Every year there is a guarantee, there will be some sort of trend that sweeps the world, there will be an event that changes the scale of society and there will be a WWE game released. It is a happy constant in my life and has been for years. 2K have picked up the torch left by THQ after they went bust and since 2K has had the franchise it has gone from strength to strength…well with a few bumps *cough* 2K16. Every year there are new Wrestlers (they’re classed as Superstars but I’m old school) new features added that 2K19 isn’t any different but the additions they have made have made this year’s instalment up there with the old SvR (Smackdown vs Raw) days.
So what is new?
Gameplay mechanics are very fresh, matches feel smoother, reversals are more realistic, arena sounds are authentic. You have a new payback ability now that allows you to pull of different motions depending on the situation, if you used up all your reversals you can use your payback ability to grant you a fresh reversal or you find yourself beaten against the ropes? Play Possum and sneak a win, there are 12 abilities you choose from and they’re graded so you have Yellow abilities that refresh upon damage taken and there are red abilities that grant you a finisher etc. 8 person matches don’t feel like a cluster fuck now either, the framerate I get is perfect from what I have experienced in life and the matches flow really well.
Showcase Mode is back, some were happy about this and some were like meh, I was one of those saying meh. It wasn’t something that I felt that I needed to relive, I experienced it when it happened and also am a subscriber to the WWE Network so I can rewatch it all on there, I just did this mode to get the achievement to be honest. The story follows Daniel Bryan’s rise in WWE to his retirement to his return…typical WWE story only it wasn’t he was medically unable to wrestle due to so many concussions but has now been cleared and has changed his approach in the ring to avoid bad bumps which haven’t slowed him down.
Towers are new you have two modes you can play towers in single player with authentic WWE wrestlers or play it in MyCareer (more on this later) either way you earn VC for every tower you complete, they vary in difficulty and also match types change, some you take damage you can’t regain your health, it plays like a proper gauntlet match. There is an AJ Styles Tower (AJ Styles is the cover wrestler) where you can unlock a golden version of him…I don’t know why nor do I care but if you complete the tower you enter a competition to play him in person and a chance to win $1million, pretty decent for 4 hours of your life I say so. 2K promise to refresh the towers weekly to keep them relevant, I can’t say I’ll play them much unless I’m bored of the other game modes.
Universe mode has had a few minor changes, you can add MITB (Money in the bank, a briefcase that awards the holder with a title shot when they want) to brands to keep it authentic like the current WWE TV shows. You can simulate matches but now you can pick the winner, so if you’re bored and just sim some matches in 2K18 there would be random winners where now you can stick to the script as if you were playing. You can adjust the match types per show as well, last year the amount of Extreme Rules matches I had on a weekly episode was stupid now you have a more realistic show that takes place, but of course, you can edit that to your heart’s content. The audio of the commentators is also slightly better, well when the wrestlers enter the ring they commentary is just it is on the shows but then in the actual match it is actually worse…I’m certain it gets worse as the years go by! I’ve had this issue recently where I’ll be in a singles match and the commentators will be commenting on the match as if it was a tag match. Feels like one step forward two steps back!
MyCareer is a gem this year, we finally have an authentic story that we can follow, the whole mode has voice overs from the wrestlers on the main roster and there are some surprises there as well, you start in the indies and work your way to the big shows and the main roster. It has ups and downs and works so well. My only issue with MyCareer is you have to either buy clothing items with VC or unlock them through packs you open with units. It is a microtransaction issue but you earn the units through chapters and you earn quite a lot but they go quickly if you try to unlock everything. Think of it like Fifa FUT but without the hype of packing a big name player, just a version of HHH’s boots. Within the MyCareer mode, you have an ability tree which is very in-depth and long to go through but it shows from the off that the mode has longevity in it and won’t finish just like that so that’s a happy medium.
There have been some new additions to the game and for players that pre-ordered the game they got Rey Mysterio and Ronda Rousey which I’m so happy about, the DLC is also stacked with Bobby Lashley making his return and the high flying king Ricochet making his WWE games debut. Some of the absences are the likes of Mick Foley and his other characters, Nikki Cross formally in the stable Sanity (she was in the game last year) Tommaso Ciampa who is currently the reigning NXT World Champion and isn’t in the game again he was in last years game so it looks like there were some contract issues with some of the wrestlers as they’re not even down as DLC.
2K have remodelled the Cages matches now with a new mini-game in the option to plough your opponent through the cage wall and the new Hell in a Cell match which also does the same but you can also climb the cage and scour across to reach your opponent.
Creation suite now allows you to create custom side plates for belts to make them more authentic and also you can play around with the random colour selection which has had some hilarious outcomes like a pink and sky blue Kane.
My main issue with the game is a cosmetic one and the whole menu is white and has a red highlight when you select things…this is a bloody pain in the arse when looking through loads of clothing items and not being able to see what you have selected, 2K has announced that this is a problem for many players and are looking to add a night time mode which will be awesome.
With over 180 wrestlers in this years game there is loads to do to keep you occupied for months if not until next October for WWE 2K20!