How WWE 2K18 allows you to put yourself in the action like never before
Wrestling is a huge business filled with stars with massive crossover appeal – all the way from the likes of The Rock to the WWE Hall of Famer currently sitting in the White House.
Fans of the WWE, like fans of most sports, have at some point fantasised about being in that ring themselves. And despite the many, many “don’t try this at home” warnings, are probably guilty of doing just that at home at some point.
But each year the release of WWE 2K18 gives fans the chance to live out their wrestling dreams, and this year the game’s lead developer Mark Little says you’ll be able to do that in greater detail than ever before thanks to improvements to the feature that allows you to design your own characters.
“The creation suite is now the most powerful ever,” Little, who’s worked on every WWE 2K game since they took over development in 2014, said. “That provides another avenue of entertainment, and also creativity and self-expression.”
Options go as deep as being able to remove individual teeth from the up to 100 wrestlers you can create. Anyone who played the old WWF wrestling games made by THQ knows the possibilities that were available when creating players even back on the first PlayStation. WWE 2K18’s options are gargantuan by comparison.
“Some of the fun things are you create a guy, you wrestle with him for a while, then you go back and change him a little bit and play your character almost like what happens in real life – where over time their gimmick changes,” Little said.
“They see what’s working, they see what they like, ‘Oh maybe I’ll change my haircut, oh maybe I’ll become a little bit more of a heel now,’ and our game allows and supports the players in that sort of experience.
“That level of freedom is not common inside of a sports type game.”
New game modes for the release include Road To Glory, which allow you take your created character online and fight against other people’s MyPlayers.
But the new mode runs in conjunction with the WWE’s pay-per-view events, meaning users will get the chance to compete against real people at the likes of SummerSlam, the Royal Rumble and more, providing you’ve been good enough to qualify.
The game also acts as a great re-entry point for anyone who’s not kept up with wrestling for a while, but still has fond memories of some great fights down the years.
With over 200 playable superstars in the game “there are people on the roster everybody can relate to” – including legends like Brett Hart, Mankind, multiple versions of Sting, and the Undertaker.
“As a person coming back I think that’s a really strong pulling point for everybody,” Little said.
This year the game doesn’t have as many new match modes as in previous years, and the focus has been on improving what was already there.
“We doubled the size of the backstage environment and created more interactive objects in backstage, and worked a lot this year on deepening the experiences in the modes that we have,” Little said.
The game already had 47 types of matches available to play, and the developers’ mission since taking over has been to make their games feel like more than just a fighting game – they want all that tension and drama that makes professional wrestling what it is.
“We wanted to move it forward to a realistic standpoint, which is what people expect from the 2K sports brand,” Little said.
It sounds like WWE 2K18 could continue that tradition.
WWE 2K18 is out on October 17 on PC and major consoles.