Gone are the glory days of WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw. The series was arguably the peak of wrestling gaming and it’s unlikely that we’ll see such a revolutionary run ever again. The 2K franchise is trying its best to garner the same goodwill as its predecessor, but WWE 2K19 proves it still has a long way to go.
You know how one of the common complaints about FIFA is how it’s basically the same game being released on a yearly basis with a new coat of paint? Well, it looks like 2K Sports lives by the same mantra as EA Sports.
The changes to the gameplay are so minimal that it’s almost criminal this is being passed off as a new title when it’s nothing more than a DLC masquerading as a fresh release. While the developers promised this would be less sluggish and faster than previous titles, it’s still the same. Remember that crappy reversal system where you tap R2? Still here. And the horrendous grappling system that makes you hate actually wrestling? Yip, also here. Undoubtedly, the worst – and most infuriating – aspects are the Hell in the Cell and the Royal Rumble matches, which are exciting spectacles to watch on TV, yet they’ll infuriate players to no end here as they’re mind-numbingly boring slogs.
Additionally, I don’t know what happened to the graphics as they’ve taken a bizarre step backwards. I swear that Brock Lesnar looked better in 2003’s WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain than WWE 2K19. Heck, when the superstars make fun of how they look, you know there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. It’s equally embarrassing that long hair in the game either stays glued to the player’s skull or moves around like it would in a badly programmed sixth-gen title. When you see other games with intricate water and facial features, it’s disappointing to see something so simple ignored here. Sure, there are uglier games around, but when you compare this to the likes of other sports titles, you’d expect something a lot better looking.
It’s not all bad news, though, as WWE 2K19 has included a whole load of new superstars – which you’ll need to acquire via VC, of course – to create an impressive roster filled with all the current and all-time greats (except CM Punk because of reasons). There’s also the 2K Showcase mode, which lets you experience Daniel Bryan’s journey with cool retrospective videos and task-centric matches, and the Mortal Kombat-esque Towers modes that provide different challenges. Universe hasn’t changed much, but that’s okay as its unpredictability and expansiveness are its biggest selling points. Additionally, the Create a Superstar feature will still be one of the most popular as you’ll love creating Kanye West purely so he can catch some hands from Braun Strowman.
In fact, from a modes perspective, WWE 2K19 shows that the developers are listening to the fans and what they want. This is the most jam-packed edition of the series, but you have to question if that’s enough for fans to dish out more money for effectively the same game as last year’s version.
It’s unreasonable to accept developers to overhaul the entire mechanics system of a game on a year-to-year basis. However, we can’t be forking out hard-earned money for a title that’s essentially the same as the one before it. EA Sports suggested that FIFA could be released as a subscription service in the future, and maybe 2K Sports should consider the same thing for its WWE games. If you’ve skipped out the last few years of wrestling gaming, this might feel fresh to you. For the rest, WWE 2K19 is more of the same – no matter how many paints of coat 2K Sports plasters over it.
WWE 2K19 is more of the same – no matter how many paints of coat 2K Sports plasters over it.
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