It has been a long time coming, well maybe just a year, but The Beast Incarnate, The Conqueror, the 1-in-22-and-1 has graced the cover of the newly released WWE 2K17 and his arrival marks one of the better entries in this franchise. Come inside to check out our full review!
WWE has had a long history of video games. Very few have failed to make the grade. When thinking of poorly made WWE games, only games like Acclaim’s Warzone, come to mind. The point is, the list of incredible games drastically outweighs the list of horrible ones. Games like Wrestlemania 2000, No Mercy, Raw 2, Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain, Smackdown Vs Raw, and so on have laid the groundwork for the future of WWE Games. Which leads us to this year’s edition, WWE 2K17.
One of the biggest difference in 2K17 is that it loses a few of the modes from last year’s WWE 2K16. One of the missing game modes is the 2K Showcase. In 2K Showcase, we were given stories from the Attitude era to follow along with and play out. Unfortunately for us, this year, we no longer have that due to rights issues. However, to make up for the loss of a 2K Showcase they have put extra care into the My Career and WWE Universe mode.
In the My Career mode you create your own wrestler, like before, and start out at the WWE Training Center before making your way to NXT, WWE’s proving ground. Here you learn the mechanics of the game, as well as bringing in a new aspect, promos. You have a certain time to make a coherent promo that woos the crowd, and out-does your opponents. From there you move into NXT and that is where the free for all takes place. The new dynamic to my career is your decisions, matches, and promos determine your path. You can become a heel (bad guy), be the face (good guy), you decide. It also makes for a game you can replay, differently, over and over.
The Universe mode has some new mechanics, as well. Now when planning out a show, you can not only plan what matches take place, but add in promos in between. You decide how the show goes. Before matches you can jump opponents. After matches, when you win, or lose, didn’t like the finish? That’s ok; attack your opponent again to put an exclamation point on it! Congratulations, you got through your match, and no one interfered, but don’t speak so soon. Your rival might come out at the end of the match and take you out! It makes for a much more realistic WWE live event style.
The Create a Wrestler has had an overhaul as well. Not one that I am particularly happy with. While a lot has been added, a lot has been taken out. You can no longer customize the sizes of ever body part. Now there are preset looks you choose from that you can mix and match. As someone who spent hours, days, months, customizing nearly a hundred wrestlers on the game, this bothers me. I don’t like how generic the body sizes are. They have instead focused on the photo capture aspect for the CAWs. Unfortunately you can only upload photos online, and only 10 a day. Unless you are a Photoshop expert, it is pretty hard to get them properly.
There are an abundance of naming options added, helping to make the CAWs more realistic. Especially, when it comes to entrances and play by play. Speaking of the entrances, they haven’t changed too much. There are still a good amount of customizable options to mix and match. However, the problems that have lingered with the entrances, since their conception, remain. Pyro doesn’t transfer between scenes, champions only get their solid single entrances, and we still don’t have customizable soundtracks.
The gameplay is pretty sweet. It is very smooth and I have yet to find any real issues. There are a few animations where your character is tired, and then suddenly becomes energetic, making it completely unrealistic. But we’re talking about professional wrestling so that is expected. The new table finishers, and ladder finishers are very exciting. No longer do you have to awkwardly set up a table to hopefully fall properly into it. Now you can set up a specific finish for many different table set ups. The gameplay seems flawless. As I have spent most time thus far creating wrestlers, the gameplay I have focused in is a lot of fun.
My only issue for in ring matches is Submissions. I have not liked them since the new submission system was implemented on WWE 2K16. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t figure the damn thing out. It is a pain, no matter what I do. I could be going through a match, destroying my opponent, 3 or 4 finishers, and inevitably it’ll happen. The computer will lock in an arm bar and I tap out immediately because the system is flawed. Perhaps that’s just my own personal problem. Maybe I just miss button mashing.
This years Soundtrack is really awesome too. Put together by none other then WWE special guest alum, Sean "Diddy" Combs. While you can not use any of the songs for custom entrances, they do make for good background music. The soundtrack is comprised of some of todays top musical artist including Diddy, as well as Travis Barker, Yelawolf, Twenty One Pilots, French Montana, Black Sabbath, and many more.
All in all WWE 2K17 is a fun installment to the WWE Game franchise. It has the same lingering problems, but a few fun new aspects. The roster is one of the best I have ever seen, and the My Career mode has some cool new upgrades. It has great replay ability seeing as how the My Career mode and Universe Mode adapt to how you play. It is pretty cool, and though it has issues that all the games have had, they are not big enough problems to make you not have fun with this game.