Hello! I’m your teacher Mr. Pacitti and this is my classroom here in Orlando, Florida, and you join me today for a very special article version of the SMASH HIT video series, GRADED – which you can find on the Cultaholic YouTube Network for only… free. You pay nothing and that’s an absolute crime!
As you are probably aware by now, Cultaholic was lucky enough to be invited to the WWE Performance Centre by 2K to get a hands-on experience with 2K19. We also had the chance to interview some top WWE superstars and you can watch those interviews with the likes of AJ Styles, Alexa Bliss, Johnny Gargano, Cesaro, and Elias on the Cultaholic YouTube channel right now. Once again, a massive thanks to those at 2K for giving us that unbelievable opportunity. We appreciate it greatly.
Back to the matters at hand. So I managed to play WWE 2K19 for a couple of hours, and you know what? I’m really impressed with the changes made to this year’s game. I must admit, I’m already a fan of the WWE 2K games, but that hasn’t prevented me from sharing some of the concerns that other fans have had over the years. However, after experiencing 2K19 at close quarters, I am pleased to report that a number of those gripes are now history!
One of the gripes of previous 2K games is that the in-game action feels too much like a simulation. You press a button, that triggers an action, and it doesn’t quite feel like you’re playing a game – if that makes any sense to you whatsoever?
So after we walked into the Performance Center, we sat down to listen to a presentation about the game and one of the first things the developer said was they’re aware of what I mentioned above, believe it or not. He also said the changes they’ve made to this year’s game are all about fun, which is exactly what was needed in my opinion.
So what did they mean by ‘fun’? First off, 2K have sped things up. When I played, it was immediately noticable that everything runs faster. It’s less sluggish. Things feel more fluid, more enjoyable to play, and if you buy the game I think you’ll notice this straight away too.
They’ve also introduced some new fairly silly modes like big head mode. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a mode that appeals to me personally but I think it sends an important message: 2K aren’t taking themselves as seriously as they might have in previous years. That’s not in a they don’t care sort of way either, rather that they’ve realised the realism-centric gameplay of previous years may have actually been getting in the way of a fun user experience.
2K have added a new feature called Payback, which allows you to swing the direction of a match with shenanigans such as calling for another wrestler to interfere, or hitting a low blow.
On top of this, they’ve added a few new match types. You can now play a women’s Royal Rumble match, three and four corner tag matches are back, and you can even play at the Wyatt compound.
They’ve also added a new Tower Mode which introduces a ladder system of gameplay where you take control of a single character and are challenged to fight your way up to the top. It’s a bit like Mortal Kombat where you fight opponents of increasing difficulty and each tower has a theme like no top-rope manoeuvres, no running, or the opponents may all belong to a specific group.
As I say, I played for around two hours and didn’t experience any glitching. Things just felt smoother, faster and more fun.
Gameplay gets a B+