Written By: Mark Armstrong
WWE 2K19 has been available for weeks now, so fans have adjusted to the latest WWE videogame. It’s the best entry in several years, due to a lot of changes and innovations, and it’s fair to say that the game has exceeded expectations.
But it’s still far from perfect. There will always be room for improvement, and 2K19 is no different. It’s a long way off, but the development team will already be thinking about next year’s game – actually, they’re probably working on it as I write this – and so these are a dozen suggestions from me to make WWE 2K20 a superior title to this year’s edition.
1. A greater focus on Legends
I can understand why 2K would prefer to spotlight the current crop of stars, but the percentage of Legends in the game has slowly decreased over the last few years, to the point where we get very few new or returning faces. Hopefully, 2K20 will bring us a greater selection of retro characters, but with the new NXT UK brand and the ever-evolving roster continuously adding fresh talent, this seems unlikely. In an ideal world, we would get a second spin-off game just for stars of the past, a spiritual successor to the 2009 title Legends Of WrestleMania, but that’s another article.
2. More arenas, new and old
Strangely, from 2K17 onwards, we have had far fewer arenas. It’s mostly impacted the retro venues, which have been greatly downsized in terms of numbers, but it also impacted the current generation with both Battleground and No Mercy absent from 2K19. There are so many possible areas to choose from, so it’s disappointing that this has become a negative trend at a time when games can pack in so much content. Hopefully, 2K20 will get this right.
3. Create A Finisher returning
This has been a much-missed part of the game for years now. The frustrating thing is that 2K are clearly aware about how much fans want to see this option return, but there has been no word on it whatsoever. With 2K20 set to be the sixth game of the current console generation, it’s fair to say that the mode won’t return until PS5/Xbox Four if it doesn’t crop up in next year’s title; ideally, this would be a strong way for the series to bow out on PS4/Xbox One (though I suspect 2K21 will also be a PS4/Xbox One exclusive).
4. New or returning match types
2K19 expanded the field of match formats greatly, allowing for all sorts of five-, six- and eight-man options. Now, I’d like to see some classic stipulations back in the game, such as I Quit, Inferno and Casket. In a perfect world, the game would also introduce some new match types, such as the Asylum bout and War Games. I can’t see all of this happening for next year, but there’s no reason why one or two stip bouts can’t make an appearance.
5. Increased creation slots
Create A Wrestler reached its current maximum level of 100 saves back in 2K14, and Create An Arena’s total of 50 has been in place since the mode arrived in WWE ’12. That’s more than long enough for totals to be increased, because as things stand, they haven’t budged whatsoever during the entire console generation. Having 125 or 150 CAW slots, and 75-100 CAA slots, would be a big increase and a big draw for the large number of creation-tool fanatics. Meanwhile …
6. Introduce Create An Attire
It remains a bug-bear of mine that we have to use a CAW slot for a fresh attire for, say, Seth Rollins, even if it’s just a matter of swapping colours. The best solution would be to revamp the option as a new Create An Attire mode, with each character having three or four slots for new costumes, and with the ability to move slots around in case, for example, you preferred Rey Mysterio to have six slots with the compromise of Bobby Roode having two.
7. Less confusion over roster choices
The big controversy for 2K19 concerned the baffling omission of Tommaso Ciampa, Nikki Cross and others. I can understand when legends are left out, but when current faces are nowhere to be seen, especially when just about everybody else makes it in regardless of stature, it is truly confusing. At the very least, the goal for 2K20 should be to make sure that everybody of real value is included. When you have dozens of NXT competitors, but you don’t have the NXT Champion, that is frustrating to say the very least.
8. Ingratiate with other promotions
I think this is a pipe dream for 2K20, but it could be a reality within two-three years, especially if the Legends were indeed given their own separate game. Imagine a game which had wrestlers, arenas and titles for the likes of Evolve, ICW and Progress, all of whom work closely with WWE right now. It would also add a ton to MyCareer; this year’s mode saw you begin in a fictional indie fed, so it’d be cool if you started MyCareer V6 in a real-life indie company. If this expanded to include Ring Of Honor and Impact in the years to come (a long shot, I know), even better.
9. 2K Cloud
I’ve said this before, so I won’t waste a ton of space. I’ll just say that a mode which allows you to save a number of characters, venues, titles and more to an online storage cloud for importing in future games would be incredible, partly because it would allow 2K to expand its options for the roster, since your British Bulldogs, Mr. Perfects or Scott Halls could be imported from the previous title.
10. General Manager mode
This is the most-requested feature from longtime fans, and has been for years now. It’s a shame that it still isn’t back, but we saw the return of a Story-type mode in 2K19, so fingers crossed that it happens in 2K20. I still believe that 2K could simply take the main elements from GM Modes of the past and incorporate them into the modern Universe mode, but whatever the case may be, a full-on experience akin to GM Mode is high on people’s wishlists for the next game.
11. A proper WWE Jukebox
It’s great to create Hulk Hogan to an incredible level of likeness, but without Real American, the overall presentation will still fall flat. If 2K20 had a few dozen classic themes to form a Jukebox that increases by the years to include released and rare themes, this could be a massive boost for the game.
12. A redesigned, faster wrestling engine
Finally, I really hope that, after five years of the same, slow-paced, methodical wrestling engine, we get a redesigned version that speeds things up just a tad, with logical controls and without compromising the depth and strategy that the likes of 2K19 has. I don’t suggest deviation for the sheer sake of it, but the game essentially plays the same as 2K15 or 2K16, and to quote Owen Hart, it’s time for a change. Besides, this is the big reason why fans will still put SmackDown and SmackDown vs. Raw titles over the 2K games when determining the best WWE titles ever; if 2K really want to bring fun back to the game, this is a pivotal point.
These are just my thoughts, and it will be very interesting to see whether any of these make it into WWE 2K20. In the meantime, we still have 2K19 to enjoy, Big Head mode and all!