WWE 2K18 Review: Is it worth it?

WWE 2K18 is a wrestling game developed by Yuke’s and visual concepts and published by 2K Sports. It has the largest roster to date in a WWE game, new and improved graphics, and a trailer with Snoop Dog rapping and explaining that the tagline for the game is “be like no one.” But can you really be like no one, or will you discover that WWE 2K18 is actually just like every other 2K wrestling game? Let’s get to the bottom of that, shall we?

Gameplay:

It’s decent, not all that much different from WWE 2K17. Not really any new modes besides the inclusion of 8 men in the ring which changes the mechanics of the Royal Rumble and Ladder matches by making them more confusing and chaotic. It is a love-hate relationship with this addition. There are some new selling animations to moves and stuff, and wrestlers don’t do the same sell to a move over and over each time its performed. It makes the game feel a bit less robotic and makes the wrestlers feel more human.

Of course, there are new move animations, as with every new WWE game there are always new moves added or updated versions of old moves. It’s nice for what it is, and I still have fun checking out the new moves and deciding if I want to equip any of them for my created wrestler. That’s about all the good that comes from the gameplay aspects, now let’s get to the bad.

The game is still an unacceptable mess of obscure glitches, and many of these glitches have been in the game for over 5 years.
While some of these glitches make me laugh at times, I cannot help but feel angry that every game that’s released year after year feels like an early access game. I mean, can you really excuse this level of unpolishedness from an AAA studio? I can’t help but wonder if these guys even look at the large amount of problems that have been persisting for what seems like over a decade. Problems in this game have been present since WWE 2K14.

Oh and the new carry system is pretty cool too. The control it gives you make it easier if you trying to slam someone into the steel steps or something.

Creative features:

The creative features are praised worldwide, probably one of this game’s biggest assets, but the creative features in this game do not create a real reason to make it worth purchasing. It’s about as good as WWE 2K17’s creative features, and WWE 2K17’s creative features are about as good as WWE 2K16’s creative features. So the people out there making some sort of claim that WWE 2K18 has the robust creation suite or something of that nature, I really don’t know what they are talking about, because there’s not anything new or changed that makes very much of a difference compared to last year’s WWE video game addition.

The only thing that has any significance at all is that WWE 2K18’s highlight reel now has the ability to use a free cam, meaning now you can have the camera in any position you want to record footage of you match. A feature that was on Smackdown Vs. Raw 2010, so congratulations on getting something to finally work at least as well as it did and is supposed to work like a decade ago.

Presentation:

Now, the wrestling entrances in WWE 2K games, and even in the old THQ games have always been pretty damn good, and this game delivers that as well. You really do get the sense of immersion that Bobby Roode is actually walking down the ramp, and hearing the fans singing is the glorious theme is chilling, to say the least. In the department of presentation, the entrances capture the magic more than any of the other features of this game.

But with the plethora of glitches that are in this game, I still can’t feel engaged into the idea that I am in a real wrestling match, nor do I ever get the feeling that I am watching an episode of Mondy Night Raw. The AI has an uncanny ability to resort to the same moves, and it really breaks the flow of a wrestling match when you just can’t time that reversal right. You know, the constant gut kicks when I am on the ground, or that one move where you arm is lifted and then thrown to the mat. These type of little things break the immersion as well.

My Career mode:

Last year, My Career mode sucked, this year, it sucks even more, is more time-consuming, the promo engine is as bad in this year’s edition as it was last year, nothing has been done to improve it. The dialogue is just as cringe-worthy as it was last year, and seeing you mute wrestler chomp his lips as he speaks a promo that no one can hear is just as awkward as it was last year.

Don’t be fooled by the ever so promoted free roaming experience of this year’s My Career. Conversations are random, out of nowhere, have no context and make no sense. It’s just a pretense to make you feel like there’s more content, you’re really just wasting more time. All it does is create more time for you to get to the main point of My Career, which is having matches and ranking up. The menu to match system that has been in place in every other My Career edition of a WWE 2K experience works faster and is more to the point.

