With the year of COVID changing development plans across the industry, WWE Battlegrounds has been one of the more interesting games to appear on the slate. Meant as a palette cleanser until the next official WWE 2K mainline title after very poor reception to the last game in the series, Battlegrounds is a strange throwback to simpler, arcade-like times for the pro wrestling entity, with a caricatured visual style to match. The word throwback is key here. The full WWE Battlegrounds roster has been revealed by 2K Games, including post-launch characters coming later, and it features a significant amount of old names fans may notice, but also skips over some of the more recent stars of the last year.
The WWE Battlegrounds roster includes 70 fighters in the base game, and another 63 listed as coming post-launch (subject to change).
Here’s the full list:
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That is indeed the likes of Hulk Hogan (no longer in the WWE dog house after past rampant racism), Jake “The Snake” Roberts (who now works for WWE’s main competitor AEW), and recently revealed pre-order bonus, Edge. The free post-launch DLC is a mishmash of known names and recent roster additions, which include pandemic-era mainstays such as Otis and Tucker, Rhea Ripley, The Street Profits, and more.
As with almost every WWE game ever made, you can tell the exact cutoff date for when the developer stopped adding to the roster based on the focus and names of who did make the list. This includes the likes of Akam and Rezar who vanished off of TV shortly before COVID hit, Buddy Murphy still sporting his first name, and a Chad Gable who is probably still given some self-respect by not being called Shorty G. The biggest gaps in the roster are recent NXT stand-outs such as Adam Cole, Karrion Kross, Velveteen Dream, Johnny Gargano, and a number of others.
Despite the release of the game being less than a month out, there still hasn’t been sight nor sound of any actual gameplay, which isn’t great news from a developer and IP not known for turning out quality content, especially recently. Does WWE Battlegrounds have a chance to surprise us? Only time will tell, but for better or worse, it’s the wrestling game we have for 2020. Look for WWE Battlegrounds on September 18 for $39.99.