted cabin and a lava-filled, demon packed arena in Hell. The absolute absurdity of it is so much fun and leads to some great cinematic action.
Unfortunately, it's the more grounded elements of the game where WWE 2K20 finds itself struggling for the ropes. It's no secret that the game's launch was plagued with various technical bugs, ranging from missing features and problematic graphics to issues with AI behavior and collision detection. Oftentimes, this meant having to restart matches or recreate characters, losing progress along the way. It's not unplayable by any means, and 2K Games has since started rolling out patches addressing most of these issues, significantly improving the experience. Things like streamlined controls makes matches more fluid, and the Assist Mode helps newcomers hold their own while learning moves. Still, much like an injured WWE wrestler, the game still has a ways to go in virtual rehab before it's got a real chance to vie for the WWE championship.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in entertainment. Is the impact of the violence in WWE 2K20 affected by the fact that the fighting in the WWE events, shows, and games is staged? What are the risks involved in imitating the moves of the WWE performers? What sort of training do the performers have, and what risks do they face, even with extensive practice and training?
How do games like WWE 2K20 allow players to create their own "dream matches" that might be impossible to see in real life? How do customization options allow players to get more integrated into a gaming experience?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: October 22, 2019
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Alcohol Reference, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.