WWE 2K19 is arguably one of the best WWE video games we’ve seen in years thanks to its engaging story mode complete with voice acting, a great Daniel Bryan showcase mode that included pre-WWE Bryan Danielson, an expansive creation suite, and many more great features. As much as this series has improved over the last few years though, there are still many improvements to be made, small details to be added, and some glaringly obvious omissions that 2K desperately need to bring back.
And it’s not as if they need to come up with any original ideas for the next few instalments, as there have been plenty of great ideas featured in past video games by other developers, both WWE and non-WWE, that 2K could draw inspiration from. In case they don’t know where to look or simply can’t be bothered, I’ve done the work for them – here are 10 Game Mechanics From Other Wrestling Video Games 2K Should Use for WWE.
WE’VE BEEN ASKING FOR THIS FOR YEARS – PLEASE BRING BACK GM MODE, 2K.
Yes, Universe Mode is all well and good, it’s still a great way to spend an hour or two, yet there’s no element of competition involved. It’s essentially the good old GM mode without the best part.
In GM Mode, you took control of one of WWE’s iconic brands, Raw or SmackDown (and in SvsR 2008 ECW as well), directly competing against the other general manager/s for ratings supremacy. Both brands had the same initial budget to spend on roster members and storyline writers. Your shows popularity was based on how effectively rivalries played out on your show, how beloved your roster members were, and the types of matches you included on your shows. But you couldn’t just book Hell in a Cell bouts every week – the more gruelling your schedule was, the more likely your stars were to injury.
The micromanaging aspect of GM Mode was a fantastic experience that we haven’t seen in WWE games in over a decade now. With all the entertaining features 2K already has included in their games, such as being able to create custom arenas, shows, one-hundred character slots, custom logos and more, GM Mode would be better than ever if 2K decided to bring it back. WWE vs. New Japan? You could do it. Main roster vs. NXT? Why not? Have five different brands all competing against each other? Hell, with the amount of wrestlers you can have in the games these days, it’s doable.
2K continue to make more and more improves each year. 2K19 featured one of the best and most importantly funnest career modes we have seen in years, hearkening back to the PS2 era of wrestling games. Next year, if they could bring this beloved game mode back, it could easily be the best wrestling game made in the last fifteen years.
The Virtual Pro Wrestling and Wrestle Kingdom games both brought together the biggest companies in Japan, and they made for even greater games because of it. With WWE partnering up with the likes of PROGRESS, ICW and EVOLVE these days, why not include them in the game? Official arenas complete with unique commentary references, maybe even a few more NXT UK talents thrown in there for good measure? Maybe allow people to use these brands in Universe Mode without having to create them or download them from Community Creations.
Sure, in the grand scheme of things, these are extremely small details that would never be the deciding factor of whether somebody would purchase the game or not, but still, if 2K want to make this the most accurate representation of WWE as they can, they need to acknowledge the many promotions that they have a hand in too.
Attaching Sounds to Moves
Fire Pro Wrestling World allows players to attach sound clips to any move in the game, and to as many of those moves as you want. One of those sound clips just happens to be, “You bastard!” spoken in an English accent, meaning you can make the game shout profanity with every press of a button. Now, I’m not saying 2K should throw in curse words, yet if you could have somebody shout a catchphrase or make a random noise when they’re hitting their finisher, that’d be pretty cool.
Alternative Career Modes
With this year’s instalment of the yearly WWE video game, 2K took a major leap forward with their engaging, original MyCareer mode that explored your CAW’s journey from independent wrestler to WrestleMania main-eventer. Other than making it last a bit longer, there’s not too much room for improvement to be made for 2K20 if they go ahead with a similar model once more, so rather than focusing the next twelve months’ efforts into improving small details, why not expand the career mode options you can choose from?
Perhaps 2K could take some inspiration from ECW Anarchy Rulz (not in the gameplay department) which allowed you to progress through season mode as either an individual, a tag team, or a stable of four wrestlers. Imagine that – starting your own faction and battling your way through the career of four different competitors? What about actually allowing people to play through the career of a female wrestler if they want to, much like Rumble Roses games? (Except with less perversion)
2K, you elevated your career mode to a level which we haven’t seen in a WWE game for years – if you could just make the options at our disposal a little more diverse, you may construct the best career mode of all time.
