Every year, 2K Games brings out another WWE game to varied results. WWE 2K19 was a high point for the series, boasting great next-gen character models and solid additions to gameplay. Bucking the trend, WWE 2K20 reversed all that progress with a half-baked release featuring all the graphical fidelity of a PS2-era RPG.
But that isn't the worst part. It's that even after multiple iterations of the WWE2K series and persistent complaints, there still isn't even a basic tutorial in the game.
It seems fairly basic for a game to actually tell you how to play it, right? But beyond a simple explainer for button controls, the game has no tutorial or 'how to play' that'll help you along your wrestling journey. It'd be fine if the game was simple, but it's not. You need to know the correct button combinations to pull off devastating moves and avoid being pinned.
Not only that, but the control scheme has been changed this year, including whole button overhauls. For example, on PS4, triangle is now the reversal button and a finisher requires square and X to be held to pull it off. Of course, the game doesn't warn you of these changes and you only discover them once you're already stuck in a match.
Sure, the game will put in a little hint or tip and explain certain moves as they arise, but learning on the fly isn't all too practical when every moment in a WWE2K match matters. Reversals require split second reactions, and if you're using that time to figure out how to pull off a counter or Irish whip your opponent into a corner, you're losing valuable time.
Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful place and there's plenty of guides to help you on your way, but it seems fairly counterintuitive for a game to rely on prior knowledge and/or the work of budding YouTubers to explain how their definitely-not-broken game works.
Before WWE 2K20's release this week, fans were already feeling antsy. Behind-the-scenes tumult and some unflattering early footage left them with a gnawing fear that this year’s professional wrestling game wouldn’t be up to snuff — or even on the same level as the not-exactly-beloved series entries from the past few years. Those concerns turned out to be well-founded. WWE 2K20 is ridden with glitches.
It also wouldn't be such a glaring problem if it hadn't arisen time and time again within the WWE2K community. Pretty much every official game FAQ from 2K15 to 2K19 has identified the lack of tutorial as a talking point. But there doesn't seem to be any forward movement in doing anything about it.
Even the main MyCAREER story mode lacks a basic tutorial. It just dumps you in a fight with Ronda Rousey and expects you to know how to Irish whip from the get go.
The first time I started playing the WWE2K franchise was WWE 2K15, and the controls were just as confusing then as they are now. At the time, I had to chew through several YouTube videos and advice from friends before I understood even the basics of the games. The fact is the games are extremely inaccessible for new players. Newcomers are in for a rough time if they're looking to dive into the game for the very first time because there's so little direction given.
I'm not alone, right? This seems like a pretty basic and uncontroversial statement. If you want people to play your game, they have to know how to play it. It's high time the WWE2K games offered some kind of tutorial for beginners. At this point, anything will do.