‘WWE 2K19’ refines but doesn’t perfect the wrestling game


The Undertaker making his signature entrance. Photo screenshotted by Ulises Duenas.

WWE may be in a burning dumpster of controversy right now, but why should that stop someone from enjoying their new game? These things come out every year and, while “2K19” doesn’t iron out all the lingering problems from past games, it still provides something that will keep fans happy – or as happy as a WWE fan could be these days.

These games’ strengths have always been in their roster and presentation. WWE has the most stacked roster in history right now. Aside from all the talent of today, the game is packed with the wrestling legends from decades past.

Aside from the game’s base roster of over 100 wrestlers, there’s still the expansive creation suite that’s in every game. Plenty of talented players use their skills to recreate wrestlers from all over the world and add them in for people to download, but it doesn’t end there. Characters like Venom, Goku, Harambe and, even our dear President, Donald Trump have already been lovingly crafted for use in the game.

Arenas, championship belts, logos and more are all in the creation suite. These add a virtually limitless amount of replayability and customization into the game. Most of the time people use this to add stuff from WWE that isn’t in the game, but anyone with enough imagination can make whatever crazy nightmare they want.

The career mode finally doesn’t suck. No more grinding out matches for hours just to get a title shot and no more running around backstage. The career mode now features a much more concise story where you create and play an indie wrestler that slowly makes his way to the big time. The main character is finally voice-acted and while there are still plenty of awkward, lame moments there’s also a good amount of humor thrown in.

Showcase mode makes a return and it features the career of fan-favorite Daniel Bryan. Players will go through a series of matches from his career and Bryan will set each of these up with a little backstory and narration. These historical modes are usually one of the highlights of the game and while Bryan’s story is a great underdog tale the matches themselves can get annoying to play. You’re encouraged to recreate certain spots of the match as they happened in real life, but there aren’t any checkpoints so if you mess up once and lose then you’ll have to replay the whole thing all over again.

The biggest draw of these games for hardcore fans is the Universe mode. It’s basically the equivalent of the franchise modes in sports games. Players can make and run their own version of WWE or any other wrestling organization as they choose the shows, roster, belts and rivalries that occur. This year includes some much-needed customization options, but the main problem is that the glitches from past games are still present. Editing matches on a show can cause random changes and sometimes these will be irreversible.

These games slowly improves year after year and “2K19” is certainly the best one of these in a long time. The lingering issues of the past few years thankfully don’t get in the way as often as they used to. The creation suite and roster are enough to push this game from three stars to four.

[Final Score: 4/5]

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesDon Twitter.