WWE 2K Battlegrounds will bring back the fun and over the top arcade action of older wrestling games to the forefront, and while we got our first real look at gameplay yesterday, 2K has revealed more details about the game's new story mode as well as more details about the game's mechanics and visual style. The new details come courtesy of Battlegrounds Executive Producer Sean O'Connor, who spoke to IGN about the game's campaign and what it will entail. The campaign mode kicks off with WWE legend Paul Heyman, who is looking for the next big superstar to dominate the industry and taps Stone Cold Steve Austin to help him find that star. You'll then take control of 7 completely original characters designed specifically for the game and fight your way through to earn a contract.
"It's told through these really cool comics, "O'Connor said, "and you take them through trying to earn a contract, and eventually get to Wrestlemania."
You'll make your way to various locations during the campaign, but you'll have a choice about which path you take. "I can't even remember exactly how many matches and nodes there are - it's kind of a branching thing. There's some things you can do off on the side and earn different rewards, or you can just do the golden path straight through the middle to finish it sooner if you want."
"We unlock a lot of arenas, vanity items for your created characters, different power-ups, things like that as you go along through the campaign," O'Connor said.
You'll defeat your opponents with a combination of real-life wrestling moves and over the top attacks, and then there are power-ups like Ice Breath, Flaming Fist, and Earthquake, which can have effects on the ring and your environment.
The game shares a lot in common with games like WWE All-Stars, and while that was an inspiration in a way, it was one of many things that inspired the visual look of the game.
"There's some similarities for sure but we took a lot of inspiration from a lot of WWE games throughout history,' O'Connor said. "All-Stars being one of them. The development team are both gamers and WWE, so they've looked at all this stuff and built the game they wanted to build, the developers at Saber Interactive, and they are making sure that we get this over the top arcadey game that's just super fun to jump in and play."
That said, that doesn't mean the game lacks depth. "A lot of stuff to master, though, so you can really take your game to the next level," O'Connor said. "It goes very much with the art style [...] where it's kind of a wider appeal - it's clearly not realistic, right? And our moves are not realistic, as you've seen. Think about throwing somebody into a crocodile! That's not very realistic, but it's super fun and it's super over the top, and the power-ups play really well into that as well."
WWE 2K Battlegrounds hits PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch, and Stadia on September 18th.
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