WWE 2K19 arrives as the latest entry to the flagship WWE video game franchise and features cover Superstar AJ Styles. WWE 2K19 will showcase a massive roster of popular WWE Superstars, Legends and Hall of Famers, as well as NXT favorites. Experience authentic WWE gameplay, extensive creation options, engaging match types, fan-favorite modes and much more!
Usually, I take my wrestling video games like I take the wrestling that I watch - with a touch of "classic". I don't get into the new stuff much anymore. When I saw WWE 2K19 featured in a massive sale in the Microsoft store, though, it caught my attention. I had been thinking about updating from 2K16 for a while now just to get some different legends and Hall of Famers to play as if nothing else. When I saw this game available for 70% off; I just couldn't pass it up! Let's take a look and see if it's worth the fraction of the suggested retail price that I paid for it. As cheap as it was; I'd like to think the experience of playing it would be worth at least that much.
WWE 2K19 was developed in a collaboration between Yukes and Visual Concepts and released (fairly obviously) by 2K on October 5, 2018. This game received mostly positive reviews from critics but WWE 2K's fanbase has filed their fair share of complaints about the game so, let's dive in a see what we've got here.
Firstly, the roster includes over 200 playable characters! Granted, some of the characters counted are just different versions of the same character like Sting '99 and Sting "91 etc but that's still a massive roster. Gone are the 16-bit days of choosing between the top 6 or 8 wrestlers in the promotion - with a roster this size; I would assume it includes almost everyone under WWE contract!
There are even more than 50 legends and Hall Of Famers included on the game. Being able to play as my childhood heroes is always the part I enjoy most about WWE 2K games and I'm not disappointed here. Legends like Vader, Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper, The Rock 'N' Roll Express, Rick Rude, and Randy Savage are all included. I'm even very happy that they gave me a character that I wanted to play as for a long time - 80s Ric Flair! Ric Flair circa 1988, to be exact. There's even an '88 Ric Flair model that features him wearing one of his famous suits in case you happen to want to to have a street fight or something, I guess. He might be my favorite character in the game.
Other 80s models that are included is a model of Ricky Steamboat from 1988 and a Dusty Rhodes model of him circa 1985. Really great additions to the roster in my opinion. This also leads us to many fans number one complaint, though - instead of including a lot of these legends and Hall Of Famers on the standard version of the game; you have to purchase them and many other things like move sets etc by getting the DLC for the game.
Luckily, when I found this game on sale, I shelled out the extra 10 bucks for the Deluxe Edition that includes all of the DLC and the "accelerator" so I didn't have to unlock everything the hard way. Oh, there are also some great "community creations" available to add to your roster. I downloaded some nice looking models of The Road Warriors, Terry Funk, and even the Nasty Boys!
This game truly packs in a lot, in my personal opinion. there are many, many different match types and modes to play. You can even create your own match types in the "WWE Creation" section. You can play the Showcase mode that features Daniel Bryan (in exclusive interview footage) talking about his WWE career while you play it through in its entirety. There are a few "Tower Modes" to play through to build up your "MyPlayer" points to spend to unlock various things. There's WWE Universe mode where you get to be the booker (if you'll pardon my use of the now probably antiquated term) and book weekly shows and pay per views. It's not quite as in-depth as the old GM Mode that I used to enjoy in the Smackdown vs Raw series but it's not bad. A step in the right direction.
This game pretty much controls and plays like its recent predecessors but it has a little bit of a faster pace than the recent WWE 2K games. It's still nowhere near over-the-top, arcade style, though. I think they added a nice touch of speed to the in-ring action. While playing WWE Universe Mode, your matches are even graded on a Dave Meltzer-esque, star-based system from 1 to 5 stars, depending on how good you match ends up being. I think this is a really nice touch. It makes you want to have a good match and not necessarily take your opponent out with your finisher as quickly as possible to move onto the next victim.
The game looks really great all around. Even the legends all look very well done despite having to create those models from scratch as opposed to the facial and body scans used on the current roster. There must have been some really great artists involved. Kudos to them for doing such a good job. The commentary for this game isn't bad. The announce team consists of Corey Graves, Michael Cole, and Byron Saxton. A lot of fans wanted show-specific commentary this year like featuring Mauro Ranallo on in-game NXT shows but sadly, it was not to be this time around. At least the commentary is far less repetitive than the commentary for WWE 2K16 which I've heard enough of to quote, word for word, in my sleep. If I have to hear JBL call Michael Cole "Mah-kol" one more time...
All in all, I'm very pleased that I decided to pick this game up. Also, I'm very pleased that I bought it at a deep discount. Most of the fans complaints revolve around 2K being "greedy" and charging too much for the "full game" that includes all DLC and extras. I can't say that I blame them. Nearly $100 for the full game is pretty ridiculous. I wouldn't suggest paying that much to play this. It's good but it's not that good. Myself, having paid about a third of that price, is quite satisfied. If you can find a digital copy of the Deluxe Edition on sale, like I did, at even 50% off; it would be a sound investment. An extremely fun game if you can snag it for a fair price. Personally, It's got me already looking forward to WWE 2K20 getting released and sitting on the shelf for 6 months until I can snag a copy of it fairly cheaply.
Until next time... keep mashing those buttons!