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23rd Oct 2019

The new WWE video game is astonishingly broken

Dave Hanratty

WWE 2K20 glitches

Bowling shoe ugly, as Jim Ross might say…

Another year, another WWE video game.

There have been some great wrestling games to date, whether it’s WWF No Mercy on the Nintendo 64, WWE Smackdown Here Comes The Pain on the PlayStation 2, or several iterations of the Fire Pro Wrestling series.

However, if we’re being honest, recent grapple-themed adventures with the WWE logo attached haven’t quite cut it.

Call it the pressure of having to churn one out every year, the baffling decision to make the games less arcade-feeling and more turn-based slow-moving near-strategy-style, and long-term developers leaving the project altogether and you have the potential for eventual disaster.

And so it appears to have to pass with latest edition WWE 2K20, which went on general release in America this week.

Fears emerged a few months ago when insiders noted that the character models were likely to decrease in quality and that there was no real time to iron things out. Then you had long-time developer Yukes part ways with 2K Games, who have published the series since 2013.

Throw in rumours of a notable lack of resources and crushingly tight deadlines and, well, you get things like this:

Yep, that’s meant to be The Rock.

For comparison’s sake, here’s how the Brahma Bull looked in last year’s edition:

Perhaps not perfect, but closer, surely? That’s just one example. Here’s another PS2-riffic shout that features NXT sensation Io Shirai:

A glance at this year’s complete roster is worth it just to see how much of a dip in visual quality there has been across the character models, but honestly, that’s the least of the game’s problems right about now.

In the run-up to the release, many people who had received advance copies of the game began taking to social media to post clips of the various issues, with everything from freezing to crashes to some of the most ludicrous game-breaking glitches imaginable on display.

We’re talking missing game modes, teleportations, disappearances, random clones popping up, wrestlers melting into the ring, create-a-wrestler models suddenly morphing into horror movie creatures, the works.

This should come with some kind of strobe warning, for instance:

Wait for it:

Becky Lynch is in here somewhere, we think?

As for this, well…

Hair physics on point:

And that really is just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll find plenty more if you hit up the #FixWWE2K20 hashtag that has gone viral in the past 24 hours.

An in-depth Kotaku report on the disaster notes that not every edition of the game is cursed, and that patches will likely sort things out in time, but this is nonetheless an almighty black eye for Vince McMahon’s company to work through.

Hey, at least that latest super-controversial event in Saudi Arabia is just around the corner, eh?