- 2k games communicating with community
- User Interface is heaven
- Controls smooth.
- Fine tunes in old features.
- Creation suite makes things easier for E-Fed and booking.
- Music is questionable.
- Some Superstars don't fit the look.
- Crowd still looks generic.
This game is WWE 2k17 and it is a certified game and a bonafide plus, AND YOU CAN’T TEACH THAT! Since WWE games starting using the 2k in its title the game has had a roller coaster of success. From taking out fun and key features in some of its games but adding some features that turned out to be awesome. The game has never had a streak where it was doing things positive, 2k 15 really lacked in the customization department and focused more on their 2k story showcases. Not saying the showcases were bad but when your community is majority about creating E-Feds(Electronic a.k.a Online Federations). There should be a balance of story telling and customization, also the game was not good to look at. WWE 2k 16 was a step in the right direction but again the customization was lacking but still trying to put attention on the showcasing. This year 2k was transparent with their community to find out what would be the good balance with their game so they can please everyone. But will WWE 2k 17 be the game that is well balanced and should you buy this game?
Jey Uso looking into the crowd.
Presentation of the game has been very shaky through out the years. You would have games that would be good graphics but in return would have bad controls. Other games you would have Great sound but also have a bad user interface. You catch my drift, the game has never had a perfect record of hitting off on the presentation of the game. Does games have to be perfect No , but they should strive to be perfect. And that is what I think with WWE 2k17 they focused on having the perfect presentation worthy game. Lets start off with the barely negative of the graphics , yes you heard that right barely negative. Each year the crowd keeps on getting better but you can still tell the crowd is cloned and does not feel kosher when they cheer or boo. It is like they are robots and follow a pattern so it never looks organic. The crowd they put some detail in the fans on the face and what they wear and the signs they hold. Crowd still following that pattern of cheering it still distracts me but it won’t kill me. The arena details is what makes it feel like you are wrestling in a real WWE ring. From the titan tron, ramp , ring and the venue it insanely looks like the real thing. Now the superstars they put tons of details but there is some superstars you look at the face and just scratch your head. Even on the body of the wrestler where the face would be dead on right but the body is way off. Maybe they couldn’t get the superstar to come in to get it right or the computer scanned them totally wrong. Again the graphics came out really good in this game just with a slight negative nothing that would hurt the eye candy of the game.
The next thing on presentation is the controls of the game, with the track record of never getting it right. This game has a positive side on the controls, but I wouldn’t say it hit the controls perfect. The controls feel very smooth and capture the simulation of what a real wrestling match would be in the WWE. Right off the bat , the number one control I like is the targeting system. Where you can hit your right thumb stick and you get to choose who you are attacking. By hitting the stick, above your wrestlers head the name of the wrestler is the target. Another thing I like is the meter on Tables in the game, where in order to have “New” table grapples you have to fill that meter. It gives the players to work towards something to have that big pay off when you put your opponent through a table. Another control I like in stipulation match is the Ladder matches. While climbing the ladder and trying to get the title or briefcase you have to do a mini game in order to successfully grab the prize. It makes things interesting in a money in the bank match where it actually feels rewarding taking the briefcase after you beat all your opponents and win with the mini game. Reversals will always be difficult for me because timing has to be perfect, but they put some new reversals where you have to hit the button twice mid finisher move. The one thing I had a problem with the controls is getting items under the ring and getting on the apron in a tag match. Other than that if you played the 2k games the past years you will have no problem picking up the controls. It will also feel refreshing when you see the tweaks they did with the controls.
The mini game you do when grabbing the briefcase in a ladder match.
Now when you have the graphics that make a good atmosphere for the game, it goes hand and hand that the sound helps out too. From the crowds, to the wrestlers , and the commentating it really makes the atmosphere come to life. Crowds who during matches who will chant “THIS IS AWESOME!” or when doing a promo they start chanting “WE’RE NOT WORTHY!” it brings the crowd to life. Now when key instances when Triple H is talking to you its actually refreshing the superstars that have lines in the game. Now wrestlers that don’t have voice overs we get subtitles, which is a bummer but again the wrestlers have a busy schedule so I totally understand. The commentating in the match has gotten a lot better because I feel this year we got more lines from Michael Cole , JBL, and The King. So it never feels like it is repetitive, and we get lines where JBL screams out of your TV “THAT WAS A CLOTHESLINE MAGGLE!”. I don’t know what is up with sports games (yes I consider this a sports game) but the music lately has been getting more hip hop and rap. Not saying it is bad but it feels so out of place with a wrestling game, guess times are changing.
New user interface for WWE 2k17
Last thing I want to touch up on in Presentation is the user interface of the game. Finally THE ROC…. no finally the user interface is really really good. With the image above, the user menu selection is a blessing and also not confusing to navigate through. Past games I would waste time trying to find where I can customize my character or change the title situations on the superstars. This year I turn on the game I am graced with this heavenly menu system and golden arrows were pointing me in the right direction. I was totally exaggerating about arrows but you get my point it was easy to find stuff. Another thing about the user interface is how quick it is to go in and out of menus without losing years of life from you. The greatest thing about creating stuff is lets say you are checking your work. And your wrestler’s entrance is not right you click a button and go edit it. Whatever they did to change the user interface keep it like this forever DON’T CHANGE IT you finally got it right.
