8 CRAZY New Features In WWE 2K19 –
Like most major sports game franchises, the WWE 2K series isn’t exactly associated with year-to-year innovation.
Developers Visual Concepts typically eschew outright revolution for a glut of incremental annual tweaks. Roster stats are updated, graphics are refined, and pre-order bonuses align with whoever’s being pushed at the time. New features come and go with each new incarnation, but the core game remains largely unchanged.
While WWE 2K19 almost certainly won’t reinvent the wheel either (despite the typically overwhelming marketing campaign), it looks like the latest game is about to bring oodles of mad sh*t to the table, with the first batch of trailers peppering the usual vanilla gameplay footage with dashes of complete weirdness.
It started with ‘The Phenomenal One’s’ supernatural undertones, and continued through this exclusive IGN feature reveal and a new MyCAREER preview. Who knows how prevalent they’ll be in the final form, but for now, it looks like the developers have lost their minds this time around.
Whether or not 2K19’s newfound wackiness elevates this release beyond “annual re-skin” territory remains to be seen, but this is shaping up to be one of the oddest wrestling games yet…
8. The Broken Multiverse
WWE never truly delivered a fully realised version of Matt Hardy’s wonderfully bizarre Broken Universe while the injury-ravaged 43-year-old was active. Perhaps it was always going to be this way, as Vince McMahon has often been reticent to go all-in on gimmicks created elsewhere, and the comedic concept likely came with a midcard ceiling in his promotion anyway. The disappointingly diluted ‘Woken’ version we got didn’t hit the mark, even if the Ultimate Deletion was bags of fun.
Fans of the character will be pleased to learn that Hardy’s wild, imaginative world comes to life in 2K19. At one point, the MyCAREER trailer shows Matt decked out in full Woken regalia, welcoming the player to his Multiverse. There’s smoke, a cosmic backdrop, and a glowing green window, but that’s the extent of what we know so far.
If the footage is representative of the final product, this scene comes after your character is knocked out by a red-masked mystery assailant, sending you to Hardy’s realm. Here’s hoping it’s more than just a single scene, though: exploring this Multiverse sounds like fun…
7. Spooky Sh*t
Matt Hardy’s Deleters Of Worlds tag partner Bray Wyatt is also given heavy focus in the MyCAREER trailer, which showcases slithers of the supernatural hokum that blighted his character prior to connecting with the 10-time Tag Team Champion.
The first signs come when ‘The New Face Of Fear’ addresses you from afar, projecting maggots onto the ring apron, just like he did against Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33. We then cut backstage. Your character has the Intercontinental Title on his shoulder, but succumbs to clouds of green gas creeping across the room. A few seconds later, your fella’s brawling with Wyatt outside what looks like his House Of Horrors, though the most startling thing about this scene is the dire PlayStation 2-calibre textures.
While revisiting some of the absolute worst moments of Bray’s career doesn’t exactly sound like the best idea, it’s not like 2K can do a worse job with them than WWE did. Perhaps they’ll translate better in the digital realm, or maybe they’ll be just as cringe-worthy as they were in real-life. We wait with baited breath.
6. Cel-Shaded Charm
What we’ve seen of WWE 2K19 so far suggests a game rife with graphical inconsistencies. Some of the textures found in scenes away from the arena look unacceptably poor for any new release, let alone one with as hefty a budget as this, and a handful of the character models still look off. Conversely, everything in and around the ring looks gorgeous, with the developers once again tightening swathes of nuts and bolts for a clean, crisp visual experience.
This part of 2K’s presentation hasn’t undergone significant change in years, but this year’s comes complete with a couple of filters that should appease anyone sick of looking at the same old game
Cel-shading is the first, and it looks great, transforming 2K19 into a wrestling simulation played through a Borderlands-esque lens. Showcased in IGN’s features video, it looks incredibly smooth, and while completely unessential, it provides a welcome break from the series’ usual appearance.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of 2K19’s second visual filter…
5. A Brutal 8-Bit Filter
Well, this is disappointing.
Including an 8-bit mode was a good idea that, in theory, would allow gamers to enjoy a retro experience without sacrificing gameplay. It’s hard to imagine most players utilising a fully-realised version more than a handful of times, but bells and whistles like this are usually good for a laugh or two, even if they aren’t likely to shift many copies of the game on their own.
