Producer: 2K Games
Year: October 2016
Another year means another new entry in 2K Games’ annual WWE series and this year 2K has attempted to raise the bar of quality once again through WWE 2K17. For those who are counting, WWE 2K17 is the fourth game in the series and the third game to take advantage of current-gen hardware. While it has its share of detractors, WWE 2K17 succeeds in presenting an authentic digital (and interactive) rendition of the WWE experience, though only die-hard fans of the series will likely be able to appreciate just how many strides this newest entry had made.
WWE 2K17 has so much to offer that it’s actually a little intimidating at first. You can set up your own matches using a staggering number of different setups and scenarios (one on one, ladder matches, cage matches, four-way battles, hell in a cell matches, Pay Per View events, backstage brawls, and more) or you can see how well you do in the newly revamped WWE Universe mode, MyCareer mode, or in online competitive matches.
The staggering amount of options also applies to the game’s superstar creation/customization suite which you can use to both customize existing superstars (of which there are over 100 in WWE 2K17’s roster) or craft your own original creations, customizing everything about them from their appearance, to their moveset, to their ring entrance, and more. As someone who enjoys getting to create his own characters in games, I found it incredibly easy to just get sucked into WWE 2K17’s character creation tool and spend upwards of an hour or more fine-tuning my created superstar until they were just right. I didn’t fiddle around too much with the option to customize existing superstars but it’s nice that it’s there.
Small tweaks like the return of the reversal system, a rebalancing of the series’ stamina system, and easy-to-perform grapples and strikes make WWE 2K17 somewhat accessible at first, but here the dynamic amount of options available to you can actually cause as many headaches as they do cheers. I would often opt to simply wear down my opponent (or opponents) with strikes and throws before going for the pin, simple but (usually) effective. However, this strategy meant that I would often be blindsided when my opponent pulled a sudden reversal and then slapped a submission on me or took out a weapon like a folding chair and messed my day up, robbing me of victory and giving me little to no opportunity to make a comeback. I’m sure more experienced WWE 2K players would have been able to recover from such scenarios, but for a relative novice like myself, they just wound up being more frustrating than exciting.
There were other minor quirks which bothered me as well such as the low-quality audio of in-match commentary and the somewhat long load times in modes like MyCareer (I’d sometimes have to wait close to a minute for a MyCareer match to load)
If there’s one feature I think 2K Games should either devote more time to or just scrap entirely however, it’s the character dialogue promo engine. What is likely meant to come off as an RPG-esque branching dialogue experience which helps you more clearly define your superstar’s persona (Face (good guy) or Heel (bad guy) instead comes off as a really weird and wonky silent movie experience since your superstar doesn’t actually speak their lines out loud, you just read them via text while your superstar makes silent gestures and gesticulations.
If you enjoyed past WWE 2K games, I’m fairly certain that you’ll enjoy WWE 2K17. However, if you’re planning to use WWE 2K17 as your entry point into the world of professional wresting video games, you should prepare for a rough initiation. There’s definitely a lot of content crammed into the game (with more on the way courtesy of post-launch DLC), but that can be just as much of a hindrance for newer players as it is a selling point for more experienced wrestling fans. Still, what WWE 2K17 sets out to do, i.e. provide an in-depth and deeply customizable wresting experience, it does very well.
One more feature 2K really need to work on is facial expressions and looks. In a day and age when we have 4k graphics and photo real scenery and photo imaging software why cant 2k produce a rendered face. especially woman.
The game unfortunately has some rather terrible glitches that ruin the gameplay experience. Such as zooming from the stage to the ring in mid air or hitting an opponent that isn't actually touching the hit.
My final word on this game.
The career mode progressing from NXT can be almost impossible. Some please report that they have got off NXT by with a few matches and others have managed to get stuck at NXT and not progress its ranks. This annoyed the life out of me and this game went Goodbye to trade in.