For many years and years to come WWE has claimed dominance in sports entertainment. You can describe the athleticism shown from each superstar in three words: blood, sweat and tears. From Cena, AJ Styles, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and “The Man” Seth Rollins, everY competitor gives their all for you, for us, the WWE Universe.
WWE 2K17 is finally here so don’t you dare be sour! I grinned as hard as the kid that fell in love with WWE at an early age as the WWE intro appeared before the 2K home screen. My only thought was the greatest show taking place in WWE history was about to happen in my living room. Regardless if you’re playing as “The Beast” (Brock Lesnar) or “The Boss” (Sasha Banks), it’s time to bank on taking a trip to Suplex City is undeniably inevitable.
The menu hub is completely redesigned placing everything in front of you all at once. We’ll touch on MyCAREER later in this review as the first match we played a few times is what everyone looked forward to, Falls Count Everywhere.
Before each match start Michael Cole, Jerry and Bradshaw briefly discuss your match during the loading screen. I personally like this as it relates to the authenticity we’ve grown to expect when watching WWE on the WWE Network or USA, respectively.
The new lighting engine is amazing and truly enhances the visuals for each wrestler, which also made sense for the loading menu transitioning to character models rather than real photos this year. Personally, I wonder how much farther Yuke’s and Visual Concepts can push the boundaries next year with the release of the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro. Looking at Roman Reigns, Lesnar or Ambrose each player looks incredibly close to the real superstar.
Reversals are back to its similarity of 2k15 rather than the short delay we’ve seen in 2k16. For newcomers this may be beneficial as it’s more simplistic to gain the advantage. However, I also noticed a big issue with managing to get back up at times. I found it to be an unfair advantage that I had more health and stamina than my opponent but took forever to get back up while the A.I. could rise up much quicker than I. Now while this also a feature utilized in certain taunts it felt more of a cheap move for the A.I. to gain the advantage more than often.
There are so many new camera angles in WWE 2K17, including the split screen as you stray away from your opponent. The ringside corner camera view stuck out most as on WWE Live events you see these cameramen everywhere, but lack in the game. Not this year, 2K17 keeps a close look into the action regardless of where you are.
Though one of the best additions in WWE 2K17, fighting outside the ring needs quite a bit of fine tuning to repair its broken system. The biggest setback is the ring barrier that stops superstars from fighting. If one player is tossed over then stands faces to face with you on the other side there is no contact allowed. What destroys this physic even worse is after the barrier OMG is performed wrestlers are still unable to fight, instead taunting each other.
WWE Universe is back and better than ever, truthfully. As aforementioned this is the year 2K has taking experience to new heights. Show intros are back for each show, including pyro and new to Universe Mode, promos. Not just backstage clips from Renee but opportunities to either win the crowd or lose them.
This year includes a promo time meter that determines and supports your position as a face or heel, unlike last year when one wrong decision made it hard to step back out of heel status. There are four types of crowds family-friendly, hardcore, respectful and disrespectful. The trick is to either love them or hate them and stick to it to have a successful promo.
I wish there was some way integrate actual voice overs during promo, but it be too much to implement in one year and could become repetitive based on who would enter the ring.
Your career starts as a fan in the crowd working your way to the WWE as you see one of the greats become champion. I can only imagine your created wrestler can only hope to be there one day. But that very next day is your first day of training, sparring against another hopeful named Jayden Jet, with an additional match to follow against NXT superstar Samoa Joe.
Your next training process will be winning the crowd by running promos. Believe it or not the end game will be different for everyone. As I played with two separate wrestlers, one made it to the main roster as a solo competitor; the other had a weaker promo and was pushed to the main roster as a tag team partner for Jayden.
But as you transition to the main roster, like 2K16, you can aim for the title of your choice, break up with your partner or perform a face or heel turn in a promo. Prior to each match, like 2K16, The Authority will have task for you. Heyman will have a few as well, but you’ll need a title to even earn his attention.
Another new feature is merchandising. In order to have a wealthy and successful athlete you need to be a well-rounded wrestler in the ring and with a microphone.
Creativity is beautiful this year from multiple aspects as players are able to create titles, moves and more. This year also adds the ability to customize your victory poses and entrance videos with the use of highlight reels, career clips and various promos. I personally had a blast being able to finally build my own entrance, another feature gamers could only imagine.