For years, 2K Sports has been trying to deliver the essential wrestling experience to fans with its WWE games, and while it's kept some great features that made earlier games in the series (produced by THQ) perform so well, it's missed out on a few other things, like the removal of the Showcase mode and some lackluster changes to presentation that have left fans feeling like they've followed the buzzards for too long.
But with WWE 2K18, the publisher is looking to make some major changes – and these changes could very well impact the series in a big – and, more importantly, good – way.
Executive producer Mark Little and developer Lionel Jinx took a lot of the feedback from fans to heart and wanted to deliver a quintessential wrestling experience this time around. That included revamping a lot of things, from the commentary to the modes that players can choose from.
Let's run down some of the many changes that will be coming to the game. Yes, for the better.
A Revamped Career Experience
While MyCareer in WWE 2K17 had its moments, it didn't nearly have enough ample rewards for players to enjoy, but that'll change with this year's game. Both progression and upgrade systems will be added to the game to assure that there's actually a goal to work towards – and not just a quick championship run.
There will be a variety of branching options and experiences available in the game this time around, as well as new character Fighting Styles to choose from, which is ideal when it comes to creating your dream wrestler, be it a high-flyer like A.J. Styles or a colossal beast like Braun Strowman.
And yes, female wrestlers will be supported with MyCareer as well. No sense letting the boys have all the fun.prevnext
Backstage and Storytelling
A lot of fans wonder what takes place backstage with a wrestling show like WWE, whether it's wrestlers pouncing on unsuspecting victims or the arrival of a big superstar. With WWE 2K18, there will actually be a backstage area to roam around, three times bigger than what we've seen in previous games. You'll also be able to interact with objects, in case you feel like letting Samoa Joe have it with a steel chair.
As for general storytelling, the WWE Universe mode will feature a rewritten storyline system, so that you can keep heated things going through pay-per-views and TV broadcasts. These can overlap as well, so you can have more than one thing going on, if you prefer to keep things flowing. For instance, having all the WWE Smackdown women's wrestlers hunt after both the Champion and whoever is holding the Money In the Bank contract.prevnext
Taking The Action Online
Next up is a revamping of online play with WWE 2K18, and that starts with a new mode called Road To Glory. While there's not a lot of information about this mode just yet, it could be similar to what WWE Super Card is doing, where you take on a number of opponents and unlock various goodies in the process.
Backstage will also be supported online, so you can chat with friends or fight them if you feel like you want to show off. You can also look for specific creations that are made through the community, so if you want to find a particular type of wrestler, you can simply do a search and see what they have to offer.
Speaking of creation…prevnext
New Creation Options
The create-a-match feature should be a big draw for WWE fans, as it allows you to create a certain match type and then run through a series of options, so you can tweak the rules however you see fit. You can also change up the camera options in the game, and set up a free-roaming camera, so you can set up your ideal highlights and share them with others. No more letting the crew in the back room have all the fun with putting it together.
Finally, we could see the return of create-a-finisher yet again, though the team have yet to give official details on that. We'll find out soon enough.prevnext
Better Graphics…And A New Commentary Team!
The visuals in WWE 2K18 are getting quite an overhaul, so that characters look better than ever when they're fighting under the spotlight. This include improved lighting, camera and texture effects, as well as reflections on surfaces and better wrestler animations, so that things don't look so odd with certain moves. That means wrestlers will look far more realistic than ever before, and not like weird-looking mannequins.
But let's talk about the new commentary team. Instead of hearing Michael Cole and JBL in the game, we'll instead be treated to commentary from Corey Graves and Byron Saxton (who will join Cole), which should make for a good smooth-flowing experience. The team is also working on the NBA 2K style commentary system, so they can avoid repetition and weird gaffes, and instead work on a great commentary system.prevnext
Finally, WWE 2K18 will see a number of improvements to the gameplay. Not only will there be better balancing so one player just doesn't "dominate" a match, but we'll also see small things, like being able to drag an opponent from position to position, or being able to carry someone to another part of the ring. There's also a new feeding system where you'll be able to fight back a little quicker, even when you're stunned. We'll see more of this in action in the months ahead.
In addition, big matches will have better ability to have more wrestlers in the ring at a time. This is especially good for match-ups in like the Royal Rumble, Money In the Bank and Survivor Series, and the more, the merrier. You'll also be able to hold eight-man (or woman) match-ups out of the blue as well. AI opponents won't be stupid this time, either – they'll know when they're about to be thrown out of the ring, and act accordingly.prevnext
The Biggest Roster Yet0comments
Finally, let's be honest, if there has been one impressive factor in WWE games over the years, it's been the size of the roster. WWE 2K18 is promising to be even bigger, with over 170 different wrestlers in all, between WWE Raw, WWE Smackdown, 205 Live, NXT and, of course, the legends that tie everything together. In addition, we already know Kurt Angle will be included in the game, as a pre-order option. That'll enable for a lot of dream match-ups that we'd never thought we'd see – like Shinsuke Nakamura versus Angle. Just imagine that.prev