We were invited to a WWE 2K17 preview where we took a crack at the latest in the series. Come join us as we venture in Supplex City for the very first time.
WWE has been a source of entertainment for as long as we can remember. WWE RAW is the longest running TV show to-date for that matter. So it’s not surprise that the WWE games are equally entertaining, especially when enjoyed amongst a group of friends. These are games you can get right into, the controls aren’t too hard, even beginners can pick it up easily. It’s like a source of instant fun if you will, you know, add hot water and it’s ready to go kinda deal. Don’t actually add hot water though. WWE 2K17 remains true to this format, we had a chance to have a go at a pre-release version of the game, and despite not having too much experience with WWE games in the past, we found that we were able to pick it up fairly easily and have a good time throwing each other across the ring.
But that’s not what we’re here for, those of you who’ve been consistently playing the WWE games will already be familiar with the playstyle and such, so let’s get right to the juicy stuff – the new features and modes coming to WWE 2K17. While this should be considered as a WWE 2K17 preview, the final game is pretty close to what we experienced.
WWE 2K17 – The New Goodies:
So the very first new feature we were introduced to at the WWE 2K17 preview event was something we’ve wanted in a WWE game for a long time, the Backstage Brawl. It’s exactly what it sounds like, you can duke it out backstage and anything in the environment is at your disposal. Want to throw someone headfirst into a TV? Go right ahead. There’s a handful of ‘OMG!’ moments specifically for Backstage Brawls and we’d have loved to see them all. Obviously, since this isn’t an official match there’s no pin count, the only way to win is by knockout. You have the option to start a Backstage Brawl directly via the main menu, or even bring a ‘No DQ’ (No Disqualification) match backstage by just walking out the ring!
Another cool thing you can do now is take the fight into the crowd. This isn’t restricted to any specific match types but you would, of course, need to keep an eye out for the counter.
The very first match or game mode we tried was the Ladder Match and turns out that’s the longest game mode there is. It can take FOREVER to get the briefcase but if you’re reaaally good with your timing, it might not take as long. Not that we’re complaining. They’ve ironed out some of the issues that normally came with ladder matches in previous titles. For one thing, you won’t have to struggle with the ladder being ‘just a tad bit to the left’ and having to get off and move it again. In 2K17 the ladder can only be set-up in five locations; in the centre of the ring and in front of the the ropes. They can also apparently be set-up as bridges between the outer boundary and the ring but we didn’t get to see that, unfortunately.
Another thing we noticed was matches didn’t immediately end after pinfall. You could kind of hang around after the match and continue whaling on the already defeated sod. Very WWE. Bonus points!
WWE 2K17 – Gameplay
While the game may not have significant upgrades in the graphics department from previous titles, they’ve definitely worked on the more technical gameplay aspects. You’re not just spamming buttons now, you’re actually wrestling. Controls feel more responsive in comparison to previous titles.
You can now see a match rating while the match is in-progress rather than after the match has ended. Taunting and such, now play a more key role when it comes to keeping the match rating high and getting the crowds going in your favour, which in turn means you get to use your signature move faster.
2K is attempting to deviate from the usual button-mashing playstyle to a more timing-oriented one. Timing your reversals is key, similarly with other actions, such as attempting to push someone out of the ring during a Royal Rumble, or during grapples and pins. You still have the option to go back to the older button-mashing playstyle if you’re more comfy with that, the end goal is for you to have fun after all.
They’ve incorporated a roll-out system into 2K17 as well, which is again, very WWE. You roll-out to safety if you take too much damage or are in a pickle. Doing so gets you some time to recover, especially useful in situations with multiple wrestlers in the ring. You decided whether to get right back in or fully recover before getting back into the action.
WWE 2K17 – My Career and WWE Universe
So we didn’t really try any of the ‘My Career’ or ‘WWE Universe’ modes ourselves, but if we had to describe them briefly, My Career is basically Career Mode. You can design your own wrestler and have him wrasslin’ at NXT with the other newbies or maybe you could cause an upset and show up directly in the big leagues duking it out with the best of them. You’ve got Paul Heyman as your manager constantly telling you to do as he says or face the wrath of his best “Paul Heyman Guy.”
In WWE Universe, you can actually create your own Universe with your own roster, arena, everything, just the way you want. We didn’t actually get into these modes but it definitely looks like 2K wants players to have as much creative freedom as possible.
WWE 2K17 – Roster
There’s a massive roster of wrestlers this time around, over 135 not counting including the ones you could potentially get from future add-ons and DLCs. This is the largest pool of wrestlers they’ve had yet and we definitely had a ball playing as some old time hall of famers. Long time WWE fans will recognise many of the oldy goldies, speaking of goldies, pre-ordering WWE 2K17 will get you Goldberg as well.
WWE 2K17 – Graphics
As we mentioned, graphics wise not much of a difference from the previous title. They did however mention that it would look and work significantly better on current gen consoles, but it is still going to be available on the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. We did see some jagged edges and issues with the aliasing and slight clipping here and there but this was a pre-release version of the game, so it’s very likely that this’ll all be ironed out when the game actually does come out on October 11.
WWE 2K17 Preview Verdict
Overall, despite not looking like a significant upgrade to its predecessor in the looks department, WWE 2K17 is definitely an improvement to the over gameplay and feel. The game was fun the from moment we picked it up. There’s a ton of stuff to do and you can spend hours just behind the creative aspect of the game. We definitely hope to get our hands on the game when it comes out this October 11.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.