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WWE2k18 (Xbox One) Review

October 16, 2017 | Posted by Liam Morrow
WWE 2K18 Roman Reigns
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WWE2k18 (Xbox One) Review  

So, another year, another WWE game. You could be forgiven for thinking this WWE 2K18 was a simple update to last year’s offering, with a slightly different roster and not much else. With 2K Games at the helm, this isn’t the case. The last three years have been vast improvements on the last, and this game is no different. Aesthetically, WWE 2K18 is a massive leap forward, with each grappler looking like their real-life counterpart. It was a bit of a gripe for me last year that aside from the dozen or so bigger names like Lesnar, Rollins or Cena, the rest looked a bit rushed in comparison. The women were even worse, almost like they were all just slightly different versions of the same face. This year they’ve put the same care into the NXT division here as they have the big boys, so all is good in terms of the game’s look.

The other big change is MyCareer, which is your basic new-blood create-a-wrestler. The premise is to give you a more realistic bottom-to-top story, starting you off with a basic move set, a choice of a few generic outfits and hairstyles. Also included are a few different fighting styles such as Technical, Strong-Style, Powerhouse, etc. Each one determines your starting move set and attributes. You go through the basics in the WWE Performance Center, doing submissions and promos and the like, before it’s off to NXT with you. As you progress, you’ll unlock new moves and attire pieces, evolving your character organically. I actually quite like it this way; it will give a huge sense of accomplishment once your guy is exactly how you want him.

Another way to boost what you unlock is to buy loot crates for VC, your in-game currency. These contain a number of things such as attires, moves, or one-use buffs. Another way to earn is Road to Glory, in which you use your MyPlayer and are are pitted against others online either in selected matches or arenas, depending on whats happening in real-world WWE. These are multiple-day events sometimes and if you qualify for the main event and win, there are some major loot gains to be had.

This year also boasts the largest roster for the game in a great many years. Once all the DLC has launched, there will be upwards of 180 characters to choose from. NXT has a slightly bigger chunk of the roster this year, with the likes of #DIY, No Way Jose, Roderick Strong, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, and even Sanity joining the fray. There will be twenty to start with, with more being added through DLC packs. A few strange additions are TM61, with Thorne and Miller not being seen for 6 months or more, and Sawyer Fulton, who left Sanity after only a month or so and has not been seen since. Surely, there were more worthy additions such as Oney Lorcan, or even the likes of Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate. But overall, its a small gripe in an otherwise impressive collection.

There are a few other changes this year. For one, no more JBL on commentary (and thank God for that). He is replaced by the greatest colour commentator ever in Corey Graves, alongside Byron Saxton and a returning Micheal Cole. MyCAREER is different in that you have free movement around backstage to talk to different people, although it can get quite annoying having to slowly make your way to the parking lot every time you want to move on to the next week. And when it comes time for your match, you’ll have a few different options such as run-ins, a promo segment or a straight match. In your match there’s the new carry mechanic, which is exactly how it sounds. You can move towards the ropes or turnbuckle, and perform a buckle bomb or snake eyes, or just place your victim outside the ring. I have to say, so far I’ve not actually used it, but my character is pretty low level still so it’s a work in progress.

The normal staples to the game such as Universe mode and multiplayer are there, just like the store where you buy classic grapplers such as Lita, Steve Austin, and British Bulldog; classic titles; and arenas. Promos are pretty much the same, except the scoring is slightly different. The backing track is actually really good this year, featuring Disturbed, Kid Rock, Bruno Mars and a few others. There is still an annoying amount of loading between shows on universe and MyCAREER, but not much you can do about that.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Great graphics and excellent gameplay make this a must for any wrestling fan. A few odd choices on the roster and slow moving backstage segments aside, its worth playing despite the fact there's no competition around.

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WWE 2K18, Liam Morrow