Paul Heyman giving advice in My career mode.
Now features have always been a big deal with the community. They are usually make or a break for a WWE game because if they don’t interest the fans and have amazing game play the game would not do well. If you played last years game there is a familiar look with the features but they did some fine tuning with popular modes. So with “My Career Mode” you can create your superstar and make him climb the ranks in the WWE. You start in NXT and try to make it to the main roster and win championships to eventually make it to the grand stage of Wrestlemania. New comers they give you a short tutorial on how to play in this mode so you don’t get lost. The tutorial gives a lesson in actual wrestling and also how to shoot a promo. The fine tuning they do in this mode is the user interface of getting through your next matches or what your ranking is in the title picture. The new shooting promos they do is awesome to self promote or call out your rival.Did you always want to be a Paul Heyman guy well you can ask advice from him, or get warnings from him when you cross paths with his client BROCCCCKKK LESSSSSNAR. Like I said with this mode it is very similar to last year just with small changes.
WWE Universe mode is another mode that is familiar but got a new makeover to make us marks happy to book matches. You ever want to book wrestling matches in the WWE, well 2k17 makes your dreams come true in Universe Mode. Again user interface making a big attraction to make things easier to navigate and not feel like chore when trying to book matches. Did you ever just want to make a new school universe and an old school universe. Well this year you can have up to 3 save slots so you can enjoy how you like it instead of just sticking with one universe. You can book matches from the venues to the stipulations of the matches that lead up to the pay per views. With the new promo engine in the game you can add that in the card of the show so if Roman Reigns wants to call out Rusev to a fight you can. The promo engine is how the interviews worked in 2k16 it is text based so for example if you say “Call this town a sewer” the engine would generate a couple of sentences on why this town is a sewer. And if you are successful on calling out your opponent you compete each other in promos by seeing who the crowd liked better with a meter showing on the screen. If you don’t feel like booking matches, this mode will book on its own based on what the rivals and teams you have. But whats great is they don’t do a thousand Orton vs Cena matches just because they are rivals. They mix it up a bit but keep it interesting with your rivals running in on you to keep that feud alive. To keep things hardcore you can have superstars fight after interviews backstage and you can fight in the crowd. Universe mode even though you seen this in past games they added tons of flavors to make the game mode feel refreshing new.
Booking matches in Universe Mode with the new Promo Engine.
To end things on WWE 2k17 is the creation suite of the game. You have Superstar creation where you can make a male or female superstar. Move-set creation where you can create a certain type of set of moves of your liking from the style to what finisher you want. Entrance creation where you can edit a entrance on a superstar or your custom superstar from pyros or rolling down the ramp with a motorcycle. Championship creation, you ever wanted the “YES! title” well you can customize that the belt from strap to the gold. Show creation, you can create shows like smackdown with your own intro and set locations. What is great with adding shows to what ever mode you are playing, and creates that feeling of the intro like WWE programming with Michael Cole welcoming you and talking about the cards. You have Arena creation where you can customize your venue of place, they added tons of new fixtures to make your venue look crazy cool like Wrestlemania 32 with it being outside in a stadium. Video creation, so you can make a video for your titan tron for your entrance or if you are creative you can make custom promo videos for your E-Fed. And last on the list is the Victory creation so you can customize your victory pose after a match so it can fit to your liking and not have a generic celebration. Community creations has an upgrade where it is easy to search for custom superstars so if you wanted to find a “Harambe superstar” it is easy to search for. Now if you are big into creating your own shows using the WWE platform WWE 2k17 does make it easy for you to make your dream alive. So keep an eye out for my series “Book it” where I book my own matches and create unique feuds, sorry had to do Sheamus less plus (OH THE PUNS).
Triple H(Left) and Randy Orton(Right) staring down each other in the new backstage roam.
To close out this review I want to quickly touch up on two things the online portion of the game you can team up or face people in the squared circle. The big update they did online is you have Entrances back so you can show off your custom superstars entrance. This game is also going to have the largest roster in a wrestling game with the total about 150 superstars that is including DLC. So in review on this game did have tons of positives when usually this franchise is a hit or miss. Graphics had some misses with the character designs of the superstars but had improvements on the crowd. User interface being easy to navigate through each menu screen to get to your destination and getting there quick too with less load times. Controls running smoother but with some misses that don’t drastically make things not playable. Features have a familiar look but with tons of fine tuning to make the game experience good. The creation suite getting better each year this game comes out catering to us E-Fed groupies. I think the one thing that 2k games did great this year is listen to their community instead of playing Russian roulette with features and game play. Like for example nobody cared for 2k showcase and this year they take it out. Bravo 2k games you made an excellent wrestling game almost had the feeling of a No Mercy game but you can work on that next year.