What is WWE 2K17?
Based on the ever popular TV show, WWE 2K17 packs one of the largest rosters of wrestlers ever seen onto one disc, letting up to four friends battle it out on one console - or up to six players online - across all manner of matches. From Hell in a Cell clashes to 15 minute Iron Man brawls, WWE 2K17 features a huge collection of stars, from the biggest names of yesteryear through to stars of tomorrow. From Andre the Giant to the Ultimate Warrior, from Randy Orton to John Cena, from Asuka to Neville, if you have a favourite, the chances are you'll find them in here, complete with authentic moves, entrance and mannerisms.
How do you play WWE 2K17?
WWE 2K17 may be a wrestling game, but that doesn't mean it's a button masher. Continuing the trend of the previous games towards a slower, more strategic style of play, WWE 2K17 is a game about well timed reversals, and well chosen moves. With fairly simple base controls - the left trigger lets you run, and on PS4, X grapples while Square lets you punch, you can modify your moves by pushing up/down/left/right, giving you access to a much wider arsenal.
There's a range of modes on offer here, too, although there's no set story mode this year. Instead, the two main modes here are MyCareer, which lets you work your way up from NXT rookie to Wrestlemania main eventer in a mode, and WWE Universe, which works as a never-ending simulation of the WWE world, where you can tweak rosters, partnerships and rivalries to suit. Both modes are more about the wrestling than the storylines.
How easy is WWE 2K17 to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, WWE 2K17 is a bit of a weird one. While on the default settings, the game has a pretty steep learning curve, it gives you a huge amount of freedom to tweak almost every aspect of the game, even to the point of making it so computer controlled opponents can't counter anything - which should essentially make you unbeatable.
To fine tune the gameplay, head into Options > Game Balancing. The first six options let you reduce the AI's reversal rate to 0, while the rest of the options let you tweak the damage dealt by various moves (although this affects both AI and human players).
Beyond the adjustable difficulty, though, WWE 2K17 is a more complex wrestling game than those that have come before it, placing a large emphasis on timing, and strategic use of taunts and reversals. It can take a while to get up to speed with the new tweaks here - but again, if you prefer, you can change almost everything back to how it used to be. Still, even on normal, your computer opponents will put up a tough fight, and you'll often find it hard to beat them.
With little in the way of voiceovers, a solid reading ability is required, especially when it comes to the new promo mode, which lets you choose what you want to say from four pre-set options. Sample sentences include:
- "Come on man, this isn't like you. You're normally a pretty alright guy. Hell, as a fellow superstar, you have my respect. I've seen what you can do in the ring, you've got some great skills and talent. One of these days, when you're level headed, we can have the match of the century"
In terms of mature content, WWE 2K17 sits somewhere in the middle.
When it comes to violence, the game is almost exactly as you'd expect from the TV show - your wrestlers will go at it exchanging punches, kicks, suplexes, and more elaborate moves, while steel chairs, tables, ladders and sledgehammers (although always used with a hand over the end as a kind of battering ram, rather than swinging for the fences) can also come into play.
While WWE 2K17 does feature blood, it's a little bit different to other games, in that it's actually turned off by default. If you want your wrestlers to be able to wear the proverbial crimson mask, you'll need to explicitly turn it on in the options first.
In terms of sexual content, WWE 2K17 is also pretty similar to the TV show, featuring a load of men and women in fairly skimpy sportswear, along with the odd suggestive gesture (like pelvic thrust taunts, and "crotch chops", for example). For bad language, the words ass and b*stard appear in dialogue, while one wrestler taunts opponents by sticking his middle finger up at them.
Format Reviewed: PC