Title: WWE 2K18
Version Tested: Xbox One
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, Windows, Switch (Q4)
Publisher: 2K Sports
Genre: Pro Wrestling, Fighting, Sports
Official Site: https://wwe.2k.com/
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Where To Buy: Official Site, Xbox Store, PSN, Local Retailers
WWE 2K18 is here and for the third year in a row, consists of the largest roster ever in a WWE game. The roster is so large that you can actually play as Colonel Sanders…yes, the KFC guy. WWE 2K18 also comes with a brand new game engine “that delivers spectacular new lighting, more realistic skin and new camera effects.” If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also find a more immersive creation suite and the ability to now have eight-person matches. As a former professional wrestler and current fan, I’m always excited to dive into a new WWE game, not to mention, I previously reviewed WWE 2K17. But is this new title worth your hard earned cash? Well, in this case, I’d love to give my favorite conflicting answer, ” Yes… and no.”
One of the biggest changes to WWE 2K18 this year is the new graphics engine and it sure does look pretty. The detail that this new engine brings out is just incredible with the new lighting and realistic skin textures. It’s one of those things that makes you really feel as if you are your character that much more. You’ll be able to see muscles flex and veins bulge as your superstar does their work in the ring. One of the goals of the WWE games has been to allow anyone to have a WWE superstar experience. This updated graphics engine certainly achieves that goal.
Speaking of the creation suite, it’s back and just as good as ever. I can remember making a number of characters for a marketing class project back in 2003. At that time, I was creating superstars in the game WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth. I’m blown away thinking about the creation options I had available there to that of WWE 2K18 today. If creating characters is your thing, you’ll definitely find plenty here to keep you busy for some time. You’ll again be able to download player creations as well, like Batman and the Joker. For my kids, something like that’s a big deal. They have an absolute blast pitting fantasy characters against each other in a wrestling match style event. Uploading your face and personal photos will again have to go through the WWE uploader on their website. I’d like to see the option to use an app on your mobile phone come back like they had in 2K16.
Loot Boxes have also made their way to WWE 2K18. These are bought with in-game currency and not through micro-transactions. I’m sincerely hoping this is not opening the door to loot that requires real-world money down the road. Micro-transactions are one of those nickel and dime things that I can’t stand. What’s confusing about the loot boxes is that they unlock certain moves and accessories your character can use in the My Career mode. The moves and accessories, however, are already available in the game outside of the My Career mode. I just fail to see the purpose of them.
Another notable feature I’d really like to touch on is the “Road to Glory.” This online mode will allow you to put your created superstar against other players in various match types. The goal is to advance your rank and work your way up to being able to compete in PPV events. In addition to winning, you’ll have to create certain challenges as well, like hitting your finisher a certain number of times in a match. At the moment, I’m not sure whether it’s a server issue or lack of players but finding a match could be troublesome. When you do though, it is quite a bit of fun. It reminds me of all the fun I had playing Wrestlemania 2000 with my friends on the Nintendo 64.
When it comes to the My Career mode, it follows the same premise as years previous. You create a character and work your way up from WWE Developmental, all the way to the grand stage of Wrestlemania. What’s different in WWE 2K18 this year is the RPG style free roam that’s been added. You can now roam around backstage and interact with various wrestlers and personalities. Your conversations will allow you to establish yourself more as a face or a heel, complete quests and align yourself with other superstars. The conversations follow a similar babble to that of the “Promos” introduced last year in 2K17 (Which I’m still not a fan of).
If you haven’t played any of the recent WWE 2K games, then 2K18 is definitely worth picking up. If you have, then it’s a matter of just looking to yourself to what you want out of the game. Showcases are still absent from this year’s edition which does bum me out. It was one of my favorite aspects about 2K16. The soundtrack this year was handpicked by The Rock which is fun to listen to. I think it’s a good mix and a step up from last year’s soundtrack which I was unimpressed by.
Have you played WWE 2K18? If so, what did you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out some of the latest details on the WWII Zombies mode releasing soon.
Verdict: WWE 2K18 dives in off the top rope with some hot new features. An updated graphics engine, the largest roster ever, Road to Glory and an immersive creation suite are sure to keep you busy for hours upon hours. 2K18 still has some problems with dull promos, minor glitches and the questionable addition of loot boxes.
- Updated Graphics Engine
- Road to Glory
- Creation Suite
- Loot Boxes
- Showcases still missing