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WWE 2K18 changes and upgrades include new commentary team, visuals and gameplay mechanics

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We’re still months away from the release of WWE 2K18. Heck, we’re still a week away from when we were supposed to find out about Kurt Angle as the pre-order exclusive DLC before Kurt spilled the beans on that one.

But thanks to new reports from Gamestop and Uproxx, we have a little better idea about changes and enhancements we’re going to see in the latest licensed game from WWE and 2K.

Both articles hype a completely re-worked graphics engine. So far, developers have shown off new lighting, skin, camera, and texture effects, but no new character models. Based on demos shown to the authors of the Gamestop and Uproxx pieces, the improvements are said to be noticeable in all other areas.

They’ve also worked extensively on audio features, starting with what is probably going to be the biggest improvement - the commentators. 2K and WWE agreed to use Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. The trio have been recording for the game since last fall, as a threesome and in each possible pairing with a goal of having annoucing which sounds like real people talking rather than just sound bites. JoJo has been brought in as an across-the-board ring announcer, and work is being done to make different sized arenas and venues sound different, as well.

My Career mode has been shortened, and My Player will now feature an online mode called “Road to Glory”, which is what follows for players who have finished the career mode. The WWE Universe mode has been expanded to more closely resemble the current television product, including the brand split, 205 Live and more frequent pay-per-view (PPV)s, with storylines able to persist and overlap across shows.

Upgrades to the creation suite include the ability to save specific Create-A-Matches so they’re available in selection menus and a free camera for Create-A-Video, allowing you to save highlights from any angle. Create-A-Wrestler will include a character archetype system, so selecting for example a “high flier” or “giant” will alter their scores and abilities.

Gameplay features an completely new drag and carry system, as well as a simplified submissions system. Developers have also implemented a “position feeding” mechanic, a logic engine which will allow characters to move while stunned or groggy. There will be expanded space for brawling outside the ring and around the arena, and more items to interact with while doing so. In addition to re-working the mechanics of Royal Rumble mode, they’ve also added 8-man tags a match type to go with battle royals and ladder matches.

Executive producer Mark Little also promised the biggest roster of characters ever “by far”.

So there’s a lot to look forward to. And while release is three-and-a-half months away, that’s not that long... especially considering the gaming community hasn’t seen any gameplay examples yet.

Excited? Concerned? Let us know, Cagesiders.