REVIEW NOTE: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
As with most sports franchises, the biggest hurdle that faces WWE 2K18 is what it can do to justify another purchase. WWE 2K18 is still the best and most authentic WWE experience you will have with tweaks here and there, however, 2K only made minor tweaks from WWE 2K17 and some of the added features are not up to scratch, with annoying mechanics that just make the experience awkward.
On the right path, just needs more attention
One of biggest additions to gameplay this year is the new carry-system, this new feature enables superstars to lift opponents in one of four carries and move them around the ring and you can either finish the slam or use the ring or environment and give some over the top pain to your opponent. If you are the one being carried, it is easier to get out of the hold by pressing B to fill a meter and escape the hold and counter with your own attack. Hot tags have also been updated so that they happen more often and without any cutscenes and these hot tags work best with another added feature to WWE 2K18 is the eight-man matches. You are now able to have eight superstars in the ring at the same time in various types of matches from ladder matches, four vs four tag-team matches, and battle royales.
As with WWE 2K17, there are problems that need some correcting, WWE 2K18 has multiple bugs and glitches that can alter your matches. We had a glitch in our game where the referee froze and did not complete his three-count at a pivotal moment in the match. One major positive is the glitches have become minimal as compared to WWE 2K17. It’s also worth mentioning that loot boxes are part of the progression system in WWE 2K18. You can purchase bronze, silver, or gold loot boxes that contain new moves and attire and these loot boxes can only be purchased with virtual currency, which eliminates any “pay-to-win,” discussions that might arise.
STORY & MYCAREER
NXT to Superstar
This year MyCareer is similar to last year where you start your career at the NXT Performance Center and the goal is to get your character onto the main WWE roster. The Performance Center and NXT matches and interactions are basically the tutorial for the game but it is very difficult to get into the zone with all the loading screens between each interaction, both in and out of the ring. WWE 2K18 has various RPG attributes that make the experience more like the real WWE Universe. MyCareer opens up the backstage area for free roaming, the ability to talk to other superstars and take on side-quests. These side-quests, when completed, provide extra points in influence and popularity, which furthers your progression and unlocks more perks.
Another downside and something we hoped would change is all the interactions and the story are text-based and the writing is in need of improvement. The dialogue engagements range from good luck to childish insults with some over the top movements and animations that at times is completely incoherent. The Promos before or after matches can be unbearable at times, the expressions do not work with the words being said and will put you way off.
Overall improvement, but still lots of work to do
WWE 2K18 is an improvement over the previous iterations, from the core gameplay, graphics, and creation tools giving wrestling fans the full experience. However, the game has some excellent ideas that were not executed properly. MyCareer, Road to Glory, and Universe Mode are all fantastic features that if developer Yukes made perfect would make a major difference to the WWE franchise.