A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Strong theme of training, working hard to accomplish your goals. MyCareer mode also allows players opportunity to choose their own path to becoming a champion, whether that's "hero" or "villain," with arcs that allow for more character growth and change along the way.
Positive Role Models
Roster of characters (the largest roster ever) is made up of a variety of unique, diverse characters. Some are heroic "faces," some are villainous "heels," wide range in between. Many of these characters could be viewed as positive role models -- even "bad guys," many times, can go through a story arc of redemption. Female wrestlers, whether face or heel, also presented as strong characters, more than capable of holding their own in a male-dominated arena.
Ease of Play
You'll need to put some real time into WWE 2K18 to get the most out of it. Deep roster of superstars means equally deep library of moves to learn, most of which require right positioning and timing. Huge amount of customization, including characters, arenas, and entrances, gives players massive amount of control to experience; can also be overwhelming.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is a key part of WWE 2K18. Realistic fights between superstars is a big part of why people watch wrestling, also a big part of why people play the game. Characters pummel each other in a variety of realistic ways; game specifically includes disclaimer "Do not try this at home, school, or anywhere."
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Superstars, both male and female, generally wear spandex, revealing outfits, with some suggestive taunts.
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Occasional use of "ass," "bitch" in dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
Latest entry in long-running WWE franchise from 2K Games. Has paid downloadable content (DLC) to add new superstars to roster. WWE sports entertainment brand is also a massive multimedia license, which includes weekly television shows, live events, toys, clothing, collectibles, other merchandise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some dialogue directly references drinking alcohol, being drunk.
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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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.