WWE 2K17 is a wrestling game developed by both Visual Concepts and Yuke's and published by 2K Sports. The game is the latest in the WWE 2K series following WWE 2K16. It was released on October 11, 2016, in all regions for both the previous generation of consoles and new generation. This year's installment didn't disappoint. It has one of the biggest rosters ever featured for a WWE game, an immense amount of detail in not only the superstars and arenas but also the crowd. Along with all of these details, the developers even added gameplay elements that have been missing since the older Smackdown brand of WWE games.
You can pick up WWE 2K17 on the PlayStation Store for £54.99.
The gameplay of WWE 2K17 is a lot smoother and flows a lot better than recent WWE titles. This is because they have focused on smaller features that all add up to make big changes. Some of the additions they have added are only in specific match types, whereas they have also added features that carry across to all game modes. One of the most noticeable is the new system for winning ladder matches; before it was a simple prompt that told you when to pull the item off the top of the ladder, now it's a mini-game where you have to maneuver a small dot into a circle, and there is a certain amount you have to do before you can pull the title down. Due to the complex nature of this mini-game, you have to be certain you have enough time to get through parts of this game before someone interrupts you, otherwise, they will be able to inflict a large amount of damage on you which will, in turn, give them time to win the match.
Along with these new additions they have also improved upon existing game modes. The Career mode in this game has had the biggest overhaul. With the addition to the new promo system they have made rivalry's feel more unique with more opportunity's to ignite a new explosive rivalry and to also advance a rivalry that has been growing as the weeks go by. This is again been improved with the ability to brawl backstage and to even ambush your rival as they are having a backstage interview. On the main menu for Career mode you now have the option to complete challenges that help you become a 'Paul Heyman guy'. This allows you to unlock Paul Heyman as a manager, have him do promos for you and to have him accompany you to the ring.
Another game mechanic that can have big influence is the taunt system. In previous installments, taunts were used to give the player extra momentum that goes towards their finishing move, but in WWE 2K17 if you hit up on the d-pad, it brings your opponent to their feet, right on the d-pad gives the player a damage boost for a small period of time and finally left on the d-pad gives the player extra momentum for every strike attack or grapple they use for a small amount of time. This system used in the right way can not only affect the outcomes of matches but also gives each match a more unique and realistic feel as taunts have a more crucial part to play. This also adds to the immersion of each match because they are utilized as you would see on the actual TV programs. The final big addition that has been included in this year's game is the new prop system that the player can use in career mode and also universe mode. It gives the player, for the first time ever, the ability to come out to the ring to call people out, form or break up tag teams or just self-promote. You can even combine this new feature with the backstage fighting and interrupt other superstars giving an interview and begin a backstage brawl.
Along with all of these additions, there are also new mechanics that should've been in previous titles years ago adding that extra realism factor. What I mean by this is the roll out system; this mechanic basically comes into play when you are in a match that has more then one combatant in the ring at once. It allows players to try to clear a ring and get the victory. It works by having you or opponent inflicting damage on another competitor which results in them rolling our of the ring to recuperate some of their health and stamina. If a player is on the end of this new addition, it allows the player to wait patiently for their health to replenish, or they can get up early which will result in them receiving a penalty in the form of a damage reduction or momentum reduction. While getting the grips with this function, I was 50/50 on whether I liked it or not; I felt this way because you could be having a classic match and be on the receiving end of a slap and have to roll out of the ring to recuperate, which in turn could lose you the match. At times, it would outweigh the realistic factor to me. Although a great idea and sometimes pulled off great, it did have its downsides. But I give a credit to 2K for trying new and interesting ideas to enhance the gameplay for life-long fans.
WWE 2K17 has a reworked sound system that again focuses on small details adding up to make big differences. A crowd still reacts to faces and heels in their respective ways by either cheering or booing, but in this installment of the franchise the more well-known the superstar, the bigger the reaction will be, whether it be good or bad. Along with this, the developers have also incorporated the new promo system. For example, there are different types of crowds that react to different approaches a player might take to get a reaction out of them. If you are in a town that is respectful and you say disrespectful things to the crowd, area or opponent, they will react by booing. Whereas if your in an area that is known for liking a more hardcore style of wrestling and you use threats and give the crowd the promise of weapons, you will receive a big cheer from the audience.
Although WWE 2K17 has a lot of improvements and additions to the sound system, this year's franchise is still plagued by the odd commentary glitches, which include commentators interrupting each other or talking about something completely random that has nothing to do with what's going on in the ring. This has been a problem with every wrestling game over the past few years, and even though they are getting better year by year, it is still a problem. Even with this complaint, the sound system this year is impressive.
In previous installments of this franchise, 2K have improved the visuals little by little, whether its details in the crowds, the details of arenas and even the superstars themselves. With the older generation of consoles it was hard to see drastic changes, but when 2K made the jump to the new generation of consoles, it was easy to see the improvements. With WWE 2K17 being the third title brought out on the new consoles, it's getting increasingly hard for 2K to make hugely noticeable changes that casual fans of the series will see.
One of the features that have really been improved upon is the fact that you can see the toll of a long, brutal match on your character. You can see the bruising on the body if you focus on a certain place long enough, and that in itself is a feature that really adds to the immersion. Pair this with the improved animations and crowd visuals and you can see how much time and effort has gone into this new installment.
My overall EXPERIENCE
Overall I think WWE 2K17 has improved so many features and polished the gameplay to make 2K17 a well-needed success to bring the 2K series back to solid ground. Take into account the added features and a huge roster; this installment has ticked many of the boxes fans were looking for when this title got announced. WWE 2K17 has been a truly refreshing chapter in this franchise, and with a few tweaks, I think they will have a solid showing next year. I give this game an 8/10.
|+ Vastly improved career mode||– Commentary needs improvement|
|+ Addition of new mechanics||– Encountered glitches during gameplay|
|+ Good amount of customization|