Steve Kyriacou reviews WWE 2K17…
I remember a rainy morning in December of 1991. I was 11 years old and one of my friends at school was showing us a new sticker album he had. It was a strange collection filled with oversized men in colourful, flamboyant and wacky costumes. Some were racially stereotypical. Some looked absolutely terrifying. But that was my introduction into the world of professional wrestling.
Almost exactly 25 years later and the industry has taken over the world! World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has its fingers in many pies such as toys, clothing and movies and of course video games which leads me to this… WWE 2K17.
This year’s wrestling extravaganza is not much different from WWE 2K16. The controls are almost identical but there are some minor tweaks which have been added to the gameplay such as a new “roll out” system which is designed to make multi person matches feel more realistic (and it really does) by allowing one opponent to roll out of the ring for a rest while the others continue the match. Also new this year are Backstage Brawls which allow you to take the fight through the crowd and battle behind the scenes. Whilst this feature has been in wrestling games before, 2K have made it a lot smoother with a much more realistic feel to it.
WWE 2K17 features a new MyCareer mode which replaces the popular 2K Showcase mode from previous years. Instead of reliving big career moments of legendary Superstars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mick Foley/Cactus Jack/Mankind/Dude Love and The Rock, players can now take a created wrestler from an NXT trainee to WWE World Champion (or Women’s Champion) in what is easily one of the most in-depth career modes I have ever seen. Your career path is completely up to you. Do you want to be the new John Cena or Hulk Hogan? Or will you take the path of the “dirtiest player in the game” Ric Flair or the “King of Kings” Triple H? Every choice you make helps to carve out your path. Will you join the Authority or go against the grain? Will you be a Paul Heyman guy or face his beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar?
This mode also introduces the new Promo System which allows you to take control of how your character interacts with the crowd and other WWE Superstars. It’s quite a simple idea, your character is given a few options to choose from and those choices decide if you become a fan favourite (Face) or a bad guy (Heel). They also influence relationships between other WWE Superstars allowing you to gain Tag Team partners and eventually join stables. The one downside to the Promo System is that while the options are good, there are no vocals to the responses. 2K sports has a similar system in their NBA series which has a generic voice for your created player when giving interviews of talking to teammates however this is lacking in WWE 2K17. Also missing are vocals for the actual WWE Superstars in this system. In one way you can understand why as this is the first time this system has been used however, it leaves the characters doing what looks like a terrible mime act while pasting the script over almost half of the screen.
WWE 2K17 brings back the WWE Universe mode and it has been seriously ramped it up. You now have full control over the WWE Universe productions allowing you to create new shows from scratch, cancel current shows or move them in the TV schedule to improve the ratings. Everything from the matches and rosters to the show intros and title videos are fully customisable. You now have the power to be the new Vince McMahon. The only downside to this is that a few months ago WWE had a Brand Split which separated the rosters for Raw and the new Smackdown Live. This has not been added to WWE 2K17 which I find to be a little sloppy as WWE tend to plan out their year from the day after Wrestlemania, plenty of time for 2K to incorporate this into the game. The customisable options allow you to include the changes but it just doesn’t feel right and takes quite a bit of time and effort.
Speaking of the customisations, the WWE 2K17 Creation Suit is ridiculously huge! EVERYTHING is customisable. You want a wrestler with three teeth and arms the size of Godzilla? Go for it. You can even upload photos and logos to use with your creations to make them truly unique. You can literally create anything or anyone if you invest a little time and patience. You can also create entrance videos with so many options you almost feel as though you are a Hollywood producer. Create-A-Title lets you customise a WWE belt or make one yourself which is handy since 4 new titles are not in the game. With all of the options available you almost forget that there is no Create-A-Finisher option which would have been a nice touch but that’s just me being picky.
WWE 2K17’s Community is another great mode allowing you to share your creations with the world along with downloading other players’ creations. This option shows you just how good the Creation Suite actually as you scroll through the creations and just drool at all of the wrestlers (and other creations) available. The online gameplay is also really good with quite a few options to keep you coming back.
Overall WWE 2K17 is awesome. The gameplay is slick and immersive. The customisations are amazingly detailed and almost endless. The match options are varied and enjoyable. The roster of wrestlers is also huge and the inclusion of unlockable Superstars from the past (Mr. Perfect and Big Boss Man amongst others) is a great touch for us older fans. The graphics are gorgeous, as expected from 2K Sports, even though some of the female superstars look a little strange (Dana Brooke in particular). The only bad point is the “miming” in the new Promo System which will more than likely be improved upon for future WWE 2K games.
WWE 2K17 was reviewed on Playstation 4.
+ Stunning visuals
+ Epic Customisations
+ New Promo System
+ Massive Career Mode
+ Great choice of Match Types
– Not much difference in play from previous game
– Awkward miming in Promo System
– Lack of Create-A-Finisher mode