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WWE 2K19 Review – Shaking Off the Ring Rust



WWE 2K19

October 9, 2018

Platform PC, Xbox One, PlayStation four

Writer 2K Sports activities

Developer Visible Ideas, Yuke’s

Lots has occurred since the final WWE recreation hit cabinets. Daniel Bryan returned to the ring! Shawn Michaels is about to! John Cena’s run as a full-time wrestler ended, and Ronda Rousey’s started! The primary all-women’s PPV and a number of tremendous stadium exhibits have been added to the schedule! Brock Lesnar lastly dropped the rattling title! Phew, that’s numerous exclamation marks! Given the change in the air, it will be particularly disappointing if WWE 2K19 was yet one more by-the-books outing.

Since taking up the license in 2013, 2K Sports activities has been turning out principally humdrum WWE video games hampered by irritating mechanics, lacking options, and a basic lack of polish (the lazy WWE 2K18 left me notably unimpressed). WWE 2K19 consists of some much-requested options, like a revamped story-driven MyCareer and the return of 2K Showcase mode, however is it sufficient? Does WWE 2K19 seize that shiny brass ring or proceed the collection’ Curt-Hawkins-like dropping streak?

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As I laid out final yr, a superb wrestling recreation requires three easy elements: enjoyable in-ring motion, a deep, intuitive creation suite, and an honest profession mode that lets followers stay out their professional graps fantasies. WWE 2K18’s create-a-wrestler was strong, nevertheless it did not ship the different two parts. So, how does WWE 2K19 fare? Considerably higher, I’m joyful to say.

WWE 2K19’s primary mechanics haven’t modified a lot – it sticks to the similar primary punch, kick, regular grapple, robust grapple system that wrestling video games have been utilizing since the mid-90s and continues to be closely fixated on reversals. Fortunately, these reversals aren’t as irritating as they as soon as have been. The final a number of WWE 2K video games required split-second precision to tug off reversals, which was a problem, as they have been the solely option to alter the course of a match. Naturally, your godlike AI opponents didn’t have an issue countering. Properly, it appears the makers of WWE 2K19 heard the complaints, as the timing required for reversals feels extra forgiving and pc opponents aren’t such cruel bastards anymore.

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Along with usually enhancing reversals, WWE 2K19 introduces the new Payback system, which lastly provides gamers one other strategy to change the momentum of a match. Take up sufficient injury and also you’ll earn a particular capability. Maintain out a bit longer, and also you’ll earn your extra highly effective degree 2 capacity. You’ll be able to select your Payback talents earlier than the match, and a few of the boosts are fairly useful – you’ll be able to earn an prompt finisher, an automated, no-fail reversal, or numerous limited-time buffs. You’ll in all probability solely use Payback a few times a match, nevertheless it offers an out when the pc is relentlessly hammering on you and also you simply can’t appear to get the reversal timing proper. It’s a small, however essential, addition.

General, WWE 2K19’s motion feels a contact quicker and extra fluid than in earlier years. Virtually a bit arcadey, however I’ll take that over the sluggish, unforgiving strategy of previous entries. Make no mistake, WWE 2K19 nonetheless has some in-ring points – the recreation continues the collection’ obsession with annoying meters and minigames, which scale back chain-wrestling, submissions, and ladder matches to thumb-spraining minigames. I’d like to see a WWE 2K’s in-ring mechanics get an entire revamp, however, for now, issues are no less than shifting in a greater path.

Sadly, whereas WWE 2K19 might play higher, it truly appears worse than final yr. It appears the recreation’s builders determined to skip the detailed face and physique scanning this time round, as a result of a whole lot of the wrestlers, notably the newer faces and ladies, appear to be awkward cartoon variations of themselves. Like they have been based mostly on the goofy WWE comedian e-book as an alternative of actual life. Even guys that seemed nice in the previous, like John Cena and Randy Orton, are a bit iffy this yr. In the meantime, the audio is (in fact) terrible as standard. The commentary group of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton are competent, however they nonetheless spout far too many nonsensical strains that don’t match the context. Typically the recreation would outright mess up and have the commentators begin speaking about the improper match or discuss with my male MyCareer character as a “she” (that one occurred so much). No less than The Rock didn’t select this yr’s soundtrack, so no Kick Rock or Disturbed (sorry to any rap-rock followers simply popping out of a 15-year coma).

The WWE 2K Creation Suite hasn’t modified a lot this yr, nevertheless it was already about as deep because it might get. As all the time, I decide create-a-wrestler mode by how hideous/silly I could make my characters look, and WWE 2K19 undoubtedly doesn’t put any limits on that. In fact, you can too make characters that aren’t ridiculous monstrosities, together with just about any actual wrestler you’ll be able to identify, previous or current. And hey, when you’re not the artistic sort, simply obtain different gamers’ creations – I’ve already nabbed a reasonably darn good Tommaso Ciampa, Nikki Cross, and Toni Storm.

