Digital Gaming

WWE 2K20 – Better Late Than Never For the Women

When WWE 2K20 was first announced, it seemed like a lot of things were finally falling into place. Its predecessor WWE 2K19 was the best game in the series in my opinion, and now WWE 2K20 would build on that with a special history-making focus on the women. From putting Becky Lynch on the cover, to making 2K Showcase about the Four Horsewomen, to even introducing a female MyPLAYER, WWE 2K20 should’ve been breaking all sorts of glass ceilings.

Instead, when WWE 2K20 was released earlier this week, we got a broken game.

Honestly, in my initial 5 hours of gameplay, I didn’t experience any of the worst glitches that led to this trending hashtag: #FixWWE2K20. But the errors I did experience? Clearly demonstrated to me that the game was released prematurely and would probably need several patches to even be worth the cost of the game.

All that said, however, the game does do a lot of things right, especially for the women of the WWE. So it’s only fair that we celebrate these five main decisions.

1. Becky Lynch is the cover Superstar

Becky Lynch is the first female Superstar featured on the cover of a WWE video game. That’s three decades of game covers without a woman – about as long as Becky’s been alive!

Sure, she may be sharing the cover with Roman Reigns, but it’s very, very clear she’s the main event.

In fact, the cover reveal video above was pretty on the nose. Becky is breaking a literal glass ceiling to become the first woman to enter the boys’ club.

2. 2K Showcase features the Four Horsewomen

Continuing a format that began with Daniel Bryan last year, this 2K Showcase features Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch as talking heads giving exposition interspersed with opportunities for you to recreate iconic matches through the careers.

Appropriately, it starts with Charlotte defeating Natalya to become the first of the Four Horsewomen to win the NXT Title. Other matches include Charlotte’s match to win the Divas Title as well as Charlotte winning the reintroduced WWE Women’s Title at WrestleMania 32.

Wait, remind me who’s the cover star again?

Going through Showcase Mode is a nice reminder that it took Becky Lynch over 2 years to finally win her first championship, and when you finally get to recreate her iconic moments, it’s a real treat.

3. MyCareer mode finally allows you to create a female MyPlayer

Another long overdue feature is the chance to create your own female MyPlayer and bring them through MyCareer story mode. Similar to last years MyCareer mode, WWE 2K20 features fully fleshed-out storylines and characters, complete with voice acting.

The non-linear narrative is a unique way to present MyCareer mode – a break from the standard MyCareer storyline of previous years of slowly paying your dues and working your way up to the main event. That said, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t that story this time around. I feel having a female MyPlayer would have been a perfect opportunity for a little insight into how it’s different for a woman to break into WWE. But maybe that would’ve been too much to ask for.

Instead we get a storyline that some reviewers have described as reminiscent of Fighting with my Family – i.e. competent woman would rather drag around her goofball male counterpart than succeed alone in the business.

4. One of the DLC is an Asuka reference

Okay, I’ll admit this may be a bit of a stretch, but I don’t think I’m wrong about my hunch. Of the four DLC packages announced, one is called “Empire of Tomorrow”. This is most likely a reference to Asuka’s nickname, the Empress of Tomorrow.

Each DLC package, now known as WWE 2K Originals, will have a new 2K Showcase episode, new playable characters (or at least new skins), and more. Considering how Four Horsewomen heavy the main 2K Showcase mode is, it would be really great to have the spotlight on the other WWE Superstars like Asuka, Kairi Sane and Io Shirai.

5. Speaking of other WWE Superstars…

It’s arguably taken longer than it should, but the late, legendary Chyna is finally a playable character in a WWE 2K. Her posthumous induction into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of D-Generation X opened the door for her likeness to return to WWE Games.

But Chyna isn’t returning alone! Other Superstars making their WWE 2K debut are Zelina Vega, Io Shirai, Mia Yim, Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm. Nikki Cross also makes her WWE 2K return after being unceremoniously omitted from last year’s roster. Molly Holly’s inclusion is an incredibly pleasant surprise – she’s been absent from a WWE game since 2005!

This means that there are once again almost 50 female Superstars in a WWE 2K game, more than enough for a Royal Rumble match!

That said, it is unfortunate that not all the WWE Legends returned. Omissions from this year’s roster so far include Alundra Blayze (aka Madusa), Jacqueline and Ivory but these Hall of Famers were probably excluded to make space for the return of Hulk Hogan and his ego.

It doesn’t make up for an extremely buggy game

Look, I know I’ve been skirting the fact that the game itself has been so bad that even WWE Games has put out a statement.

But if I can be idealistic for a bit longer, bugs can eventually be fixed by patches. Ultimately, what WWE 2K20 should be known for is giving female WWE Superstars the long-overdue recognition they’ve more than earned.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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