Loot Crates make the worst experience yet!

No, 2K does not have any options to make you pay to unlock Loot Crates. I can’t even tell at this point if the game would be worse off if they did charge money for loot crates or not. Last year in My Career, you at least had the option to choose what you wanted to purchase with the virtual currency you earned from competing in matches and such. This year, you get random unlocks from loot crate boxes, so you can’t get that one move set you wanted, or that one ability you wanted.

Building your character is a completely randomized generated mess, and although it was a grind fest last year that took forever, this year its as bad as that, except with much less freedom on how you can build out your My Career superstar.

Also, not only are you limited to moves like you were last year, but this year you have to use VC to buy hairstyles, and clothes for you WWE Superstar. Talk about taking as much fun away from the immersion of a created my career wrestler as you can.

Aren’t these yearly released supposed to be an improved product to their predecessors?

The other stuff:

Umm, loading screens take about 2 minutes to get through, there’s a lot of them, and it tests my patience more than any other current-gen game I know. The garbage submission system introduced in WWE 2K16(I think), is still garbage, at least they still have the button mashing option in the options menu.

The online multiplayer does not have lag, but I do worry that the lag will start occurring within a month or two. I think this could happen because I remember that when I played WWE 2K14 online after just getting the game, there was no lag, but after a month or two, there was. I think history tends to repeat itself with these kinds of games, but time will tell.

Commentary still feels robotic and horrible, like it always has. In every interview for about every WWE game, the developers actually acknowledge how bad the commentary is, and promise that the next upcoming game, the commentary will be authentic and amazing. They have been lying about this for over a decade.

The backstage brawls are actually cool, you can slam people into cars, the free roaming from last year is still here. You can also climb to the top of a production truck and throw people off it, with Attitude Adjustments or power bombs, the falling animation’s however, are ugly, and look very unrealistic.

My angry rant:

In my opinion, WWE games use cosmetics, like more wrestlers to make the “biggest roster ever”. For the hardcore fans of WWE, that can really trigger a purchase, but that’s all the roster is cosmetics. The AI is so bad, that when I face the Undertaker, I never feel like I am facing the Undertaker. That’s why in my eyes, this whole roster content is just a bunch of cosmetics.

They add all these ideas to their games, but they never work as advertised, it is broken. Every year they promise the most authentic My Career experience, and it’s actually worse than it was the year before. I do think that the yearly release severely limits the potential of these games.

I understand that 2K needs to keep their heads above water and make the money and that they are severely limited to what they do, but from a consumer standpoint, I find it unacceptable that these games are full of glitches, and not only that, the content that they advertise brings what seems to be more problems to the franchise, instead of adding more value.

2K needs to forget about the idea of adding in all these cool ideas and instead focus on getting rid of glitches that have been in these games for years. These never get patched up, and that in itself is ridiculous, and I’m really sad to say this, but I don’t think that 2K will do that. Making video games is a business that needs to yield a profit, taking the time to fix their franchise and risk releasing a game without “new content”, or taking an extra year to develop the game will also cost more money, and probably gain less profit.

That’s why none of these games are ever memorable, they get the sales they need, and discard everything after, to focus on making the sales required to stay in business for the next year.

The Final Verdict:

WWE 2K18 has some graphics that are a bit shinier, some new animations, a new online mode called Road To Glory where you compete with other players to make it on PPV’s, and that’s about all the decent to good content it offers. Everything else is found in a game like WWE 2K16 or 2K17, as this game fails to be innovative.

WWE 2K18 gets a..

3/10

Thanks for stopping by to check out this review of WWE 2K18, if you have any questions about WWE 2K18 or any wrestling game for that matter, feel free to drop a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can, also, what did you guys think about the review? Was I too harsh, or was I spot on?

