26 January 2021 | Olicosmic
After the broken mess that was 2K20, it was safe to say that the future of wrestling games was getting scary. Yukes proved to be a crucial part needed to make a good wrestling game, and 2K20 proved that and then some. So, hearing that Visual Concepts would skip making 2K21 in favor of something more arcady was both worrisome and exciting, because after 2K20, I wasn't sure if I was ready to be disappointed again. On the other hand, games like WWE All Stars is one of my favorite wrestling games of all time, so the idea of getting something similar of that nature was awesome. And, for the most part, the game is definitely more polished than 2K20, which is definitely a step up. What isn't, however, is basically everything else. This game is, without a doubt, the biggest disappointment of 2020, as it was so promising and so fun looking, but it only proved to be one of the least in-depth, most greedy, and surprisingly soulless wrestling games I've played in recent history. The gameplay, for one, is repetitive and just not that fun. It's basic and the move-set is identical for every wrestler, with the only exceptions being finishers and signatures. The visuals, while decent, don't really have that much of a personality, as the wrestlers do not match with the world around them. They don't really know what they want to be, as it's a strange mix of realism and action figure shapes, and it doesn't really mesh well. The way you unlock characters SUCK, as it relies, once again, on 2K currency, and while I'm not against the idea, what I am against is how long it takes for you to earn it, which, in the long run, just makes you want to spend more money on top of the money you already spent for this game. It sucks a lot of the fun out of the game, and makes it a drag, especially with such a basic move-set between all wrestlers. While that is all definitely sucky, I will admit that the roster, in and of itself, is pretty good. Sure, it's a bit smaller than what we're used to, but a good mix of legends and newer faces make it in the game, which is definitely awesome. The modes are decent too, whether it be working for Paul Heyman, becoming the king of the battleground, or even the decent creation suite, there's a decent amount to sink your teeth into that is all an improvement from last years game, and coming after such a cringe-inducing my career mode, these improvements are welcome. The locales are cool, too, as there's a good amount of variety between each of them. All of these, on paper, sounds like enough to make this a huge step in the right direction. The problem, however, is that 2K seemed to have taken another bad path instead. Sure, this game is definitely better put together than last year, but that almost doesn't matter when so little care was put into the experience of actually playing the game. The basic gameplay, the cheap and grindy progression, and lack of any soul or identity really holds this game back. It all feels like a cheap mobile game, but ported to consoles. I really wanted to recommend this game, as it seemed to have been a surefire way of putting the series back on track. Maybe next year. Until then, unless you don't mind a less fun version of WWE All Stars mixed with the greediest parts of a regular WWE 2K game, I wouldn't bother. Talk about disappointing.