WWE 2K18: Latest News and Buzz for Week of September 4

Kevin Wong@@kevinjameswongFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2017

WWE 2K18: Latest News and Buzz for Week of September 4

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Another week, another release of WWE 2K18 screenshots and footage.

    Gameplay aside, WWE 2K18 is shaping up to be the most realistic-looking wrestling video game of all time. The side-by-side shots of 2K17 next to 2K18 speak for themselves.

    Does the gameplay hold up? Time will tell, but the initial reports are promising. Matt Fowler of IGN praised his abbreviated hands-on session, noting that little tweaks—varying the timing for kicking out of pins, determining moves based on height and weight differences between the wrestlers—can make a big difference.

    Here's a roundup of the latest buzz.

Paul Ellering Is Looking Spry

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    Gamers have been watching virtual Randy Orton entrances for over a decade. There's something thrilling about seeing a brand-new virtual entrance for a brand-new Superstar for the first time.

    Check out this footage of the Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering. The developers have nailed the quiet intimidation factor that Akam and Rezar bring to NXT. They look like a couple of tanks, and Ellering nails that evil old man archetype better than anyone else.

    It seems that with every iteration, 2K Games expands its NXT offerings. This year, players will get to play as the AoP, Asuka, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross and more for the first time.

And Listen to That NXT Crowd!

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    Players might notice the crowd in this entrance sounds a bit different. Rather than hearing, the low, dull, ambient roar of thousands of fans, one can pick out individual voices and chants. This is deliberate; WWE 2K18 adjusts its crowd sounds to match the size of the arena the wrestlers are competing in.

    Full Sail will therefore actually sound like Full Sail. All that 2K Games needs to add is a digital Izzy behind the left barricade—and maybe a guy in a green smiley shirt behind the ring barricade at Raw—and it would be perfect.

Watch This Finn Balor Entrance

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    Here's another impressive, recently released wrestler entrance. Finn Balor made his video game debut in WWE 2K17, and he looks even more impressive in WWE 2K18. Because the majority of his entrance takes place in darkness, it's extremely important the light and shadows enhance, rather than detract from, the detail.

    It's strange; since WWE got rid of their pyro and most of their smoke effects on live television, this virtual entrance looks more compelling than the actual one. If WWE CEO Vince McMahon wants proof little flourishes matter, he should watch this video.

Updated Roster (As of August 31)

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    In an IGN exclusive on August 30 (as seen above), Kevin Owens, Renee Young and Corey Graves revealed 41 additional Superstars for 2K18. So far, 129 wrestlers have been confirmed for the game (not including alternate costumes, like retro John Cena), with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

    The greatest difference from past games has been the expansion of the NXT roster. The Sanity stable is fully represented. Ember Moon, Roderick Strong and Bobby Roode (who just moved up to the main roster) also feature. There are also more cruiserweights; TJ Perkins and Cedric Alexander are both making their WWE 2K debuts.

    What does this tell us? First, that WWE is taking its MyCareer mode seriously; by fleshing out NXT, 2K Games assures that a player has varied challenges at every skill level. The additional cruiserweights underline the developers' new physical classification system, which allows super heavyweights to perform moves cruiserweights cannot and vice versa.

Rated 'T' for Teen

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    Credit: WWE.com

    And lastly, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has rated WWE 2K18 "T" for Teen. From the ESRB's official website, where it posts all of its ratings:

    "Rating Summary: This is a wrestling simulation game in which players select real-world competitors from the WWE roster, compete in matches, and progress through multiple storylines. Players can perform a variety of wrestling moves (e.g., throws, holds, grapples) as well as punch and kick opponents. Some matches allow players to use chairs, sledgehammers, and baseball bats to strike opponents. Blood sometimes appears on wrestlers' bodies/faces after being struck repeatedly by objects. Some female wrestlers wear revealing outfits that expose deep cleavage; wrestlers may also make provocative gestures (e.g., crotch chop) during matches. The dialogue contains references to beer, wine, champagne, and being drunk (e.g., 'So please crack open a beer and let's celebrate!'; 'You still drunk from last night and wander your way into the wrong arena?'). The words 'a*s,' 'b*tch,' and bastard can also be heard."

    Blood is still in the game despite the live television shows' PG ratings. The references to alcohol at the end are also interesting—if those are taken from the MyCareer mode, it's going to be a much more interactive experience (similar to what is in NBA 2K) than what was in WWE 2K17.

    A truly fleshed out single-player career mode—with multiple cut scenes and dramatic interludes—would be a whole lot of fun.