Published on October 22nd, 2017 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: WWE 2K18
Summary: Another year, another edition of WWE 2K and this year aims to bring the biggest roster of characters to date with a new rendering and lighting engine to boot. Does it drastically change the series or take a step back?
Concept: Every year there is a different change to what the story mode or main feature of the game is and with past installments we’ve seen modes where you create a character and work your way through the ranks, to a mode solely focused on reliving a certain era or superstars journey. This year the 2K showcase mode is gone and been replaced with the MyPlayer story mode, which is theory sounds amazing, creating your character, rising through the ranks, cutting promos, freely roaming backstage etc. However this is a very choppy and dull experience with the visuals really lacking, with only the wrestlers themselves looking great. The promos are dull and boring and your character over reacts with horrible mannerisms whilst chatting to anyone. It’s cringe worthy. What is worse is this is all text based with no voice over work, and there is way too many loading screens. I could go on forever about every inch of how bad this mode really is but honestly it will make your eyes bleed reading it all. Avoid this mode is all i have to say. WWE universe mode is a bit better as it cuts out all the nonsense and text and just lets you play through the matches on a card you want or simulate the results. Feuds are created and played out and you really have an influence over them. This does get old fast but it’s something at least.
The Good Brothers
Graphics: Now for the good stuff. Some years you will find wrestlers looking great whilst others looking like a car wreck, fortunately in 2K18 the wrestlers look absolutely amazing, from the detailed faces and bodies, to the amazing ring gear and detailed tattoos, everything looks sharp. There are the occasional instances where a wrestler looks slightly off, but with the amazing new lighting system, there are moments where they almost look lifelike. What is more impressive is the crowd, they not only react with superstars entrances with chants or doing the 10 hand gestures for Tye Dillinger’s entrance, but they are fully 3D modeled and at a distance when a match starts and the camera pans out, it’s absolutely breathtaking to see how much detail and effort was put in to make this truly look and feel authentic. The camera angles this time work better, especially when going into the crowd or onto the entrance ramp. Overall this is by far the best looking wrestling game to boot. It’s a shame the MyPlayer modes visuals are lacking though.
Gameplay: If you’ve played any of the previous iterations then you will know what to expect. What is new though is the ability to have 8 players in the ring at once whether for a royal rumble or the new 8 man tag matches. This does bring a bigger match feel to the rumble as chaos truly ensues. Other changes include the new carry mechanic which I think was originally in one of the later Smackdown vs Raw games, 2007 I think. This is a nice new addition to the 2K series as it helps setup opponents for specific moves or to be able to freely slam them through a table. Aside from these everything seems to feel the same. I do like how multi-man matches are more authentic due to the stamina system with players rolling out of the ring after taking a lot of damage which prevents constant pinfall breakups which in the past could cause matches to go for way too long. The one criticism I do have is the referees are so stiff this time around and honestly look like they are just staring blankly into space and can actually be a bit of a distraction just by how robotic they move. This game really is wrestling simulation at its finest, which is great but i do miss the old days where it was a lot faster and more arcade-like.
Multiplayer: Multiplayer modes have always been a big staple in wrestling games as this is where the true competition comes out, whether playing with friends or with strangers across the globe. The new road to glory mode enables people to use their created superstar online fighting for their spot on PPV cards and ranking up. For me the main online function has always been the ability to download and upload your own creations. This is where you can really bulk up the roster, not that it needs it this year, with any wrestlers that didn’t make the cut or are from other promotions. Hell you can even make Colonel Sanders or the Hulk, basically whatever you can think of.
Sound: A SPECIAL PLAYLIST CURATED BY THE ROCK! that is some big thing they tried to market and honestly its like 10 or so tracks, a few good ones, a few not so great ones, and you only hear these in the menu, so I have no idea why this was such a big marketing push. Honestly I turned them all off and just selected all my fav wrestlers entrance themes to play in the menus and it is so much better. All the entrance themes are in and some of the newer ones like Johnny Gargano’s theme made the cut, however Baron Corbin’s did not, which makes me happy cos his new entrance theme sucks. One of my major criticisms is the sound effects when pulling off moves or kicking, punching, kneeing etc. I wish they would have that nice slap sound when you deliver a big kick to someones head (you know the inner thigh slap wrestlers always do) or have the sound when performing a finisher be all the more dramatic, and whilst i’m mentioning this i wish they brought back slow mo finisher options to highlight the pay off instead of just having it look and sound like every other maneuver.
Awesomeness: For me the main highlight is the roster, they didn’t skimp in any area. You have a lot of amazing classic stars, a whole slew of NXT stars and pretty much all the current wrestlers on the roster with some later inclusions coming in the form of DLC. Also the sheer amount of unlockables from arenas and wrestlers to title belts is amazing and really gives you something to work towards. The biggest highlight however is always the amazing creation tools and the option to download and upload your created wrestlers. The loading times when creating wrestlers is so much better now and the amount of things to create from wrestlers, titles, arenas, you name it is absolutely insane. Some amazing people out there spend there precious hours updating current ring gear or creating wrestlers from other promotions to bring in game. I’m waiting for an amazing Kenny Omega and Young bucks to be created so The Elite can rule the WWE.
Final Word: It may not have an amazing career mode and is missing the showcase mode, but what is here is the largest roster of wrestlers from past to present and easily the best visuals a wrestling game has ever featured. From the amount of things you can create, to match types you can play and things to unlock, there is plenty to love about WWE 2K18
Out Of 5 Bugs