Either you’re a fan or you’re not. There’s no second guessing a WWE game in 2018, but believe me when I say that this, WWE 2K19 is looking solid on bringing fresh features to entice existing fans and has gotten much, much cleaner and polished from last year to become accessible for prying eyes.
Clean UI, polished mechanics, easy controls, most number of characters in a roster till date, tons and tons of customisation and something called the Tower (which we will get to in a bit). We’ve spent a couple of hours trying the new WWE game and we’re happy to report that it looks and plays much better from last year.
A finished moved
Right of the bat, the game doesn’t confuse you with a million key bindings that require more brain attention than CFA exams. Just pick up the controller and everything is quite simple and intuitive. And wait you pro wrestler, WWE 2K19 knows its audience and the die hard fans like yourself who come for smashing your opponent in the most complex way possible - there are 250 new strike reactions and strikes that can quite possibly execute neck-snapping manoeuvres.
The set of moves and combinations are quite vast and this time with more emphasis around your surroundings. The AI will behave different in and outside of the ring. Got your buddy up against the cage in Hell In A Cell? Smear his face on the grill. Dizzy around metal stairs? Whack them more with a push of a button. Your fingers don’t need yoga lessons when playing on the joystick to pull off better and complex moves. Albeit, there’s a slight learning curve to get the hang of everything, but once you’ve got it, you won’t forget it.
There’s a ‘payback system’ which allows you to have two types of special moves assigned to your character before the match starts. You ain’t restricted by the character you choose. So, you can have Undertaker do a Play Possum (pretending to be really hurt and waiting for an opportunity to strike when the enemy comes close) even through in reality that would be a very Rick Flair thing to do. Or an Auto Reverse which is quite handy if you’re dealing with finisher.
Tower it up!
The focus is on fun this time with proper story telling and 12 hours of content in My Career which we’ll get to test in the full review. Even the 2K showcase has been spit-shined with better voice overs and character dialogue sync.
There are as many as 119 superstars in the roster this time and 20 Towers on launch. What are Towers? Well, think of it as Tekken Dojo where you fight enemies one after another till you reach the top. If you lose on match, you have to start from the bottom again, so it’s not going to be easy and during our hands-on, we lost in the first match. Seasoned players looking for a challenge can head for the Tower and test their skills.
Like the previous WWE, this too focuses a lot on creativity and customisation. My Player gives you tons of options to tweak and modify your own wrestler. You can have it eerily close to looking like yourself or just go bonkers and fiddle with the Minecraft-looking preset. There’s definitely a lot here to do aside from your basic couch gaming with friends.
The UI is what impressed me the most. It’s by far the most clean and intuitive UI I have seen in a WWE game in yonks.
Over the years the WWE franchise has only gotten bigger. Even though I have lost interest in the wrestling circle altogether, WWE 2K19 is compelling enough to entice newbies like me into the wrestling ring again. I was surprised that I was getting the hang of a wrestling game just by picking up the controller, yup, and that’s where WWE 2K19 shines brilliantly.
Fluid gameplay and tighter controls only create a more immersive and quite frankly, a great couch game to have. Got friends over for beer? Slot in a WWE 2K19 disc and you might have the most enjoyable couch gaming session.
For solo fighters, the loads of customisation options and the story driven career mode will keep you grounded for hours on end. We’ll be sure to give it a thorough review closer to launch.