|System: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3|
|System TBA: PC|
|Dev: Yuke’s, Visual Concepts|
|Pub: 2K Sports|
|Release: October 11, 2016|
|Players: 1-6 Players (1-4 local, 2-6 network)|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Violence, Language, Suggestive Themes|
WWE Universe takes a step forward, fortunately, in spite of the promo system. We have three save slots for our own “worlds” in WWE 2K17, compared to WWE 2K16’s one. The interruptions and run-ins at all times, as well as in-ring and backstage encounters, help your shows feel more like actual WWE events. There are better and more dynamic camera angles. Sure, the announcer commentary is still dated and lackluster, often not accurately reporting on what’s happening in the ring, but on the whole I felt like I had more control over events and there were more opportunities to do new and unexpected things in this controlled environment.
It’s like the little things end up mattering quite a bit in WWE 2K17. You have many more options when creating custom superstars. Body morphing is gone, but it felt like face morphing was easier in exchange. The soundtrack, put together by Sean “Diddy” Combs, sounds fantastic. The lighting is amazing and does a lot to make the characters look more realistic. The shadows cast by people and objects enhance the look of the entire game and make them feel as though they’re parts of an actual world, rather than props and pleasantly shaped polygons. There are even fun Easter eggs, such as Xavier Woods being able to actually play a trombone in-game. It made me feel like Yukes and Visual Concepts were paying attention to some things, even though they clearly weren’t keeping the WWE women in mind.
With WWE 2K16, we received a game that did so much to improve the overall wrestling experience from WWE 2K15. Now that all that work’s been done, it isn’t possible for WWE 2K17 to again make earth-shattering and gameplay perfecting strides forward. All it can do is make some incremental additions, adjustments, and alterations to improve the overall landscape. While the promos, commentary, and female wrestler treatment could use more fine-tuning, the rest of the game does a wonderful job of delivering an experience that’s just a bit more impressive than last year’s entry. For now, all we can keep hoping for in each new game is increased accuracy, larger rosters, better treatment of female wrestlers, and fresher color commentary.
Date: October 12, 2016