It’s fair to say that WWE’s video game franchise has seen better days as of late. With THQ going into bankruptcy in 2012 and losing the license to Take Two, WWE has had its games under the banner of 2K ever since, which in my opinion has not helped the franchise. Don’t get me wrong wrestling fans, 2K is still one of the best developers around but as of late I feel they have not done this game justice considering this game was a juggernaut in the gaming calendar only a few years ago. Having said that I am always open to having my mind changed and that is the mindset I had when going head first into 2K’s latest installment in the series, WWE 2K19.
For starters let’s give 2K credit where it’s due brother, WWE 2K19 is a great game if you want the creative person in you to be let loose. Community creations is pretty much awesome as The Miz would say, wrestling fans can make wrestlers, championship belts, arenas, full shows and move sets to their hearts content for other users to download and also play with in their games which is great for people like me who could not create a Kenny Omega if the real one was sitting right next to him. This mode leads to some truly amazing work and can give a player hours upon hours of fun especially if you are a big wrestling fan, 2K have given fans the reigns to have anything they want from the world of wrestling in their game which is refreshing.
A new feature added into WWE 2K19 this year is 2K Towers. Similar to Mortal Kombat, this mode allows players to choose a superstar to fight through a tower of opponents either back to back with no stamina or health reset, or taking each match one by one. This is something that the WWE 2K series needed, with my career and universe mode becoming stale over time in previous WWE games. Speaking of Universe mode, this mode is basically the same as previous years which is kind of a disappointment. I feel like Universe mode has no reason to play it like older versions such as general manager mode back in the day when Raw vs Smackdown was a thing and it was a ratings war between you and the other brand, Universe mode to me is just something you sim through to see what stuff happens like Zack Ryder vs Sin Cara for the WWE Championship at the next years Wrestlemania.
The last major game mode is an ever constant in any 2K game, MyCareer. This year 2K have really upped their game with MyCareer and making it into a full story mode, unlike previous years when you just walk into NXT and wrestle which was pretty lame. This year you start out as an independent wrestler working in a company called BCW whose nickname eventually becomes buzz due to the “buzz” he is making on social media and in the whole wrestling industry, 2K love to give there MyCareer lead characters nicknames for some reason.
Of course you eventually get to WWE but not without struggle which is something that was needed in this mode. the ranking system this year in MyCareer is much better then in previous years using a MyPlayer tree to rank up with tokens earned from playing the game and not VC. You also earn special tokens to unlock loot packs for new moves, clothes, taunts and many more things which again will not require VC which is also very good and gives an incentive for people to grind the game instead of just loading up with VC.
But of course for all the good 2K have done this year, some old problems are still an issue to keep this game from getting back into the world title picture of gaming anytime soon. Commentary for matches is absolutely abysmal, and that is putting it lightly. The amount of times I have heard Michael Cole say “It’s all over now” after just one move into the match is just stupid, they have also been times when in singles matches the commentators have referred to the match as a tag team match.
Look I know it takes time to perfect these games and with WWE’s real life busy schedule its hard to get these people into studios to record this stuff on their days off, but even at that the mistakes the games commentary makes is not acceptable. Gameplay isn’t a bed of roses either with multiple glitches happening during matches as in previous iterations of the series making it sometimes a pretty frustrating game at times.
All in all, WWE 2K19 has made some vast improvements in the span of the last year with MyCareer getting a much needed story and the introduction of the 2K Towers mode. As I said before, I feel the creations and community creations feature is the best part of these games because of the depth you can go into creating your own world of wrestling within WWE 2K19.
However, flaws from previous versions of the game still need improving for 2K to give this game the comeback it needs in the gaming industry but I feel that this year 2K have given themselves a steady platform to be a juggernaut once again.