WWE 2K18 is a game that will delight wrestling enthusiasts but may leave more casual gamers a bit underwhelmed.
The game is the latest installment of 2K's wrestling franchise, which has pumped out more than 20 games dating back to 2000. Like most of 2K's sports-themed games, WWE 2K18 is built upon a steady foundation formed by its predecessors. There's a few new features, but the gameplay largely remains the same from WWE 2K17.
Some of the major additions to WWE 2K18 includes the ability to make and participate in eight person matches, a retooled creation suite, much improved in-game commentary, and a new "Road to Glory" mode that allows players to compete in online matches for the chance to win upgrades for their player-created wrestler.
There are a TON of different features in WWE 2K18, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a mode that appeals to every type of wrestling fans. Some of these features are great, while others are a bit underwhelming. Let's take a look at the good and the bad of WWE 2K18:
The most obvious and noticeable difference between WWE 2K18 and its predecessor 2K17 is that the game has been given a major graphical upgrade. This is the first game created solely for the current generation of consoles, and you can really tell the difference. Most of the wrestler's character models range range from impressively accurate to non-creepy, and there's very few duds that will make you cringe. There's also a TON of detail put into the models. One thing I appreciated was seeing Finn Balor's paint gradually flake off and fade over the course of a grueling match. It's a subtle detail, but one that wrestling fans will appreciate and enjoy.
Another awesome feature is the sheer depth of the game's roster. There's over 140 different wrestlers available for play right off the get go that range from fan favorites like John Cena and Daniel Bryan, to NXT newcomers like Johnny Gargano or Peyton Royce. Even the cruiserweights are well represented, with Cedric Alexander, Jack Gallagher, and Gran Metallik all available for use.
Where the game really shines is in the create-a-wrestler mode. The game is a literal sandbox for wrestling fans. Players can create a unique moveset with hundreds of different options and equip their wrestler with an insane amount of choices. It's almost overwhelming how much freedom players have to build their own wrestler, or recreate an existing wrestler that's not currently in the game.
While WWE 2K18 contains plenty of different match types and stipulations, it's also contains way too many glitches. Wrestlers get trapped in inanimate objects way too often, certain match types are completely broken, and basic game functions like "counting pins" simply doesn't work some of the times.
While you can probably avoid the bulk of these glitches by sticking to simple matches, it's disappointing that you can't really enjoy some of WWE 2K18's more ambitious offerings. What's the point of offering an Elimination Chamber match if it's literally a glitch producing machine? There's breaking kayfabe, and then there's the mess that some of these glitches cause.
Because the more complicated matches produce weird glitches at an almost alarming rate, a lot of the "safer" stuff can be quite boring. It's fun to play as your favorite wrestler, but it feels like the game has an extra handicap for finding game modes and match types that don't cause you to throw down your controller in frustrating.
WWE 2K18 won't be on any "Best Of" lists at the end of the year, but it's still a game a lot of wrestling fans should be able to enjoy. Even the glitches can be fun in a sort of "LOLCENAWINS" sort of way, as long as you're prepared for the possibility in advance.
The game brings an impressive level of depth and appreciation to the WWE product, but it has some fundamental flaws that keep it from being a well-rounded game. It is a decent improvement over WWE 2K17, so fans of the series should enjoy this year's edition.
Final Score: 3.5 of 5