WWE 2K18, like wrestling itself, is a mixed bag. For every amazing visual or improved feature, it seems legacy issues become all the more frustrating. This year finds many of the same issues rearing their head: A lack of in-ring fluidity, a lack of drive, and even a new, exciting mode, is hampered by the frustrations long-time WWE 2K players have some to (sadly) expect.
That said, the game is early in its release. Its possible many of these issues can be corrected via patches and title updates. However, for now, these issues make enjoying WWE 2K18 a little difficult.
What are the issues? Read on to find out.
1. Targeting / Item Use Jankiness
Considering how many options are available to the typical WWE 2K18 player regarding roster and match-type, it’s heartbreaking how janky it can feel in big-time gimmick matches, or any time you try to challenge the AI beyond a regular 1-on-1 match.
In gimmick matches, common problems include picking up a ladder, chair, or steps, and facing the complete opposite direction of your opponent, requiring you to move in a wide circle to face them – by which time you’ll be blindsided with an attack. You’ll also find issues with leaning ladders where you want them, and because lean and climb are the same button, you’ll struggle trying to climb / take down the ladder.
Similarly, the AI will routinely walk into the turnbuckle and do…nothing. Climb the turnbuckle…then climb down. To have an exciting and enjoyable match – which is often a requirement in MyCareer, you literally need to lead your opponent around by the hand (or neck).
For a game based on an athletic endeavor where fluidity is the number one compliment you can give an in-ring performer, it’s disappointing the in-ring gameplay of WWE 2K18 against AI, feels so disjointed.
2. Road To Glory Jankiness
Continuing the janky trend – the most exciting new feature in WWE 2K18 is the ‘Road To Glory’ mode, which lives under the MyCareer banner. This mode finds you taking your CAW online to compete against other players in order to qualify for the upcoming PPV.
Winning nets you loot boxes, cash, new moves, and a shot for…well, glory. Of everything in WWE 2K18, this is the mode that can keep players coming back for more…literally every day – it feels Ultimate Team-esque
Alas, this mode runs into issues, as the lack of fluidity mentioned in the previous point is compounded by lag. Lag which makes reversals harder, down-time more brutal, and kick-outs very tricky.
Beyond that, there’s only one match-type available per night, so if you’re not particularly keen about a dumpster fire of a ladder match, you might find yourself taking a lot of losses, or simply skipping that days events.
3. Lack of Direction in Single Player Modes
The primary gameplay modes for WWE 2K18 players without ‘IRL’ friends is the MyCareer and WWE Universe Mode. Both are lacking an engine to keep you coming back.
MyCareer’s single player campaign finds you starting as an NXT Rookie and working your way up the ranks to become WWE Champion. The touted feature this year, free-roam, draws out the experience significantly, as you need to load in the backstage area, wander around, set up your match, then wait another loading screen to get into the match.
It’s similar to NBA 2K18’s MyCareer mode in that regard. What could be an awesome idea ultimately pads the experience with meaningless dialog, extended load times, and a sense of “what’s the point?”.
Meanwhile, WWE Universe is lacking any sort of pressure. It’s like playing Madden Franchise or NBA2K18 MyGM without the salary cap, owner demands, or any real pressure to perform.
It’s a literal sandbox, you can do whatever you want, but with a deliberate lack of challenge, there isn’t much reason to want to build anything; save for using your imagination.
As a result, the primary modes of play end up feeling…meh, which in turn makes the point of playing these modes: to earn cash to unlock wrestlers, meh, because you have no real reason to want to play as them.