With in-depth customisation options, the 2K games allow you to recreate pretty much any type of arena or wrestling promotion ring that you want to, yet certain real life venues are so unique or have such an iconic layout that they deserve to be recognised as already available in-game content. TNA Impact! had the Liverpool Olympia, All Japan’s King of Colosseum game had Korakuen Hall, The Simpsons Wrestling had locations around Springfield, so why can’t WWE games follow suit?
Throw in an accurate recreation of MSG with unique commentary, maybe the gorgeous Royal Albert Hall for UK events, or perhaps the actual iconic Tokyo Dome, rather than the Japan Dome we got in 2K19. These would be relatively small editions, but lovely ones nonetheless.
Customising Finishing Moves
In the Fire Pro Wrestling video games, you can set any move in the entire game as your finisher, and you can give that move whatever name you want it to be. Isn’t that cool?
Well, why not introduce this into WWE games? If I want my CAW to have Gut Punch 3 as their finisher, why not? If I want to rename a finisher that’s already included in the game to “Scott Steiner’s Freaky Maths Equation” why shouldn’t I be able to? Maybe even have the commentary team record dialogue for a set list of different words you can choose from so you can have your finisher named during matches. It would be a minor change, but it would certainly make crafting CAW’s all the more interesting.
No, I’m not talking about a Crush Hour reboot.
Back in some of the earlier SmackDown games, you were able to drive around backstage in vehicles, such as a fork lift truck. I spent many hours back in the day playing WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, riding about on Undertaker’s motorbike desperately trying to drag around my opponents with a terrible control scheme. If somebody rides a vehicle to the ring, shouldn’t I be able to turn the ignition and start cruising around in the middle of a match if I so please? Or maybe when I’m brawling backstage in the parking lot, shouldn’t I be able to steal a car or two?
In the last couple of years, 2K have introduced more of the outrages features that made the Playstation and PS2 era games so enjoyable, but there’s always room for more pointless additions like this.
Crazy Match Stipulations
So if I can have an Exploding Landmine Deathmatch in Fire Pro Wrestling World, a Barbed Wire Deathmatch in the same game, or a Blistering Brimstone Match in ECW Anarchy Rulz, why can’t I have that cartoonishly violent kind of content in a WWE game? The 2K series is already rated 16+ here in the UK, so it’ not as if these match types would change the ESRB ratings, it would just add more to the diversity and choice in these video games that allows you to create any kind of wrestling content that you desire.
Create A Finisher
Bring back Create A Finisher. We all spent hours creating the most awesome, most ridiculous, most complicated, and longest finishers the world has ever seen in the later Smackdown vs. Raw games. Sure, some of the animations didn’t quite sync together flawlessly, yet they still added to the feel of freedom and arcade fun that this mode brought. That is until 2K decided to take it away in WWE 2K15 (we must not speak of that game).
Take everything that mode did well back then, make a few cosmetic tweaks, add in some new animations, maybe even add in some new positions from which these finishers can be executed (like a corner running strike for example), and CAW customisation will be as fun and as detailed as it has ever been.
Anybody that has managed to battle their way through the extremely taxing Million Dollar Challenge will know that the final opponent in that fifteen match tower is an all-gold AJ Styles with a rating of 100 overall. It’s the biggest obstacle the entire game throws at you, except, all this final opponent has is maxed out stats. I mean, that’s a good start, but why stop there?
WWE 2K14 had Defeat the Streak Mode, where you had to conquer The Undertaker at WrestleMania, except this Deadman was full of the powers of darkness which allowed him to pull off tricks to quickly swap momentum and gain the upper hand on you. Another game with unique challengers was WrestleMania XIX, which featured a variety of original boss battle characters, each with their own winning conditions, that you unlocked after defeating them.
For next year’s instalment of the 2K series, why not throw in some kind of magic bullshit wielding foe to challenge us with? What’s the point of including supernatural grapplers such as Undertaker, Bray Wyatt and company if you’re not going to include the spooky antics we love to see them pull off on television? How about building upon Matt Hardy’s multiverse which we saw in 2K19 by having us face opponents in outer space with unique other worldly powers? Or how about an NXT Callup Challenge where you have to dodge of all the awful booking decisions a super powerful Vince McMahon throws at you? Sounds like a hell of a lot of fun to me.
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