Oddly, you possibly can’t use wrestlers made in the full Creation Suite as your MyPlayer this yr. As an alternative, you need to make one utilizing a separate, considerably restricted, character creation wizard. You’ll be able to return and additional edit your MyPlayer, however about 90 % of the strikes, gear, and even primary bodily stuff like wrinkles, scars, and hairstyles need to be unlocked by spending Digital Foreign money (VC) or opening loot packing containers. WWE 2K19 doesn’t have microtransactions, nevertheless it positive looks like the recreation was arrange for them. You’re closely inspired to purchase loot packing containers as an alternative of choosing and selecting the strikes and kit you need, as gadgets are very costly to purchase individually. I wouldn’t be even barely stunned if WWE 2K19 quietly provides microtransactions a number of months down the line.

You should use your MyPlayer to play by way of MyCareer mode or compete on-line. Doing so earns you and VC to spend on these loot bins and XP, which you should use to degree up your MyPlayer utilizing a somewhat complicated new talent tree. Steadily grinding up your man is marginally extra satisfying than in the previous, however it nonetheless feels a bit pointless. All the stuff you’re incomes is already obtainable in the full Creation Suite, so why hassle incomes all of it a second time? Why spend dozens of hours coaching this jobber?

Luckily, the grind isn’t the be-all, end-all on your MyPlayer this yr, as MyCareer has been expanded to incorporate a full-fledged story, full with quite a few fully-voice-acted cutscenes. You play as an indie wrestler, nicknamed “Buzz” it doesn’t matter what you identify your self, who’s on the cusp of creating it to WWE. Your NXT tryout goes nicely, however an embarrassing social media incident instantly will get you fired by a vengeful Triple H. The punishment doesn’t finish there, as Hunter does all the things he can to sink what’s left of your profession, going as far as to crash your indie fed’s video streams. I’ll admit, I didn’t anticipate this WWE recreation to aspect with indie wrestling towards Triple H and the uncaring WWE machine. Kudos to WWE 2K19’s writers for defying expectations. In fact, you ultimately do find yourself in WWE, at which level the story turns into much less entertaining, or at the very least much less shocking. On the different hand, you do get to have a Home of Horrors match – I depart it as much as you whether or not that’s a great or dangerous factor.

When you’re not feeling guiding a fictional wrestler to WWE glory, you possibly can as an alternative comply with Daniel Bryan’s profession in the returning 2K Showcase mode. Many, together with myself, have missed the Showcases since they have been unceremoniously dropped following WWE 2K15, and Daniel Bryan is the good topic for the mode’s return. The documentary bits between matches, that includes insights from Bryan himself, are nicely produced, and also you get a full overview of his WWE profession, from his early matches on Velocity, to the embarrassments of NXT, to his victory at WrestleMania 30 and return from damage at WrestleMania 34. The person matches are recreated nicely, though typically they load on a couple of too many aims. I understand the matches are supposed to duplicate real-life occasions, however all too typically you find yourself dropping matches merely since you couldn’t maneuver your opponent into a really particular spot for a really particular transfer. I don’t need to be too onerous on Showcase mode, it’s entertaining for the most half, however the matches sometimes really feel like checking off homework.

The opposite huge addition to WWE 2K19 are Towers, that are primarily a tackle the Arcade modes present in preventing video games like Mortal Kombat and Road Fighter. Every Tower challenges you to play by means of a collection of matches based mostly on a singular theme – so, as an example, “The People’s Tower” duties you with beating The Rock and different Angle Period stars, whereas “Ronda Has Arrived” pits you towards a few of Ronda Rousey’s current opponents. There will even be a continually up to date record of Towers you possibly can take your custom-created MyPlayer by means of. Towers are a easy idea, however they’re good pick-up-and-play enjoyable.

And there’s nonetheless extra! WWE Universe mode returns but once more — primarily the WWE 2K model of the GM modes from different sports activities video games, it lets you e-book your personal playing cards and simulate or play out a yr of programming. Universe is a bit dry for my tastes, nevertheless it’s there for the fantasy reserving fanatics who take pleasure in it. In fact, it’s also possible to leap into the primary exhibition or quick-play on-line matches, which might be custom-made to your coronary heart’s content material. The quantity of content material in WWE 2K19 would break Mark Henry’s again.

This evaluation was based mostly on a PS4 copy of WWE 2K19 offered by writer 2K Video games. You should purchase the recreation on Amazon.


Is WWE 2K19 championship materials? Not fairly, however builders Yuke’s and Visible Ideas have made some necessary strides in the proper path. WWE 2K19 hulks up with some sensible new mechanics, a well-produced Daniel Bryan Showcase, and a much-improved MyCareer mode. Does the recreation nonetheless endure from some in-ring points and a common lack of polish? Sure, however WWE 2K19 feels prefer it may simply be the first chapter of an inspiring comeback story.


  • Payback system provides a brand new layer to the motion
  • Daniel Bryan Showcase is “Yes!”-worthy
  • Strong, albeit goofy, MyCareer mode
  • 2K Towers are a enjoyable distraction
  • Loopy quantity of content material


  • Some in-ring frustrations persist
  • Build up your MyPlayer feels empty
  • Graphics a step down from final yr
  • Commentary is terrible as all the time

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