 ==>Click here for more information on WWE 2K18<==

About the author

Schilling

I am a huge fan of Video games, I grew up with them. The first game I ever played was Metroid 2 Return of Samus for the original game boy. I was mesmerized as a kid, I think I was about 4 or 5, my older brother had it on his game boy. I used to get into bickering with him so that I could play it, which usually ended up in my ass getting kicked. Since then I've always wanted to play video games, and I ended up following the Metroid pattern for the most part, it is now my favorite video game series of all time. When I was about 7 years old maybe 8, Metroid Prime came out for the GameCube. I wanted that game so bad, and about after a year of it being out, I convinced my dad to buy me a GameCube and Metroid Prime somewhere in 2003. It took me an entire year to beat that game, but I beat Metroid Prime around 2004 and to this day it remains my favorite video game of all time!Outside of Metroid, I love a lot of story driven action adventure games, first person shooters, and outside of video games, I love to get outside and exercise a lot and workout, I love to travel, in my opinion that is the true way for one to discover themselves, and in my spare time I make animated cartoons using flash, and that is something I am very passionate about!My goal for this website is to provide gamers with a spoiler free way of showing gameplay and perhaps help people stuck on that certain level a way to get through it without spoiling important parts of the game to other players. I hope that those who interact with my will find benefit in my services! Thank you for checking out my site :)

Readers Comments (10)

  1. I used to love to watch and play wrestling games as a kid, as I grew up I’ve never really gravitated towards it anymore but I decided to check this out.

    The graphics does look good but that’s pretty much expected of a 2k18 game regardless. Personally I still wasn’t convinced to buy the game but that’s probably down to me not really liking wrestling.

    Put it this way if you’re a wrestling fan I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it

    • I do agree that a wrestling fan would enjoy it. The die-hards will buy this game regardless of any reviews. In the perspective of how the game is, however, I personally cannot justify recommending this as a product. If people do buy this game, however, I do hope that they have ecstatic fun with it.

  2. Great job on this post, I really like your writing. I will definitely not be buying this game based on your review. It sounds like they’re doing what a lot of video game producers have been doing lately, making new versions that look slightly better, but offer no additional value and don’t even fix the problems of the earlier versions. Frustrating!

    • I know right?! And despite so many people pointing these things out, nothing changes. Indie games are about the only thing these days that present innovation. The thing is, I would actually recommend WWE 2K18 if it was more authentic. Even if it was a re-skinned WWE 2K17, where nothing changed at all, but the AI was more intelligent and the game was fixed, I would recommend this game. But I actually feel that this game is a re-skinned version of last years game, except even worse!

  3. Man I used to love these games so much. The one I got for christmas with my xbox 360 was the best. I got a bit bored though because I was constantly playing as john cena all the time, had to switch it up to randy orton.

    The graphics look pretty impressive. I appreciate the honest rant you’ve put at the bottom. 3/10 is pretty low though don’t you think?

    • Honestly I don’t. If you don’t have any recent WWE 2K titles, I’d say this is a 5/10 for them, maybe a low 6. However if you have been an avid player of any of the recent WWE games, and you compared this version to the last version, I don’t think that you can justify how this game turned out, as it is like a worse version of what they produced last year.

      Yes, WWE 2K18 has some of the greatest customization features in not just a fighting game, but they have better character creation technology compared to almost any game that is out there. But the overall content has been exactly the same for years, so reviewing from that standpoint, the fact that the game fails to improve upon its predecessors in my opinion does qualify for its low score.

  4. I’ve never been really into wrestling, but I do love video games. I just recently bought a Nintendo switch and I am currently looking for new games to buy.

    Is this wrestling game available for that console? I also like the fact it has online multiplayer.

    Thanks again for the in depth review. I might have to rent this and try it out for myself.

    • Hi Michael. WWE 2K18 is not currently on the Nintendo Switch. There has not been a confirmed release date as of yet, but I believe that the Nintendo Switch version will be out in early 2018.

  5. Hello Shilling,

    Thank you for the thorough review! I’ve played most of the WWE games in the past and was contemplating on making a purchase on the latest game.

    The graphics seem a little better compared to their previous ones, but maybe because the console is mostly the same.

    I went ahead and made a purchase after reading your article. Thanks!

    -Eric

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