At a special development summit hosted by 2K, as first reported by GameSpot earlier in the week, more details were made known about the upcoming WWE 2K18. Not just will Kurt Angle be the special pre-order bonus download content containing two versions of the famed Olympic gold medalist wrestler — one being his Olympic Hero character and then the other being his later Wrestling Machine persona — but more details were brought to light about the actual gameplay and features of the game.
According to the series executive producer Mark Little, they are adding in years of fan feedback into WWE 2K18 and updating both the visuals and actual game mechanics where 2K boast that WWE 2K18 will be the most realistic and heavily detailed wrestling simulation to date. While also sporting a new graphical overhaul, the game will include 8- man match types, enhanced grappling controls, new modes and a story addition to MyCareer mode and of course the yearly expanded creation suite.
The fan favorite, Universe mode which is a procedurally generated mode to mimic real life WWE, has gotten a bit of a revamp this year due to the brand split happening on current WWE television — where everyone is exclusive to one of the four main brands of WWE: RAW, Smackdown, NXT and 205 Live. While not much has been made known exactly as to how significant the changes are, the game’s Universe mode will be much more fluid and organic and moving away from the usual one pay-per-view per a month.
The updated graphical engine will feature “dithered rendering, new skin shaders, real time reflections and physically based rendering — all of which will add greater elements of realism to the characters, while also giving a much stronger atmosphere to the many environments.” However what Gamespot saw in their tech demo was using the older character models from last years, WWE 2k17. However the good news, what Yukes and Visual Concepts learned from that previous entry has helped them push the envelope as to what WWE 2K18 can look like. They finally mastered their engine!
The game will also sport a new commentary team, ditching the near decade old team of Michael Cole, JBL and The King and instead giving us Corey Graves, Brayon Saxton and a much more improved… Michael Cole. However to give the commentary this year a much more organic feel, they recorded the new trio with giving them extra time to work with 2K and also recorded them in the same room as each other to give the commentary a much more normal, natural feel.
MyCareer mode will be returning and features a much more story based approach compared to previous years making it a slough to go through and almost arcade like quality of random matches as you level up your created wrestler. In WWE 2K18’s MyCareer will instead be “more concise and narrative-driven” due to the new inclusion of the “Road To Glory” mode which is an in-game online companion for the actual MyCareer mode. However the developers are not spilling any beans on what exactly “Road To Glory” is, but instead have stated that the story that starts off in MyCareer mode leads into Road To Glory mode — acting sort of an endgame WWE 2K18.
On top of this addition, the Promo Engine that first debuted in WWE 2K17 has been revamped to Promo Engine 2.0 to more accurately capture a wrestlers trash-talking abilities. Further new additions is a new progression system that features unlockable upgrades/perks post-match. Also returning are fighting styles — which hasn’t been seen since Smackdown Vs. Raw 2008 — and also a slightly tweaked Ultimate Control moves in the form of a new carrying system that makes it easy to slam opponents on various objects in and around the ring. The submission system has also be slightly tweaked with things being either reworked or overhauled entirely. Backstage brawls return as well and will include even more intractable objects and even sport an online mode to fight in.
As for the create suite, that has been a staple of the series since Smackdown on the PSone, it is getting flourished with enhancements to further harness the power of current generation systems. However according to GameSpot, the developers say that, “it’s still too early to show off videos and images (of the game), as the title is still very much in progress”. So there are still lots to know about the game until it’s October 17 release. Luckily things are progressively smoothly and WWE 2K18 looks to have the makings of becoming the best modern-wrestling game.