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Review: WWE 2K19 Inches Closer to the Perfect Wrestling Game

By: Curtis Sindrey –

 

WWE 2K19

WWE’s 2K video game series is back with another entry. WWE 2K19, the sixth game in the series, gets a lot right and some things hilariously wrong.

2k Showcase Mode

Part mini documentary, part interactive story, WWE 2K19’s new showcase mode follows the career of Daniel Bryan. Going from his Feb. 2003 match vs. John Cena on Velocity to his comeback match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn at Wrestlemania 34 back in April, this game mode is great for both hardcore and casual fans as you get to either experience for the first time or relive some of the best moments of Bryan’s WWE career.

Featuring interview clips with Bryan himself, along with elaborate cut-scenes you’re seamlessly immersed into the journey of a superstar like Bryan who was never meant to be on the main stage at Wrestlemania, but defied the odds and become a legend on his own terms.

Plus, it was amazing to see how many cool arenas you unlocked as you progressed through the showcase including Wrestlemania 33 & 34, Velocity, and more.

MyCareer

WWE 2k19’s career mode is one of the best the series has ever had where you’re thrust into the spotlight as you compete to become the next WWE superstar.

You start in the indies where you wrestle in bingo halls in front of 50 people. But with NXT head coach Matt Bloom in attendance at your show, you’re soon on the road to the WWE main roster, but not without some road bumps like getting blindsided by a masked attacker, Triple H holding a super long grunge against you because of the attack, and being betrayed by one of your best friends.

Plus, this year’s MyCareer mode features voiceover from over two-dozen WWE superstars including Triple H, Braun Strowman, and Bray Wyatt. John Cena is also included but apparently didn’t show up to do voiceover so the game features a hilariously generic tough guy voice that sounds nothing like him.

The Road to Glory section is a great addition as well as you have the opportunity to join iconic factions like DX, NWO, Four Horseman, and more, and complete “faction challenges” where you score XP and other cool rewards.

One of the biggest drawbacks to this year’s MyCareer is the lack of a female MyCareer, especially since Ronda Rousey is a pre-order bonus. With all of WWE’s recent progress in taking women’s wrestling to the next level, the lack of a female MyCareer leaves a void in an otherwise solid game mode.

Tower Mode

Think you got what it takes to pull a Seth Rollins and win a gauntlet match? Well, WWE 2K19’s “Tower Mode” will put your skills to the test.

Competing against WWE legends like Kurt Angle, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Undertaker, you must win up to 15 separate matches to be victorious, with each tower having a unique stipulation or theme.

The toughest challenge is without question the AJ Styles Million Dollar Tower. Playing at the Phenomenal One, you must win 15 matches back-to-back against some of the best WWE superstars has to offer. If you’re tired of exhibition matches, this is a refreshing game mode to check out and a great addition to this year’s game.

Graphics

Apart from a few botched face scans (cough Randy Orton cough), 2K19’s graphics are beautiful. With solid improvements to things like lighting, and shadows, you will notice a considerable improvement from last year’s offering.

What’s Missing?

With every iteration of the WWE 2K series, there are always omissions, whether they are arenas, characters, or something else entirely.

In terms of wrestlers, there several notable superstars missing from this year’s game including: Brian Kendrick, Lio Rush, Drake Maverick, EC3, Nikki Cross, Tommaso Ciampa, William Regal, Cactus Jack, X-Pac, Dude Love, Mankind, JBL, Mark Henry, RVD, Neville, among others.

In addition, while there are close to hundreds of create-an-arena options, you can’t 100 per cent faithfully duplicate any one arena. For any attitude era WWE fan (myself included) would tell you, there are a ton of missing arenas from the game including: RAW 2001, King of the Ring 2001, Armageddon 1999, Backlash 1999, Nitro 2000, Wrestlemania 14, 15, etc.  Of course it would take more time for the developers to create additional arenas, but even having the template in create-an-arena for players to create more classic arenas would be great.

Music-wise, having the ability to upload custom music is sorely missing from WWE 2K19. Allowing fans to upload custom music would add another layer to the creation suite and allow players to enjoy a more immersive gaming experience.

The game also deserves more match type variety. Things like “I Quit”, buried alive, WarGames, empty arena, deathmatch, parking lot brawl, inferno, casket, and three stages of hell would make the game feel fresh.

The Bottom Line

Despite its inherent flaws, the graphical improvements, along with several exciting new game modes, WWE 2K19 is one of the best games in the series.

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