2K Games Reveals Several Changes/Updates for Upcoming WWE 2K18

— An article on Gamespot.com revealed several new changes, updates and rebalances for the upcoming WWE 2K18 video game:

Unfortunately, the developers weren’t able to share too many details about the game in its present state, but they did give us a rundown on the general features and upgrades coming up. With a reworked graphics engine, new modes and story for MyCareer, an expanded creation suite, 8-Man battles and match types, and enhancements to the grappling system–WWE 2K18 is looks to be a big change for the series.

With the recent brand split and roster shuffling resulting in some majors changes to the different WWE divisions, such as RAW, Smackdown, NXT, and the 205 Live brands–many storylines and plans for the weekly shows went through some substantial updates. Because of this, the WWE Universe mode in 2K18–which is a simulation of the televised WWE schedule–has evolved out of the static storytelling of its predecessors. Moving away from the format of one pay-per-view every four weeks of live-shows from previous years, the general progression in 2K18’s changes to Universe mode intends to be much more fluid and organic, featuring a lot of surprises to match the current pace of WWE’s TV and PPV schedule.

WWE 2K18 will feature an updated graphics engine, which the developers claim went through a substantial rewriting process over the last two years. It now features 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.

One area which they acknowledge wasn’t up to par in 2K17 was the in-game commentary, which is also being overhauled. Working with the NBA 2K team, which is known for its authentic commentary quality, WWE 2K18 brings in Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves as the lead commentators. To give it a more organic feel, the three commentators were given extra time to work, and also had the chance to perform in the same room as their co-commentators to lend the recording process more of a natural feel.

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My Career returns and will feature a more serious story. As the last game was criticized for its somewhat sprawling nature, the next attempt at building your character’s career will be more concise and narrative-driven than its predecessor. The main reason for this different approach to the story is the inclusion of the brand new Road To Glory mode, one of the new forms of online content for the My Career campaign. While the developers were tight-lipped on mentioning just what this offers, they stated that My Career’s story is the lead up to Glory mode, which is the end-game of sorts for My Career.

Along with the expanded My Career comes new changes to the core gameplay. In addition to Promo Engine 2.0–an upgraded and more accurate take on the wrestler’s trash-talking dialog system from 2K17–the fighters now go through a brand new progression system which yield unlockable upgrades and perks after matches. To encourage flexibility, the upcoming roster has been increased over the last year, and is set to be the largest in series history. Added to this, the developers working on a brand new character archetype system known as ‘fighting styles.’ Each wrestler in the roster is set up with a particular archetype, like high-flyer or giant, which reflects their physique, moveset, and physical prowess in the ring. This is not only to reflect the variety in the roster, but also to give players diving into Create-A-Wrestler more defined archetypes to attach themselves to.

Key parts of the submission system have been reworked and overhauled entirely, making it easier to learn and use. In addition to an overhauled dragging system (the technique of using opponent’s’ momentum against them), a new carrying system has been introduced, which allows players to pick up their opponents, leading to a variety of different moves like power bombs, cradles, and environmental moves. Moreover, there’s also a new ‘position feeding’ mechanic, which allows players to ‘sell’ their position in the match, launching a move from a groggy or ground position.

The game will also feature expanded backstage brawl gameplay, which now has 1v1 online and will have three times the interactables and places to fight across in the arena–which the developers describe as a free roam arena–but also in the brand new eight-man battles, along with revamped multi-man match types such as a heavily reworked Royal Rumble mode with new mechanics, Battle Royale, Ladder matches, and 8-man tag matches. Moreover, there will be many different options to play around with, including mixed-gender wrestling and other options such as interactive items and win conditions, which can be added in the new create-a-match feature.

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