The WWE 2K games have always managed to have an almost overwhelming amount of modes to play. Whether it be the WWE Universe Mode or Career Mode on top of all the matches and online play, the amount of depth was tedious and would become stale over time. With WWE 2K19, the team at Visual Concepts is going back to what makes the game fun rather than being a WWE Simulation. The team wants this to be the complete WWE 2K game. New modes to keep things fresh are being added this year, along with some combat enhancements and a visual upgrade. We were recently invited out to the WWE Performance Center to get some playing time with the game and it left us wanting more.
The biggest addition to WWE 2K19 is the return of the WWE Showcase. This will revolve around the story of Daniel Bryan from the beginning of his WWE career and through retirement to his triumphant return to the ring. This will be all told through his own narrative as he is the only one that can truly describe his own story. Daniel curated all his highlights as it spans across eleven career matches. Replaying these key matches will focus on key events that happened in that specific match and will guide you through this astounding journey of someone who truly worked their way to the top.
With storytelling being a focus for the development team this year and an actual WWE writer leading this train, there will also be an overhaul of MyCareer. Gone are the days of just creating someone and starting in NXT and grinding to the main roster. Fan feedback has told the developers that the game gets stale after a while, and the team truly wants to change that aspect. MyCareer will now be a more linear and narrative-based storyline that features cinematics and real WWE Superstar voiceovers. This includes 200 cinematic cut scenes and over 1,000 dialogue lines from 26 Superstars. You’ll encounter different competitors along the way as you start out in the indies and look to get a shot at the roster. This looks to be a new journey for MyCareer and a good change of pace.
Another mode coming that looks to keep things fresh will be 2K Towers. This ladder mode is influenced by old fighting and sports games as the team looks for more fun in the game. There will be daily and weekly events including an AJ Styles $1,000,000 Tower that team admits only one person in their office has beaten. The difficulty is varying and will dish out different rewards as this mode looks to offer a ton of replayability. We managed to get through one match on the AJ Styles tower during our trial. There will also be themed Towers such as various championship towers where you take on opponents who have held that specific belt. 2K Towers should be a dynamic experience as it will look to offer something else to do besides the main modes.
Customization options will also get a boost as the team looks to provide an quicker experience for its creators. A new randomizer and mirror option will be available to help dish out created players. MyPlayer is also getting a skill tree as you can customize your player to cater towards five core styles with additional and varying substyles. Do you want a big man who can suicide dive? This is possible with this Skill Tree as there are a lot of options for to define your style.
One major complaint the team received is that the gameplay is too slow. WWE 2K19 will be offering faster gameplay as player models and animations have been improved. This allows for a better paced match, more moves and overall fun. The team has included a Big Head mode and the details on a blown up face looks not only funny, but incredible. To add some variety to combat, the team is introducing Payback Moves. This is a separate meter that fills up that allows for some varying traits such as an instant recovery, calling someone to the ring or use of poison mist. There are quite a bit of options and it can quickly swing a match so no one should assume a match is in the bag.
A variety of match selection is available and that includes a House of Horrors match. Taking place in Bray Wyatt’s front yard, players can experience the creepy atmosphere of the match between him and Randy Orton. There are other backstage locations to fight in as well. Hell in a Cell will allow easier access to getting outside the ring along with ringside moves and the ability to climb to the top of the cage. The Royal Rumble will also have the option to recover some stamina by camping out in a corner. Lastly, Money in the Bank briefcases can be customized for matches.
With plenty to do in WWE 2K19, the goal for the team is to bring back the fun and add variety to keep players not only entertained but engaged. There are plenty of untapped “little things” that are possible that fans will appreciate when they get their hands on the game. The development team is really aiming to please fans with the experience this year. WWE 2K19 will launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on October 9 with early access available on October 5.