The never-ending drive towards perfection in wrestling video games has hit a snag. WWE 2K17 did have fun elements, but players had to scratch beneath the surface to find them. Take the major game mode My Career for instance: was an endless slog through dreary matches. Yet downloading old arenas and reliving nostalgic moments via Community Creations was joyous.
2K should absolutely continue improving this customisation aspect, but crucially, they also need to start making core gameplay enjoyable again. After all, what's the point in downloading or creating all your favourites only to grow bored when using them during matches?
Ironically, the past holds the secrets to improve the 2K series' future. Learning what worked previously could just be essential to ensuring that the upcoming game gives players what they want. Over to you, dev geniuses...
WWE storylines practically beg to be turned into interactive set pieces gamers can play through each year. Why then, is there such a focus on turning something so organically exciting into the mind-numbing boredom of Universe Mode and My Career? It just doesn't make sense when there's so much to explore.
SmackDown 2: Know Your Role (released in 2000) was capable of including such gems as Steve Austin destroying the DX Express bus, and later games even included real-life angles like the ECW invasion. These must have been fun to design for the developers, but 2K have oddly elected to step back from using the real WWE in favour of formulaic stories that go nowhere.
2K18 needs a well-produced Story/Career Mode that uses angles fans recognise from WWE programming. For example, why not put Braun Stowman's recent demolition of Roman Reigns in the new game and let players assume the role of either man? That's what these games should be all about.