WWE 2K17 Review: How good is the trip to Suplex City?
Well, it's definitely good, but it could've been great.
Ever since 2K took over publishing rights to WWE video games, things have been on a steady upward curve. Starting back in 2013, the publishers have been willing to take a gamble and more often than not, it has paid off. Unfortunately, WWE 2K17 isn’t able to continue that trend as one of its biggest gambles falls flat.
Showcase Mode is gone and there just isn’t enough content to make up for that loss. Showcase Mode was without a doubt the cornerstone to WWE’s 2K series and while they seem to be trying to shift the single player focus onto MyCareer, it doesn’t live up to expectations. We’ll get into this later, though.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as there have been a number of improvements which make this the best playing wrestling game in the world, without a shadow of a doubt. Gameplay and graphics have received small bug significant tweaks, while the addition of more match types as well as a mammoth roster only add to the fun.
We’ll get into all these aspects below, so without further ado, let’s get an in-depth look at the game.
Easily WWE 2K17’s biggest strength, gameplay this time around is absolutely magnificent. While WWE 2K16’s gameplay was great, 2K have taken it to another level this time around with some small but highly significant tweaks.
Counters now feel more natural as you are given a slightly bigger timing window in order to regain the advantage. With the introduction of “major counters,” you can now use two counter bars to perform a devastating counter which will damage your opponent.
In addition to this, multi-man matches now feel more realistic thanks to the new “rollout” feature where superstars roll out of the ring and spend time recuperating on the sidelines when hit with a high-impact move.
This makes these matches way more exciting and in addition to the revamped targeting system (where you can cycle through different targets by pressing R3) you can finally play these matches out to satisfaction.
Another important addition is the backstage brawls and the option to fight in the crowd – something fans have been crying out for these past few years.
It’s not all good, though, as there are still numerous gameplay glitches that really break the immersion as well as the ridiculously bad tag-team action when you’re controlling only one wrestler in your team. These issues are minor compared to how good the gameplay is otherwise.
Overall, the good outweighs the bad.
The graphics this time around are a significant step up from last season’s offering, as the wrestlers look more life-like than ever. Most of the wrestlers are true to life and recreated to within an inch of perfection, although, there are a few missteps here and there with wrestlers looking a bit...off.
The major problem with the graphics is how wooden the crowd feels – something completely at odds with the audio aspect – as well as weird interactions between attire and hair where you’ll see long hair randomly sticking out of a piece of cloth.
But, with smooth animations, as well as detailed ring entrances, victory sequences, and everything in between, this is the best looking wrestling game out there today. It could’ve just looked a helluva lot better with some polishing.
This is where WWE2K17 really falls off, as the lack of the signature Showcase mode exposes the weakness of the other modes.
Showcase mode created the most famous moments from WWE history and packaged into one big nostalgia trip, and unless MyCareer was exceptional this time around, there was no way it would be able to ably replace the fan-favourite mode.
Quite expectedly, the gamble of not including Showcase mode didn’t pay off as MyCareer is a mode that lacks a soul.
It tries to make things better with the inclusion of a new promo engine, but this is more or less a random mini-game at this point as there is no voice acting for the promos, and they just feel like random lines being sewn together. The rest of MyCareer is still a grind, as you fight your way through a bunch of meaningless matches until you get a title shot and then rinse and repeat.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of enjoyment to be had by creating a wrestler and taking him through the entire wrestling journey, but considering what an amazing job 2K have done with the NBA version of MyCareer, you have to wonder what went wrong here.
Universe mode is just Universe mode all over again. Nothing new, although, it is still quite enjoyable from time to time.
Roster and Online
The roster is one WWE 2K17’s biggest strengths as they have gone all out, including almost all the current wrestlers as well as some legends of the sports-entertainment industry – as well as different variations of some of these legends.
The incredibly useful Community Creations also allows you to download whatever is missing from this year’s edition, allowing you to complete stack up and get the whole experience.
Online, on the other hand, isn’t that great. Due to latency issues and lag, it pretty much becomes impossible to kick out of a pin attempt or time submissions. Unless there is a major change in this area soon, this will continue to be a major problem for the game
I feel like I’ve ripped on this game more than I meant to. The fact of the matter is, WWE 2K17 is a very good wrestling game which had the potential to be an incredible wrestling game.
Everything feels like with just a little bit of work and attention to detail the game could have been elevated to a bonafide main eventer instead of a very good upper-mid carder.
Rating – 7.5/10
You can buy the game here.