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Old 12-31-2018, 05:49 PM   #1
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The Evil Avatar WWE 2K19 Review

Title: WWE2K19
Platform: PS4,Xbox One, PC
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Developer: Yuke's
Publisher: 2K
MSRP: $59.99
Writer: Aaron Birch

WWE2K19 Review

Ahhhh, Daniel-san

The latest outing of the annual WWE2K series has landed, and once again we have an iteration that doesn't reinvent the wheel, and plays it largely safe, instead taking tiny steps forward, and offering more of an EA-Style roster update than anything else.

This year's major new features include the return of the Showcase mode, which focuses on the rise of fan favourite superstar, Daniel Bryan. It charts his story from his stint in the indies, early matches with WWE's regional shows, all the way up to his World Championship win. It's a series of pivotal matches, introduced by the man himself, and it's an interesting addition. Bryan fans will, of course, love this inclusion.



As with Showcase modes in the past, this makes use of single matches strung together between Bryan's commentary on his career, with various stipulations you have to meet in order to trigger various events in each match that recreate famous moments from Bryan's biggest bouts, so it's more than just a simple selection of matches. It offers a challenge, and it's great to follow the career of a wrestler who, on paper, really doesn't match up with the WWE's (make that, Vinnie Mac's) idea of a champion. Daniel Bryan has fought hard for his fame, and this showcase, ahem, showcases it.

Outside of the Showcase, we have all of the usual modes we've come to expect from the series, including the WWE Universe mode, Quick matches, online play, and of course, the plethora of creation tools that let you create your own superstar, move set, arena, entrances, and so on. This year you can also create your own Money in the Bank case.



One big change, however, lies within the MyPlayer mode. This career mode lets you create your player from a limited set of items (more of which are unlocked via card packs purchased by in-game currency, as with last year), and then embark on a journey from the indie scene to WWE superstardom. Unlike previous years, this mode features voice acting in the majority of the cut scenes, much of it delivered by actual WWE stars. As you'd expect from this, it's hardly Oscar-winning stuff, but it's good for the most part, and certainly makes thing more interesting and authentic, with actual stars uttering their lines, rather than endless text boxes.

What's more, the script is actually pretty well written in some scenes, with actual humours moments between your star and some of the supporting cast. The actual matches are a mixture of straightforward fights, and bouts with specific actions you need to perform, and it's actually a lot of fun. There are some definite highlights, such as a fight in the Wyatt compound, and some other bizarre bouts, and it's generally decent throughout.



Another new addition to the roster of modes includes the Towers section. Functioning just like Mortal Kombat's towers, this mode has a variety of themed 'towers' in which you take control of a specific star and have to run the gauntlet of matches to earn big rewards. Some of these are timed events, too, and the idea is there will always be new content to play through.

It's a good addition, and means you'll play stars you may not usually select, thus introducing more variety, and there's a range of challenge levels, from easy, to the Legend challenges, such as the AJ Style Million Dollar Tower where you have to defeat all challengers in the tower on one health bar, with a loss taking you back to the start.



The roster has, of course, been updated to reflect the latest changes in the company, and alongside current stars, there's a huge host of legends, Hall of Famers, and past wrestlers to choose too. It's a big roster, and certainly won't disappoint.

Holding all of this content up is the actual game engine, and it's here, as has been the case for so many years, that the game really does fall short. As I say each and every year, the cracks and creaks in the ageing engine show more and more as time goes by, and although still a good representation of WWE action, with TV-style presentation second to none, the actual wresting just isn't ageing well. The action is still sluggish and often very clunky, with an awful targeting system and wonky collision, and a full overhaul is needed.



That said, there have been some tweaks this year, and I felt there was an actual improvement in some areas. For one, reversals now seem to be much more forgiving, with a wider timing window. It still demands inhuman reactions at times, but I found I was able to reverse moves with more regularity. Whether this is all in my mind due to practise and familiarity, or it's a genuine change, it remain to be seen, but I feel it's a minor change that's been made.

Some of the QTE events have been simplified a little too, such as the Royal Rumble/Battle Royal elimination actions, and executing comebacks is now easier to perform, and a new perk system has also been introduced, which allows you to load up two perks that bestow some potentially match-changing moves. These include perks like instantly granting a finisher, guaranteed reversals, and the ability to instantly rise back to your feet, regardless of your status. It's a nice extra, and when used correctly, can make for some true WWE comebacks, the likes we see stars like John Cena and Randy Orton perform on a regular basis.

With some minor tweaks to the combat, and some genuinely interesting new features, along with a huge roster, WWE2K19 is a better entry into the series than the last couple of years, no doubt, but it's still more of the same, from a developer too afraid to take big risks to evolve its game. It's a solid wrestling title, just expect small refinements over actual major improvement, and you should enjoy another year of Wrasslin'.

Score: 3.5 out of 5




The Good
  • Great roster
  • Decent career mode
  • Showcase and towers add some variety
The Bad
  • Too few improvements
  • Still unable to create finishers or use custom music
The Ugly
  • Needs a new engine
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:52 AM   #2
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Yes, but can I take off all the cloths and see bobs and vegana? You know, nude wrestling? If not, what's the point?

But seriously, I have 2k17 and have not had the urge to upgrade mainly for the reasons you point out, that each iteration is not much more than minor tweaks and a roster upgrade. I really wish they would bring back GM mode.
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:13 PM   #3
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I've never played these before, but I'm tempted to give it a good. Not that into wrestling, but the mechanics are fun?
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:26 PM   #4
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Ronda Rousey is still a 'thing' in WWE? I thought she'd taken a few too many beatings and retired...
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:03 PM   #5
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Ronda Rousey is still a 'thing' in WWE? I thought she'd taken a few too many beatings and retired...
Right now she is "the" thing in WWE women's wrestling actually, along with Becky Lynch. They are pushing her so hard I'm surprised she can still stand. Until recently the women were regulated to a single match per TV episode and pay-per-view. Suddenly they are the hottest thing in the WWE, with Rhonda, Becky, and Charlotte Flair (Rick Flair's daughter) currently driving it.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:10 AM   #6
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This engine is so long in the tooth now. At least the career mode sounds fun, not fun enough to buy it mind you. It's interesting with 2k/Take Two, it's like they give Rockstar all the resources while they just rehash everything else in their portfolio, when they still had an actual sports title line, NHL, NBA, MLB2k etc they were always subpar compared to EA NHL or MLB The Show. Some things never change I guess.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:03 AM   #7
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I've never played these before, but I'm tempted to give it a good. Not that into wrestling, but the mechanics are fun?
i haven't followed wrestling for a decade or more. But I still enjoy the gameplay. Mechanically speaking, they are fun, but this review is spot on. The engine is outdated and if you own one, you own em all. To combat this, 2k kills the online features shortly after the release of the following years version. Which eliminates the ability to play online or download other people's created wrestlers. Created wrestlers allow you to have any roster you want, really. So 2k forces incentive to buy the latest version with too few changes. It's bogus. I'm not buying another until they really shake the game up.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:10 AM   #8
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Ronda Rousey is still a 'thing' in WWE? I thought she'd taken a few too many beatings and retired...
She rose to stardom - and took her beatings - in the UFC. She didn't make her WWE debut until April 2018, so she hasn't even been with that company for a year.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:36 AM   #9
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Clearly following her career (UFC, WWE, alphabet soup to me) was as important to me then as it is now.

Also, she is an absolutely terrible actor. Just...horrible.
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