First look at WWE 2K18's new engine

2K Sports have been releasing teaser images of a new look for the WWE 2K franchise, boasting an all-new graphics engine and impressive lighting. Until now, we've only been treated to a still image of Seth Rollins. This week's WWE2kDev Spotlight Series video, released on the WWE2KDev YouTube channel - shows us quite a bit more.

The close-up shots of the arena, ring and WWE Universal title clearly show a significant boost in texture resolution. The side-by-side comparison of Randy Orton's ring walk from last year is particularly impressive, despite having the same animation as before. 

Are improved graphics enough?

It's clear that this is the focus for this year's game, with very few details revealed other than the bump in graphical fidelity. Although this is exciting to see, especially for those of us boasting 4K displays, I can't help but feel that graphics weren't necessarily the thing holding the series back. In fact, although I confess to being impressed by what is shown here, I never thought the graphics were particularly bad before.

What will be particularly telling will be how these revamped character models move in the ring. I don't think I need to remind readers what the 'Uncanny Valley' is, but photo realistic Superstars bumping off each other like soulless androids is not going to be a good look. Previous games have had very rigid, uninterruptible animations. Here's hoping we see an evolution in this area, like the game's sister series, NBA 2K.

I can't find the Switch!

We still haven't seen or heard any mention of the Switch port of the game. This is particularly troubling when the clear push for this year's game is a graphical overhaul - one that is very unlikely to appear on Nintendo's less powerful system.

It will be interesting to see if we get a unique edition of the game on the system, or if instead we get a tailored version of the Xbox 360/PS3 code. With software attach rates reportedly very high for a system flying off the shelves, 2K will not want to miss out on this opportunity. Particularly with their being a clear crossover between Nintendo and WWE fans. Let's not forget that the launch ambassador for the Nintendo Switch was none other than John Cena himself!

Stay tuned for more WWE 2K18 news, where we will continue to share our opinion on what 2K are showing and our thoughts on how we feel the game will play, as soon as we get more details.