I got an invite to a 2K Games event (Thanks e-xpress/GTS!) where I’d get to play the next biggest game of the famous wrestling franchise, WWE 2K17. I rarely say no to covering events and this one was no different, but I hadn’t played a single 2K WWE game before. (PS2 Era WWE FTW) So I played WWE 2K16 to at least understand the controls. And I realized 2 things. One, these are not the most beginner friendly controls, and Two, I’m gonna suck at this… big time.
With that already to the side, you should realize that this article isn’t gonna tell you the big new features of WWE 2K17, plenty of articles talking about that, I’m gonna explain WWE 2K17 to the people who want to try this game out but haven’t got a chance to play the older ones.
The game is really fun. ONCE you learn to play it, which seems like a great mountain of a task in itself, it’s not as accessible as other sports games. The best example comes n the form of dodge/block/reversal where you need to press R2/RT at the right timing. Not fast, not slow, but at the right split second timing. And in a WWE game where every move is spectacular, missing that time-frame will leave you helplessly watching a magnificent move that will crush your soul. Speaking of souls, Dark Souls is much easier on parry and roll techniques to a beginner than this.
2K says this is to make the game realistic, as they call their game a simulation, and I find truth in that. But I’d prefer a easier, fun game over a simulation since WWE is as unrealistic and fun as it gets. I really wish 2K can make a more arcadish version someday, just like what Codemasters did to the racing genre.
The graphics are really good and some of the major wrestlers look exactly like their real life counterparts. Though I think the hair is the only graphical aspect needs to improve. Animations are really good and the atmosphere set by 2K is very believable. The crowd, the ring, the sweat and the backstage all look good enough to think maybe you are watching the show and not playing a game. Sound wise, 2K Games has just nailed it with the commentary being as real as it can get and being able to clearly hear every bone crunching slam, punch, and block very clearly.
But with good comes bad, I wish that the gameplay could be a bit more fluid like Batman or Shadow of Mordor, or at least the transitioning between animations must improve, and I believe the physics need to be updated, a lot. It breaks the illusion of being IN the match, plus for a game that allows you to smash a TV into someone’s face, you should also be able to show a dent or a crack on said TV. I feel that as a major oversight by the devs. It’s 2016, and I could dynamically destroy entire houses 10 years back. Other items like garbage cans do show dents, but can’t be used more than once, so I’m guessing it’s not a ‘dynamic’ deformation.
I did get to play the “BACKSTAGE BRAWL” mode, which is more of the same but with a lot more items around you to pick up and beat the hell out of, something that fans will obviously like. Needless to say I lost all matches miserably. The guys at the event did show their displeasure at the absence of the “SHOWCASE MODE” which baffles me, why would you take away a mode that everyone likes, 2K?
In conclusion, 2K has a really fun game hidden for those who can toil enough to understand the mechanics at play, and if you a WWE fan, there’s a good chance you may. Whether they’ve worked enough this year to give you a much better game than the last one? Since WWE 2K16 and 2K17 are so alike, I’d say it’s like 2K Games feels they’ve perfected the genre, when there’s a lot more to do.
Developed collaboratively by Yuke’s and Visual Concepts, a 2K studio, WWE 2K17 is currently scheduled for worldwide release on October 11, 2016 for the PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.