The latest addition to 2K’s WWE franchise addresses many of the issues that fans have been complaining about for a long time. With more offerings in the single-player department and refined gameplay, does WWE 2K19 have what it takes to bring the WWE games out of its slump? Let’s find out.
Starting things off with gameplay in WWE 2K19, the first thing we’re addressing is the controls. The controls are crisper than previous titles. 2K has said that they’ve actually worked on the controls to make them feel more responsive so, good job 2K.
There’s definitely more fluidity to the game. Transitioning between different fighting areas or using different techniques is smoother. It also appears like they’ve worked on the reversal mechanic as well. While we seem to have access to reversals more often, the AI uses it less often. They’ve also completely revamped certain matches, such as Steel Cage matches and Hell in a Cell matches, to more closely resemble their real-life counter-parts. They reworked ringside combat to that end as well, allowing for more use of the environment in these matches and making movement more realistic and feel restrictive, like it would in the actual matches.
Speaking of the AI, they seem to be weaker in general. We’d like to point out that we’re in no way “pros” at this game, but when we can consistently stomp the AI in the default difficulty with absolutely no trouble, then there’s a problem. Instances where you would need to face row after row of singles AI bouts, such as in the MyCareer mode or the new 2K towers mode become boring and grindy.
The gameplay mechanics are pretty much the same. For submissions you have the option to switch between the somewhat new right analogue stick mini-game or the good old button-mashing one.
We encountered quite a few bugs during our gameplay, especially during our MyCareer playthrough, getting stuck in animation loops, getting stuck in a pin animation with the ref doing nothing (forcing us to restart the game), misplacement of character images during match loading screens, and plenty of commentary errors among other things.
Speaking of which, the commentary, oh god the commentary. It’s so SO bad. Getting the names wrong, saying the wrong things at the wrong time, and a lot of saying the same thing over and over and over again. It is absolutely horrible.
Finally, a few features that used to be hidden in previous WWE titles are now available as features, such as the big head mode, for example.
WWE 2K19 has brought back an old game mode, introduced a new one, and reworked an existing one this time around. The mode that’s coming back in the Showcase mode, which we saw back in 2016 featuring the iconic journey of Stone Cold Steve Austin. It was well received by the fans and they wanted to see more, and so this time we’ve got the Showcase mode featuring Daniel Bryan. The showcase takes us through his journey from NXT, to his retirement, and his return. Overall, nothing bad to say about this, just a treat for fans of the wrestler and the WWE.
Next we have MyCareer mode. The plot has exponentially better writing this time around. It is only marred by grindy matches and as we mentioned above horrible commentary. Some of the matches we found too hard, and the majority, too easy. There isn’t really an in-between. Nevertheless, MyCareer overall is still leaning more towards fun than tedious. It is fully-voiced, although some characters, John Cena for example, didn’t seem like they are voiced by themselves, which is odd and immersion breaking. Regardless, this made MyCareer a million times better than it has ever been in the history of the franchise. It is sort of like watching WWE on TV, with several nods to iconic moments in the history of WWE TV, and witnessing the rise of your created character in the Smackdown and Raw roster to the very top. The MyCareer mode also gives you a taste of the some of the various customisation features and different match types the game has to offer.
Finally, you have the 2K towers, which is a great way to provide even more single-player. More things to do in single-player is always a win, and one fans of the games have always wanted. Additionally, 2K towers are based on iconic arcs from the history of WWE, so they tell a story as well, making them worthwhile for fans of WWE.
The first thing you’ll notice about WWE 2K19 is the new UI. It’s minimalist, black and white, it’s clean, we liked it. The fade-away graphic when you switched between the menus was also pretty cool.
The graphics in WWE 2K19 are an overall improvement, like with all iterations in the franchise. Certain wrestlers look spot-on and you really can’t complain, but there are still certain wrestlers (Sasha Banks off the top of our head) who look almost nothing like their real selves.
There always seems to be an issue with the way hair is represented in the game which makes it look incredibly unrealistic. And character creation, despite offering a bazillion customisation features, just doesn’t match up to existing superstars and could use more work.
Additionally, there’s seems to be a watercolor like aesthetic to the game, making everything look slightly washed out. It didn’t really hamper our gameplay or bother us in any way, it was just a tad odd is all.
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Developers: Yuke’s, Visual Concepts
Price: Rs. 2,999
WWE 2k19 – The Bottomline (cuz stone cold said so)
WWE 2K19 is best WWE game 2K has made in a while, some would say to-date, but that’s not saying much. While it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, it takes major steps towards refining what already existed in the franchise. Some would argue, these are steps they should’ve taken ages ago, but you know what they say, better late than never. Regardless, if you’re a fan of WWE games, you might want to pick this one up. For the rest, while it does have a few unique offerings in the form of a Showcase featuring Daniel Bryan, 2K towers and the best MyCareer story mode yet, we’d give it a pass till we see something we haven’t already seen in a WWE game. It’s definitely still a step in the right direction for the franchise.
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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.