WWE 2K18 is shaping up to be the most ambitious wrestling games we've ever seen. For weeks we've been watching the roster swell, the latest addition being WWE president Vince McMahon himself (see here). No doubt you'll cross paths with McMahon himself as your created wrestler in WWE 2K18's MyCAREER mode. 2K just unleashed a torrent of new details about this newly revamped career mode, and it sounds like players will be offered some incredible freedom.
As you progress through your career in WWE 2K18 on the way to WrestleMania, you'll take one of two paths. You'll either play as the "Company Man," or as the "Fan Favorite." The path you choose will have radical effects on the people you meet, the opportunities you encounter, and the rewards available to you. 2K explains both paths in its latest update:
- Going down the Company Man path means you’re all about helping the general managers (GMs) get what they want out of the roster on any given show. This involves conspiring with the GMs backstage, ambushing other WWE Superstars in the locker room or during their interviews and basically doing whatever it takes to maintain that GM’s power, both in the ring and backstage. The rewards are hefty, though! Continue helping the GM succeed, and you’ll gain access to awesome upgrades, such as the ability to orchestrate a run-in to help you win a match. You can also access Vince McMahon’s office to lobby for match card changes and title rematches.
- Being a Fan Favorite means you don’t play the whole company game and you’re all about putting on the best matches and promos. You have a locker room full of WWE Superstars and Legends backstage. This route involves earning their respect by taking on different match types – night-in and night-out. You’ll also have WWE Superstars test your in-ring aptitude and skills on the microphone, but if you succeed at this, you will earn the whole locker room’s respect – and with that comes some perks. WWE Legends are always backstage during events. If you earn their respect, they’ll start to give you in-ring bonuses for your matches and promos. If you become the complete package – the guy who can walk the walk and talk the talk like Stone Cold Steve Austin or John Cena – you’ll be able to have your own customized WWE Championship or Universal Championship. This honor is only given to the best of the best.
2K realized that for fans to become truly immersed in their own unique stories, they needed to be free to make decisions out of the ring as well. The team has given players unprecedented freedom to explore backstage areas, where WWE Superstars, GMs, media, and even friends who own the game will be hanging around and managing their own careers.
"We wanted players to spend more time interacting with WWE Superstars and supporting personnel to better experience all their unique personalities. Rather than looking at menus to determine who you should align with or who you want to make your rival, you can simply go talk to them or ambush them backstage. Want an interview with Renee Young? Simply go up to her and ask for an interview. Don’t like the WWE Superstar she’s interviewing? Go up to him during live TV and interrupt that interview."
There's going to be a lot of room for more immersive role-playing here, which is what makes a WWE game fun to begin with. These personalities are larger than life, and we want to possess them as intimately as we can. This philosophy has been applied to promos as well, which are going to be directed more organically by players (and with fewer consequences for not 'sticking to a script').
2K also revealed that you'll be able to interact with your friends' created Superstars in new ways this year. Now instead of fading into the background as side characters, your buddies will become part of your story.
"With the addition of free-roaming backstage, naturally we started thinking about the possibilities for MyCAREER invasion. Just like last year, your friends’ MyPLAYERs can populate your MyCAREER save. However, this year, you’ll actually see them backstage. They act just like any WWE Superstars you’ll see backstage: you can talk to them, pick them up as tag partners, get side quests involving them and even ambush them. It’s up to you what role your friends’ MyPLAYERs will have in your MyCAREER."
It sounds like a lot of fun, even for those of you who don't consider yourselves to be hardcore WWE fans. WWE 2K18 launches on October 17!