WWE 2K18 is the newest iteration of the long running WWE series of games. The series is usually hit and miss and this new version is no different. The game has its ups, but there are mighty downs as well.
Let’s talk about the positives first shall we. For one, WWE 2K18 has much better graphics compared to WWE 2K15, WWE 2K16 and WWE 2K17. The developer has added a new game engine which has improved the lighting. The game also has better skin tones as well.
Despite that, the game still has an issue animating people with long hair. Long hair still looks awkward and moves in unrealistic looking motions. It’s an improvement over the past games, but they still need to work on that.
Speaking on still needing work, the commentary in this game is still awful. Even though this game includes a new team of Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves – the dialogue that they have to say is repetitive and does not sound authentic.
The worst part about the commentary is that it goes silent after a while. It’s as if they forgot that the match is still going on. Another bad feature of the commentary is sometimes they say the wrong things. At least the crowd noise an improvement as the cheers are much louder than before.
Gameplay wise, there’s not many differences to previous games. There are a few new options such as the updated Royal Rumble mechanics and 8-man matches. They have also added a new carry mechanic, although it can be a little clunky at times.
My main issue with the gameplay though is with Irish Whipping people. In the other games, it was easier to move opponents to the direction you want them to run to while doing an Irish Whip. Now, Irish Whipping people is harder as you have to face them in the right direction. It becomes a nightmare when you are playing against the A.I.!
Another bad thing about the game is its overall performance. The frame rate drops a lot when there are too many wrestlers moving on the screen. The game also has lots of glitches that I saw during my several hours of gameplay. It seems as if there needs to be more work done on the new game engine for things to be running smoothly.
Back to the positives again. I do admire the large roster that this game has. WWE 2K18 has the biggest roster ever seen in a WWE video game. You can play current faves such as AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura to legends like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. NXT stars are also here such as Ember Moon, Johnny Gargano and more.
You may not have to worry about your favorite wrestler being missing in the game as more will be added as future DLC. DLC includes Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Aleister Black and more. Sadly, the only notable people missing from the game entirely are some Cruiserweights such as Tony Nese and Drew Gulak just to name a few.
Thankfully, this year’s Career mode is somewhat better than in previous years. I remember playing the Career mode in the previous games and taking a long time to graduate from NXT and go on the main roster. In this year’s game, you can get on the main roster quite quickly which is nice for a chance.
Still, the Career mode can feel like a long grind due to a mix of a slow progression rate and long loading times. The loading times are annoying mainly because you have to listen to the theme songs of Raw, Smackdown and NXT over and over again!
The progression rate is a grind because everything costs Virtual Currency. It can be quite expensive upgrading your created wrestler, and you don’t earn that much money in each and every match. It appears as if 2K is encouraging people to buy the Accelerator DLC just to progress at a much faster rate…
There’s not much else to say when it comes to the Universe Mode. Universe Mode is still fun since you can stage your own matches. There are more things for you to do and experience in this mode thanks to the huge roster. That said, it’s not really a big leap compared to the other games in my opinion.
There is still no Showcase mode this year which is a bit of a shame. 2K decided to put all of their eggs into the Career mode which is a hit and miss for me. The Career mode can be fun, but it’s just too repetitive compared to the old Showcase style matches.
Anyway, WWE 2K18 is still an enjoyable game if you are a huge professional wrestling fan. There’s loads of wrestlers to choose from this year and several new match types. However, the game is not perfect since the game engine needs optimizing and the Career Mode can get repetitive at times. Hopefully next year the game can be better.