Ah, the wonderful world of wrestling. Where larger than life characters go head to head in epic matches that will stand the test of time. I used to have quite a fondness for wrestling myself, but I kind of grew out of it as I got older. It just didn’t have the same kick it used to and a lot of the punch had begun to falter. With that being said though, that’s where the video games come in for me.
The WWE games give me a chance to relive those older, more brutal days of the organization with a vast selection of matches to choose from. WWE 2K18 is no exception as it brings together a significant amount of content with its arrival. The title returns with old features like WWE Universe, MyCareer Mode, Multiplayer and, of course, Exhibition. There’s a little something in there for everyone. I did notice however that there were a few matches that didn’t make an appearance, such as the Buried Alive match, nor could I find the Special Guest Referee match. Now, these aren’t points against the game, but the lack of content that was added in other, more recent installments, is a bit puzzling to say the least.
Aside from the features, what're the things any WWE title should have? Characters. A large, well-rounded selection of characters so that you and your buddies can play out any amount of “who would win between...” arguments. All in all, I really enjoyed the amount of depth there was in 2K18’s character choice. You have favourites like Bret Hart and Bam Bam Bigelow, as well as some more… odder choices such as the Godfather. The only problem is unlocking each of these superstars is a chore. You have to play through multiple matches and do any number of moves so you can get the best score to get points which will help you get closer to unlocking a new wrestler. There is another option, though, you can purchase the Accelerator online and unlock everything right away, but that’s already another six or seven dollar purchase on top of what you already paid for the game. Seems like the developers just could have made unlocking easier, but hey, it ain’t a WWE game if you aren’t needlessly unlocking the best characters.
Regardless of this, the game itself plays fine despite a couple of issues (the usual character glitches that one gets from these titles). There are some aspects of the game, however, where things can get pretty annoying. Overall, I’d say it's difficult from a control perspective. It's just one of those things where you would assume that after having worked on a couple games, the developers would have polished up their titles a little more before release. I can't be too upset though, since things aren’t as terrible in-game as they were in WWE 2K15, which I still hold has my personal “worst of all time.” So yes, there’s a little ways to go in some areas. Especially with things such as the Ladder match, where the mini-game to get the briefcase down is, for lack of a better description, not very good. Despite this, I’m sure the formula and gameplay for future entries will become more solid in structure as the series goes along.
So with the gameplay aspect out of the way, where does the multiplayer fit in? Well, 2K18 proudly continues the tradition of having an online community where the players are more interesting than the game itself. In more times than I could count, people stopped caring about the match entirely and were more focused on running around the ring and breaking the game world as much as they could. And you know what? Those were the most memorable experiences! I’d go into another match where people were actually wrestling and would legitimately say “this isn’t what I want” and leave. So I have to give two thumbs up for the multiplayer as it never seems to dull with the new releases into the franchise.
So with everything taken into account is WWE 2K18 worth the price of admission? While normally I’d just say yes and that’s that, but this time I’m going to have to say yes with a bit of hesitance. Hear me out, the content for this title is plentiful and does give you a good selection of things to unlock, but you’re pretty much going to have to pay for a good portion of unlockables if you don’t want to be stuck grinding out points match after match. As well, the matches themselves are all well and good entertainment wise, but the control scheme can be a pain to get used to in the long run. Like I mentioned before though, the multiplayer is, at least for me, the best part of the game. So yes, there are some positive aspects to WWE 2K18, but if I were you, I’d just wait for a price drop so you can get better overall value.
WWE 2K18 is rated PEGI 16 and is available on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC, and will follow in the Autumn 2017 for Nintendo Switch™
WWE 2K18 (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.
While WWE 2K18 does hit enough right notes for a recommendation, it still leaves something to be desired. As much as I like the style of these newer games, I miss being able to be as nonsensical as the older ones would allow. All in all, it's a toss-up for me.