Why WWE 2K18 Might be the Worst Game on the Switch

Why WWE 2K18 Might be the Worst Game on the Switch

"Bah gawd! What happened to everyone's skin, King?"

The Nintendo Switch is a red-hot ticket, and developers understandably want a piece of that portable pie. Confidence in the Switch was initially low because of the Wii U's poor performance, so third party developers are rushing to cash in. And nothing says "rushed cash-in" like the Switch port of WWE 2K18.

The frame rate scientists at Digital Foundry finally caved after receiving tons of requests to dissect what's become 2K's most infamous title. Sure enough, it's a gongshow. The sheer badness of WWE 2K18 for the Switch is borderline unbelievable. Frame rates rarely rise above 20 FPS, and frequently dip to 15 FPS or lower. Wrestlers' cinematic entrances roll by at an agonizing crawl, and the audio for their promos frequently slips out of sync with their actions. Some wresters straight-up lack high-res textures or lighting. At one point during the video, Dean Ambrose struts down the ramp wearing a belt for Absolutely Nothing. At least, I assume that's what his title is: Going by this video, the nearly-blank metal plate doesn't bear a notable engraving.

As Digital Foundry's Thomas Morgan points out on Eurogamer, it's possible to make competent ports of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games onto the Nintendo Switch, but it must be done carefully. "Current-gen ports aren't easy and need a certain degree of care and attention—an approach we've seen pay off tremendously on a range of excellent ports from Yooka-Laylee to DOOM 2016 to Snake Pass to Lego City Undercover (and many others). For all its cutbacks, WWE 2K18 on Switch fundamentally fails because despite its patches, the performance simply isn't there—with disastrous impact on gameplay."

It's not as if the Switch port of WWE 2K18 is based on a solid foundation, either. The PlayStation 4 version of the game is sitting at a mediocre score of 66 on Metacritic, with reviews from outlets and users alike complaining about bugs and glitches. The Metacritc page for the Switch version of the game is a veritable sea of anger and blood, however, where the game's aggregated score is 35 with nary a positive comment to be found.

Is the Nintendo Switch port of WWE 2K18 the worst Switch port ever? Digital Foundry admits it hasn't played every Switch port, so a "yes" or "no" answer isn't possible—but "based on the range of titles we've played it's quantifiably terrible, and certainly out of the many cross-platform ports we've played, this is easily the least impressive."

WWE CEO Vince McMahon hasn't commented on the poor quality of WWE 2K18 for the Nintendo Switch, but if he does, it'll probably be like this.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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