WWE 2K19 has gone in a completely different direction for the 20th iteration of the long-running series and my has it worked.
In a recent interview WWE 2K creative director Lionel Jenkins boldly revealed that 2K19 would be moving away from the simulation-styled gameplay of the last four games in favour of faster and more fluid gameplay.
“They kind of got turned off by the product ... we were hearing from the fanbase that it was too slow, too sluggish and it wasn’t any fun anymore.”
Well he has been true to his word, and it certainly is now.
2K19 features a host of different returning and new game modes, including the 2k Showcase Mode, focusing on the career of Daniel Bryan.
Two new “Tower” modes are a great addition with Gauntlet Tower seeing players complete the Tower entirely in one session. Losing a match or quitting resets the progress to square one - think Mortal Kombat. Then there is Steps Tower, where your progress is saved after each match so you can play at their own pace.
The series had become stale and set in its ways but this has certainly breathed new life into the franchise while leaving plenty of room for improvement.Damien Lucas, gaming columnist
MyCareer mode has been repackaged and focuses on your created character working his or her way up from independent wrestling promotions to the WWE.
And Road to Glory mode returns from previous titles, with the ability to now join one of eight different factions.
But it is the new gameplay which is the crowning achievement in WWE 2K19 even if it is far from perfect.
Everything is a lot more arcadey but that is no bad thing.
The game captures the spirit and fun of WWE better than any before it but WWE 2K19, like other WWE 2K games before it, is still hampered by niggling issues such as the excruciatingly bad commentary and plodding character progression.
The vastly improved MyCareer mode, hugely popular Showcase Mode and the addition of 2K Towers and the super fun Big Head Mode (does what is says on the tin and is a real laugh), make WWE 2K19 a massive elbow drop in the right direction.
The series had become stale and set in its ways but this has certainly breathed new life into the franchise while leaving plenty of room for improvement.