Over the years the 2k WWE games have been given quite a bit of criticism, it’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the game mechanics and 2k18’s lack of voice-overs, this year it seems a few issues that the public aired have been attended to and have made for a more improved enjoyable game all around.
I didn’t review WWE 2K18 but i did manage to play a bit of it and i wasn’t impressed, upon receiving 2K19 i had my fingers crossed about a long list of things and some of them were what i wanted, the most favourite part of 2K19 was “My Career” you play as Van Go or Buzz depending on how far in you are, he’s living in his dad’s old bug buster van trying to become a professional wrestler, many wrestlers start out by driving from state to state in the indies and the career mode shows you just that, starting off in BCW you will make your way into WWE’s main roster with a multitude of matches along the way, the story line is enjoyable and kept me involved throughout although some of the matches i found to be extremely hard, i’m still struggling with the reversal system that 2k use and i’ll only ever seem to get the timing right once in every ten attempts which in some cases can result in a match loss, you can change the reversal timing but sadly this will not work in my career only in singles matches, maybe i’m getting old and slow but it’s far too quick for my liking. When customizing your characters appearance and move set you can buy items outright which is expensive with the in-game currency, you can also purchase loot packs with another in-game currency which was a nice touch, if you want to top up the loot pack currencies you can using your basic in-game currency, I have to give credit here as I’m sick of seeing every game milking the loot pack content which is usually aimed at kids. 2k Towers was my second favourite part of 2K19, this consists of either gauntlet matches or steps, gauntlet matches must all be played in the same sitting and your health will not regenerate between each mach, so you’re basically playing each match one after another and not feeling too fresh, you have to try and take your opponent out in quick timing or you’re not going to make it to the end, steps matches can be played one at a time and you’ll be able to back out and pick up where you left off at any time, when i looked i could count 23 towers in total ranging from the people’s tower to the women’s revolution tower with more coming in future updates personally i wasn’t a fan of the gauntlet matches i found it too difficult especially with my complaints about the reversal system, if you lose a match half way through it would reset you but i did appreciate the 2k towers step matches, i didn’t want to have to sit and struggle through loads of matches and the steps variation of this worked perfectly for myself, obviously everybody plays differently and some of you will love the gauntlet matches but sadly they were not for me.
As usual WWE Universe made a comeback this year in which you’re in charge of the shows that are aired by WWE and can set custom rivalry’s etc I couldn’t really get my head into it all, I found it boring as I have in past years I was all about the My Career path but it needs to be mentioned that it’s in the game, nothing really jumped out for me whilst playing it but by this point the storyline of the My Career campaign had me hooked. 2k Showcase returned this year, this time taking a look at the career of Daniel Bryan, it starts off with Daniel Bryonson’s match against John Cena on Velocity and ends with Daniel Bryan’s return match at WrestleMania with Shane McMahon against Sami Zane and Kevin Owens, you also get a secret match after this which is Daniel Bryan (current) against Daniel Bryanson (rookie) which I thought was a great touch to end the story of his career. This far I’ve enjoyed most of the playable modes on WWE 2k19 sadly as I’ve said a few times earlier it’s the controls I can’t get on with, the submission circle you have to spin around into either get out of a submission or make your opponent submit wasn’t bad but the reversals tap was and always will be a nightmare to me and completely let the full game down like it always does, I did notice a few glitches with the AI punching at nothing or having a leg stuck behind the ropes yet walking away without tripping up, nothing really struck me enough to be concerned until I was playing the people’s tower and both The Rock and the referee froze and just stared at me until I stood up and started attacking again but again this wasn’t enough to put me off.
With the majority of the playable modes mentioned we should talk about the Skill Tree which helps you progress your character in My Career, it’s set in 3 sections and you earn skill points as you progress through the campaign in which you can use for different let’s say upgrades? I didn’t personally notice a massive difference when leveling up the amount of damage different body parts could take and I was hoping that after a few my character would have been an unstoppable monster, I guess without this you couldn’t see where you were going with your characters abilities but as it didn’t seem to work I wasn’t very impressed, you also have Payback abilities which you can use in each game mode, every superstar will have 2 abilities assigned within their move set, level 1 has the lesser abilities, although these do help I preferred to focus on level 2 abilities to defeat my opponent, these payback abilities range from things like possum in which you can play dead and then turn it around to go for the win and other abilities like instant recovery which get you back to your feet and give you a small speed buff, my favorite was instant finisher as you could attempt to go for an earlier pin and not have to put up with a million failed reversals!
I know earlier I went on about the game modes and didn’t mention multiplayer, I wanted to talk about it a little later on and not have it sat with the offline campaigns available, I only managed to play a few matches and I did enjoy the practice match you were put in whilst waiting for an opponent, it helped keep you fresh and ready to go although with the reversal system being so negative in my eyes I really could not get on with playing real people i seemed to constantly be reversed on every move and couldn’t get as many as 10 moves put together in most matches without being brutalised, if you’re going to play multiplayer make sure you select the “fair game” option so you’re not playing against my career characters which are level 100, overall I think the multiplayer was put together well, I only saw slight lag at the start of the match and the match options had pretty much everything but sadly because I couldn’t get on with the physics in the game I really didn’t enjoy my time playing online and personally would never go back to it, this is down to my play style and ability and should not put anybody off checking out the online mode, I know most of you would thrive in that environment!
With everything being said I think it’s time I talk about the visuals in WWE 2k19, I personally loved them, running the game on an Xbox One X at 4k 60fps i thought the arenas and titantrons looked great and most of the wrestlers did although, I did feel like some characters weren’t very defined and looked kind of blocky and pointy, this was not the case for everyone and in cutscenes most wrestlers looked great, as for the audio I couldn’t really fault anything other than the annoying announcer in the BCW high school gym matches, I heard a lot of rock music and Eminem in the title screens and I thought the WWE announcers were an upgrade from the previous 2k releases, credit where credit is due this time around I would have to say.