WWE 2K18 Features Free-Roaming Backstage, New Realistic Graphics Engine
WWE 2K18

Some new details have emerged about 2K Games’ upcoming take on WWE 2K18. The studio invited various prominent YouTubers out to their offices and showcased to them some of the new features that the game will have, as well as talked about some of the new changes being made to the game.

One of the things they’re bringing back is the ability to free-roam during the story mode. This was present in some of the older Smackdown vs Raw games. Additionally, the story mode will not go on forever. According to a 23 minute video from DenkOps, he explains that there will be a contained story mode with branching paths, similar to the old AKI Corp., games such as WWF 2000 and WWF No Mercy. Yukes also included similar stories in the earlier Smackdown games before opting to go with things such as the WWE Universe mode.

They also completely rewrote the WWE Universe mode as well, and stories will carry across over pay-per views, bringing back long-form storytelling. The draft will not be returning, though.

Chris goes over many of the details in the video, which you can check out below.

Some brand new custom-character oriented content will also be added, such as the Road To Glory mode, which is a new mode that’s online only. Chris doesn’t detail what that entails but it sounds like some sort of competitive tournament mode for online play.

And speaking of custom characters, he mentions that fighting styles will be making a return, something that was present during Smackdown vs Raw 2008. The fighting style system was only in that particular outing, but it’s returning in WWE 2K18 with a few tweaks centered around specific styles and style abilities.

According to Chris, this means that certain wrestlers will have certain advantages during matches and disadvantages. Big men may be too heavy for little men to pick up, where-as big men may not be able to pull off high flying moves.

Other features centered around the creation mode includes the return of the Create-a-Match mode, which has seemingly come and gone throughout the Smackdown and WWE 2K series throughout the years. You’ll be able to set the stipulation of the match, the match types, the rules, and the conditions.

Create-a-Superstar, Create-an-Arena, and Create-a-Video have also been overhauled with some new content. Chris doesn’t explain what the new content is but they have been highly improved.

The developers also recreated the base models for the Create-a-Superstar with more realism in mind this time around, and they’ve built it around multiple ethnicities, so you can make different characters of different skin tones and backgrounds and they won’t come out looking like shiny chocolate plastic. It’s an unsurprising addition to the game given today’s gaming industry focusing heavily on the whole “diversity” thing.

Free cam is also coming back for the Create-a-Video mode, allowing players to go back through replays and other content and freely snap video footage.

A new graphics engine is also on the cards, featuring PBR (physically based light rendering), skin shaders for reflective light sourcing based on physical light emitters, and new real-time reflections. According to 2K Games, the quality of graphics for WWE 2K18 will be equivalent to the NBA 2K games. This will also be the first WWE 2K game that is not cross-gen, so hopefully we will get to see some serious upgrades over the last iterations.

New commentary is being added to the game, Byron Saxton, Michael Cole and Corey Graves will be the new announcer team. Jojo is also going to be doing the wrestler announcements.

2K will also be implementing multiple referees but they won’t be based on the real life referees.

Mid-move adjustments have been added to the game, allowing players to adjust or modify their positions when pulling off a move during the middle of the move. This coincides with the new pick-up-a-wrestler mechanic where players can now pick up and drag around wrestlers more conveniently to place them where they want to perform a move.

The AI has also been overhauled so that they work more in flow with the match to tell the story that’s happening in the ring. This is designed so that the match flow is more realistic and there’s a bit more ring psychology being applied on the giving and receiving end of the AI.

Backstage brawls will be present to coincide with the new free-roaming, and you will also be able to brawl backstage in online modes as well.

A new search engine algorithm has been implemented for the community creations, so it will be easier to find what you’re looking for from the creation space.

The new eight-person tag team match has been implemented for true Survivor Series content, and the eight-person feature will also carry over into TLC matches, ladder matches, and even the Royal Rumble.

Speaking of the Royal Rumble, 2K Games have overhauled the AI in the way they work during the Rumble, they’ve created new ways to go over the top, new logic and other tweaks to help it flow better just like in real life.

The game is being hailed as the most realistic WWE game yet, so we’ll see if that holds true when actual gameplay is finally released.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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