Unfortunately, 2K19’s looks absolutely ghastly, reducing the game to a grotesque mess of pixel vomit summoned from the bowels of Bastion Booger, then discharged all over your screen. What has been presented to us thus far simply doesn’t work, and we can only hope this isn’t representative of the final product.
The 8-bit filter is, of course, entirely optional, and nobody’s gonna hold a gun to your head and order you to use it. Still, that doesn’t forgive how repulsive this thing looks. How they made it even worse than 2K18’s p*ss-poor implementation is anyone’s guess…
4. Minecraft Mode
IGN introduced this feature as “Block Body Attire,” and its influence should be immediately apparent to anyone with a working set of eyes.
The thing holding a championship belt in the above screenshot is, ostensibly, a Minecraft character. Built through the game’s creation suite, it’s actually a solid representation of the ultimate gaming sandbox’s visual style, and watching it grapple with Rey Mysterio then execute a top rope fist drop in the features video is just plain weird.
Each part of this costume is immensely customisable. Players can edit it pixel-by-pixel within the suite, with the head constructed from a series of 8×8 grids, and other body parts offering even bigger canvasses. This will delight anyone seeking to bring an absurd, blocky creation to life within the game, and perhaps allow gamers to build their own Minecraft zombie to do battle with 2K19’s revenant Triple H.
It’s another novelty feature that helps drag 2K19 even closer to full-on banter game territory, but it is endearingly odd.
3. Undead Triple H
You’ve almost certainly seen this by now, but for whatever reason, WWE 2K19 delivers a zombified version of Triple H, with the undead ‘King Of Kings’ featuring heavily throughout the MyCAREER trailer.
Having debuted in ‘The Phenomenal One’ preview, he returns in the latest upload. Exhumed in the initial gameplay reveal, he does battle with the player character here, seemingly putting him to sleep with a hard right forearm. Zombie HHH doesn’t seem to be restricted to the supernatural realm, though, as he’s also shown making his ring entrance at the top of the ramp at one point, so guess what? You’re going to have to wrestle a literal monster.
Much of the MyCAREER story seems to revolve around the player battling to prove his worth to Triple H. The zombie could therefore be ‘The Game’s’ final form, but this is purely speculative. 2K are yet to reveal specifics on what any of this nonsense is all about, and it’s just as likely to be a small easter egg as it is a legitimate gameplay feature, like everything else on our list…
2. Is That Red Skull?
This mask-clad weirdo shows up early in the MyCAREER trailer. Your character is an indie wrestler working for a promotion called BCW, and appears to stage an invasion of NXT’s Full Sail University. He’s then shown cutting a promo on Triple H, claiming he’s ready to be shot straight onto the main roster, but ‘The Game’ doesn’t take kindly to this, asserting his authority with sledgehammers, stern words, and by summoning an assortment of goons to take care of your guy.
Ol’ Red Mask is first shown swaggering down the Full Sail ramp, clad entirely in black save for his veil. Him and his big grin are then sitting backstage, surrounded by security goons as the player delivers a defiant diatribe: “you’ve tried to stop me at every turn, from the indies, to NXT, to SmackDown, and now here on Raw.”
The mystery man’s true identity will presumably be revealed later in the campaign, though it looks like he’s being presented as a figure from your character’s past. Whatever the case, he’s given heavy focus throughout, and that mask is definitely getting yanked from his head at some point.
1. MASSIVE Heads
Codified through the original NBA Jam, big head modes have appeared in dozens of games over the years, with the likes of GoldenEye, Banjo-Kazooie, and Tekken 2 all allowing players the chance to inflate their character’s craniums for banter purposes. Its popularity peaked in the mid/late-90s, so of course it’s now being added to a WWE game almost 20 years later.
It remains to be seen whether this self-explanatory feature is just for fun, or if flicking the switch will result in significant gameplay alternations. In shooter games, the mode is used to make nailing headshots easier, and 2K could utilise similar mechanics here, making the cranium an even bigger target than it already is. Conversely, they may use it to turn these oversized bonces into weapons of mass concussion – who on Earth would want to take a headbutt from a giant-skulled Braun Strowman?
One piece of good news is that the big heads show no sign of graphical clipping in the IGN video, though it’s unlikely that 2K would consent to releasing footage that exposed such flaws. Let’s see how they pulled it off on 9 October.