New game delivers eight-way matches and boasts the return of Kurt Angle
There aren’t many features you’d want 2K Games to excavate from WWE Smackdown Vs RAW 2007 when building a new grappling game – but wrestlers of yesteryear are a different story. That mid-tier outing was the last time bona-fide Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle appeared in the long-running smash-mouth series, but 11 years later he’s back in both the real-world WWE and its digital offshoot.
Inevitably, there’s a small catch: Angle is initially only available as a pre-order bonus, although we expect him to be released as DLC for a couple of quid before Christmas. Also making the roster, this time without any small print, is cover star Seth Rollins, with legends Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant and Ric Flair all hinted at in an initial teaser trailer. So long as equal attention is paid to upand-coming stars yet to feature, such as Ember Moon and Tyler Bate, that’s all good news.
It’s the in-ring action upon which the game’s championship hopes rest, and initial features revealed centre on fan service – always a smart move. The number of wrestlers who can be in the ring at once increases from six to eight, which should mean brilliantly chaotic four-on-four bouts, while elimination methods for battle royals and Royal Rumbles have been revamped, and an entirely new carry system added.
“We’re focussing on realism, graphics, silky-smooth gameplay, improvements to MyCareer, and a creation suite that will allow you to ‘be like no one’,” says creative director Lynell Jinks. Nothing revelatory to speak of yet, then, but for now it certainly sounds more triple-A than Triple H.
For a first look at Seth Rollins’ in-game likeness, see 2k.com/games/wwe-2k18.
ULTIMATE WARRIOR, ANDRE THE GIANT AND RIC FLAIR ARE ALL TEASED FOR THE ROSTER.