With considerable improvements to the graphic engine, and boasting the ‘biggest roster ever’, WWE 2K18 is quite the upgrade from its predecessor. However, there’s still work to be done. WWE 2K18 brings back old favourites and adds in new features to its locker.
The sports genre is very prone to stagnating and delivering ‘more of the same’ every year. As an avid sports fan, this really irks me, but at the same time I can’t help but get the latest version just to remain current. Unfortunately, the WWE 2K franchise has been a victim to complacency for far too long. However, with the 2K18 edition, they’ve finally turned a corner.
The improvements in WWE 2K18 are very apparent – especially since that a long awaited graphics engine update finally means that character models are starting to catch up with industry standards. Finally, the WWE superstars look the part. From the time that 2K took on the WWE brand, there’s hardly been any leaps of progress when its come to the graphics.
This year, WWE 2K18 finally puts that right. With the new graphics engine, skin tones and textures look a whole lot better and it opens the door for different possibilities. Fighting in the ring not good enough for you? Take it backstage, along the corridors, parking lots and locker room.
The Career mode ‘Road to Glory’ is much improved as well. Unlike 2K17 where you go around in circles with Baron Blade and gang, in 2K18 you still start off in the NXT, but you ‘graduate’ to the main roster within a few matches. There’s more structure in the early parts of MyCareer that serves its purpose as a tutorial and doesn’t keep you guessing too much.
The ‘Promo’ feature has been cleaned up and makes a lot more sense than a bunch of random sentences that make no sense… kinda like watching the Ultimate Warrior give an interview.
On the ‘Road to Glory’ you get to choose your path as a ‘Fan Favourite’ or be a ‘Company Man’ – each path with its own unique benefits that lead you to a title challenge.
When in a match, submissions are now much easier to use and not solely a ‘cat and mouse game’. You can also carry your opponent to set up a whole new set of moves as well.
However, with all the improvements, there’s still quite a bit of work left to be done. Yes the graphics have improved significantly, however, there’s still ‘tearing’ in certain scenes. Especially when a character wears a inner-shirt and a vest, the flowing vest tends to ‘tear’ away. And the (long) hair… that still needs work.
Another huge bugbear of mine is the voice acting and interview scenes. There’s no accompanying dialogue to match with your replies and the character animations to the replies just don’t sync or make sense. Why is he so ecstatic to get his car brought around?? I just don’t get it. Also, every interview is almost the same. In fact, I think it’s gotten worse than it’s ever been.
You can have up to eight wrestlers in a ring. However, once you have more than 3, targeting becomes extremely dodgy and it all becomes quite a mess.
All in all, WWE 2K18 is the best version of the franchise. But that being said, there’s still a ways to go on its Road to Glory.
WWE 2K18 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam for PC.