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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that WWE 2K18 is the latest entry in 2K Games' popular WWE action/sports series. The game features the largest roster ever from the diverse stable of WWE superstars. Some play the role of "faces," or heroes, while others are "heels," or villains. Players can also create their own custom superstars, developing their unique skills and storylines and overcoming various obstacles along the way. Violence is central to the game, as players battle it out in and out of the squared circle, using a variety of realistic physical attacks. There's no blood or gore in the fights, but superstars do get injured over the course of their matches. There's some light profanity in the game's dialogue, as well as occasional references to drinking alcohol. Parents should also be aware that, along with official paid DLC content, the game includes free-to-download community-created content that might contain offensive material.
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What's it about?
WWE 2K18 brings all the high-flying and adrenaline-fueled action of World Wrestling Entertainment from the squared circle to the living room in this latest addition to 2K Games' hit franchise. With the biggest roster of superstars to date, past and present, players can re-create their favorite matches from WWE history or put together their dream matchups that cross generation boundaries. The game's MyPlayer mode also features the most robust customization options ever, including face mapping and body molding, allowing you to put yourself right in the action. Interact with all your favorite WWE superstars in the back, cut some exciting promos to win over the fans, and rise through the ranks in a personal quest for championship gold and the opportunity to headline the greatest stage of all: Wrestlemania.
Is it any good?
This sports sim brings wrestling excitement home to gamers with a championship title that's packed with more finishers than a pay-per-view event. The WWE is what happens when the over-the-top drama of a soap opera meets the adrenaline-fueled action of a live stunt show. It's wild. It's crazy. It seldom makes sense. But most importantly, it's a lot of fun to watch. WWE 2K18 includes a massive roster of superstars, the largest of any WWE game to date, filled with a diversity of characters from nearly every era of WWE's history. With just about every championship belt, television show, event, and match type represented in the game, WWE 2K18 has no shortage of content to keep fans busy. But just in case that's not enough, just about every part of the game can be customized and personalized with its in-game editor. If you've got the time and patience, there's very little to stop you from creating some insane wrestling matches. In fact, in an odd bit of product placement, the game already includes KFC's Colonel Sanders as a playable character. But that's nothing compared to surreal characters you can download from the game's online community ... which can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
While WWE 2K18 might be the reigning, defending, undisputed champion of sports entertainment video games, that doesn't mean there's not still some room for improvement. For starters, the AI in the game can sometimes leave you scratching your head, especially in situations where your opponent climbs out of the ring and then, well, just stands there. It's almost like the game is waiting for you to make a specific move, and when you don't, it takes a few seconds to come up with a new plan ... sort of like when a GPS recalculates your route after you take a left instead of a right. The announcers are another slight irritation. While the bulk of the ongoing match commentary isn't bad, they occasionally cut themselves off mid-sentence or repeat the same lines over and over in a single match. Finally, while the depth of the game is great for veterans of the series, it's a wealth of options that can be a bit overwhelming to newcomers or casual fans. These are minor frustrations, though, and not enough to keep the game from being a blast to play. When the final bell rings and the winner's arm is raised, it's still WWE 2K18 that takes home the belt.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about real violence versus staged performances. What risks are there in imitating the moves performed in the game or on television? How does training help the WWE superstars perform without serious injury, and what risks do they still face?
Talk about character development. How have superstars in the WWE evolved over time, and how do their characters change as a result? Is there a real-life lesson that can be learned about how people and personalities can change given time and circumstance?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 2K Games
- Release date: October 17, 2017
- Genre: Sports
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: T for Alcohol Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.