|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Dev: Yuke’s and Visual Concepts|
|Pub: 2K Sports|
|Initial Release: October 17, 2017|
|Switch Release: TBA|
|Players: 1-8 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Alcohol Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
WWE 2K18’s multiplayer matches are great bouts of focused mayhem, but the new Road to Glory mode gives them more purpose than simple bragging rights for a single match. When taking your MyPlayer to this online mode, you can earn loot crates, gain experience and boosts for your fighter, and work your prestige towards coveted Pay-Per-View matches. It provides a great deal of substance for the campaign mode, without all the backstage shenanigans and sluggish social interactions.
The 2K Sports team did a great job visually recreating the environment of each WWE event, with every intro, lighting and pyrotechnic effect, and individual personality of each superstar matched in every detail. There is, however, a jarring inconsistency in the quality of WWE 2K18’s character models. Stars like Triple H, cover boy Seth Rollins, and Randy Orton’s tattoos obviously had a few extra cameras on them for the game shoot. But others, like Chris Jericho and Randy Savage, look like early last gen models.
I have to applaud the sound editing team for stellar work with the play-by-play commentary. The scripted lines for the new team consisting of Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves is extensive, and after dozens of matches, I have found very few redundancies. They also do a great job of cutting into the most exciting moments of big roster matches like the 6-man Hell in a Cell, 8-man Battle Royal, and even a whopping 30-man Royal Rumble. Each superstar gets their credit when performing signature moves or attracting the attention of the crowd. Every piece of the stage pings and pounds with the distinct sounds you’re used to hearing during a live match. I was slightly disappointed with the soundtrack for WWE 2K18’s menus, with a few too many outdated punk tunes and not enough genre variety for a cast of superstars that personify many different stereotypes. But the worst crime is the lack of voice work from anyone others than the commentators. No superstar lends their voice for the game, and the subtext-only conversations are weak.
WWE 2K18 may be my first foray into a WWE wrestling game in many years, but I enjoyed getting quick and dirty into matches and being part of the multilayered action that incorporates a variety of attacks, grapples, and submissions. The dramatic backstage elements were too lethargic, but the Road to Glory mode offers a great reason to keep improving my custom MyPlayer’s craft. There’s still some fine tuning needed in the animations and general visuals, but the overall feel of a faithful WWE experience is absolute and worth the ticket price for any dedicated fan.
Senior Contributing Writer