When Take-Two and 2K Sports purchased the WWE Games license during THQ’s bankruptcy sale in 2013, one of the first things that I clamored for was MyCareer, which makes its return in WWE 2K19 this October. When WWE 2K15 announced MyCAREER, a lot of people came to expect something similar to what NBA 2K began to offer with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15. What we got was more akin to the introduction of the MyPlayer experience in NBA 2K10, where you spent more time navigating menus and playing games than a full-fledged story. While people were upset – which I understand completely – but coming from the NBA 2K series, I expected the first few years of WWE 2K‘s MyCAREER to follow the same trends that the MyCareer experience in NBA 2K went through.
That proved to be undoubtedly true. WWE 2K16 and WWE 2K17 followed suit with the same formula as WWE 2K15, but with minor tweaks to the experience. However, WWE 2K18 decided to take steps from the older games in the series – most notably SmackDown: Just Bring It for PlayStation 2 – and it flopped. It was repetitive, it was dull, and a lot of the time, it just didn’t make sense. Add on to the fact that the Royal Rumble was unnecessarily difficult, WWE 2K18 MyCAREER wasn’t all that pleasurable to indulge in. Enter WWE 2K19.
WWE 2K and their content creator partners launched a massive video dump on September 20, and while all the videos and content focused on entrances, added moves and the different game modes, creators such as Chris ‘DenkOps’ Denker provided a look at the first half-hour of WWE 2K19‘s MyCAREER scenario, and truth be told, what I saw sold me on the experience.
Again, I’ve played MyCAREER with NBA 2K for several years and have seen the progressions that they have made. Whether it be Livin’ Da Dream in 2K16, 2K17 with Orange Juice (I loved the hell out of that story,) and DJ’s Story in 2K18 (I haven’t played 2K19 yet, but I’m certain it’s good from what I’ve seen,) I’m used to the story based MyCareer experience. WWE 2K19 takes this approach and it is so good. You start out in the indies and have to work your way up to WWE, expectedly with several bumps in the road – as any good story does. What’s unique about this year’s take is that MyCareer features fully voiced cutscenes, much like WWE SmackDown vs Raw 2006 – 2011‘s Season (2006/07,) 24/7 (2008,) and Road to WrestleMania (2009-2011) modes. It’s also pretty cool seeing our favorite foil and backstage producer, Barron Blade, as a fat, somewhat out of shape indy promoter, who also happens to do some (funny) commentary during your indy matches.
Upgrading your MyPLAYER takes place in the MyPLAYER Tree – which to me takes a lot of inspiration from Final Fantasy. When I first saw this, I immediately thought of the Final Fantasy X sphere grid system. As you progress through the game, you get “style points,” which are used to improve your MyPlayer attributes, which are tied to your style and sub-style. The game embraces the wrestling culture, from the independent scene to podcasts where your MyPLAYER’s exploits are highlighted, to the WWE NXT and main roster experience. MyCAREER’s story is expected to be about 12 hours in length, so it can be done in one sitting.
What I do like about the approach that they’re taking is the immersive nature of the story. I can appreciate the apparent effort that was taken in crafting this new experience for MyCAREER, which has been something that many in the WWE 2K community has decried 2K Sports for in past years. With the new direction that they’re taking not just MyCAREER in, but also all across the game, in modes such as 2K Towers, and revamping the loot system – while still avoiding real money microtransactions – the return of the 2K Showcase and Big Head mode, much like it has been said by others, it does seem to indicate that the 2K development team for WWE 2K is listening to what is being said by their community. As Diamond Dallas Page once said:
WWE 2K19 releases on October 5 for those who pre-ordered the game on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Steam for Windows PC. Will you be taking a chance on this year’s entry? Tell us in the comments!