So early thoughts from me, put a fair bit in for 2 days....
Graphics are a strong upgrade, only thing that lets them down are some of the weird facials the superstars pull. But while graphics are on point as well as some aspects of presentation the fact the removed so many wall, mini & floor trons for people that AREADY had these last year (Christian, Edge, DBryan...or just removed everything like Eddie Guerrero) take away from many of the entrances. As soon as I see the crappy Attitude minitron is just takes me right out of it.
Now the game feels much harder to me. Reversal timing is way off and all matches divulge into reversal fests as that's all the CPU does. This is on normal mind you. Also the pacing I feel is still too slow as so often you take only a small amount of damage and stay down like you have been hit by an f-5, leading to being stomped out (stomps are still as bad and miss as often as 2k15!) and taking ground grappels.
I picked the button mash submission as the other one is horrific but this is system seems to completly forbid you breaking out when orange damage or worse. Also has the pinfall mechanic been tweaked as well? I getting beaten so much earlier than in previous years as I keep missing kickouts. This hurts the matches as everything is about 3 stars as you basically have to race to hit a finisher and escape with the win instead of actually enjoying having a great match.
The carry, drag & lift system seems like a cool addtion but I haven't come close to being good at it yet. Also the CPU must be the fastest button mashers of all time as the always escape my carries.
In saying before its hard to get a longer match due to hard kickouts, I do like the fact the finishers feel like finishers again. 2k17 became a chore having to hit at least 3 of them to win matches. Still I feel the same issues as 2k15 and beyond...matches all have the same pace and feel very similar. Even as smaller guys you can't build pace as you get knocked down and stay down like you have been shot after every move. I get selling (which by the way the animations are much improved this year) but they need to find a sweet spot that doesn't hinder matches.
Now nothing really in terms of glitches for me except Roddy Strong can't hit his sick kick and framerate issues when walking around in MyPlayer (which is pretty basic but like the variety compared to wrestle the same guys forever in MyCareer).
Now this is more general impression so more than gameplay but I was wondering if this is just me or is everyone else dealing with bascially no atmosphere in this game. Just DEAD crowds all the time, every year 2k get sound horrifically wrong outside of random chants. Crowd is dead 95% of the time but then I might get a "Daniel Bryan" chant briefly. Seems the most over guy was Tye Dillinger as the crowd was all about chanting 10 10 10. But the rest, just blah and really hurts the feel of the game.
Hope we get an early patch to tweak some gameplay and what really should be included are new music/trons for plenty of the roster.