S! A! W! F! T!

Look, I don’t know what I expected. Whenever I talk to lớn fellow pro wrestling fans about the WWE games, they often grimace before offering a handful of excuses. “It’s not as bad as last year’s” is a favorite refrain, although it rings hollow once you realize that means this year’s game is still bad.

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Such is the case with World Wrestling Entertainment Two Thous& and Seventeen, A.D. It’s an encapsulation of everything people hate about the “reality” era, stapled to lớn a bunch of mediocre gameplay modes. WWE 2K17doesn’t even manage to lớn clear the lowest possible bar — the fact that it is a video clip game starring wrestlers you ostensibly like — with a roster that hides some of its most promising talent behind downloadable nội dung like we’re bachồng in the early 2010s.

In fairness,WWE 2K17is not offensively terrible; it works on a technical màn chơi, albeit not as well as you’d hope considering this is the series’ third outing on current-gen hardware. It doesn’t crash, the frame rate is perfectly fine, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth your time or your money.


WWE 2K17(PC, PS4 , PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360)Developer: Yuke’sPublisher: 2K GamesReleased: October 11, 2016MSRP: $59.99

Five seconds inlớn booting WWE 2K17, & you’ve already discovered the game’s biggest problem: there’s nothing worth doing.The game has modes, as is customary with sports games these days. You’ve got “MyCareer,” where you bring a rookie up from the Performance Center khổng lồ the main roster (skipping NXT entirely, for some reason). There, you slog through week after week of WWE programming (with the unskippable TV openings mostly intact), engaging in poorly defined rivalries and slumming around the lower card.

You can actually cut promos in MyCareer, which is a cool idea that would hypothetically allow you khổng lồ flesh out your custom wrestler. In practice, you jerk off the WWE Universe (read: fans) and complain about the Authority (an evil group that hasn’t been a factor since WrestleMania) if you want khổng lồ be a good guy, và talk about how great you are if you want to lớn be a bad guy. There’s no room for nuance; in an era where so many good guys are willing to play PG-rated anti-heroes, it feels misguided to lớn penalize players for actually playing a character rather than screwing with a minigame. Even if you decided to lớn ignore the scoring aspect, the promos are really bad — they’re not “tater tots” embarrassing, they’re just rote. There’s no personality, no bite. They could be applied khổng lồ any performer, at any time.

Universe mode is a cross between the MyCareer mode and the “be a GM” modes from other sports games. You are given a year of WWE programming, và you can either simulate it và let the AI play it out, or decide for yourself how WrestleMania 32 will play out. (I had Samày Zayn, my good good ska boy, win the Royal Rumble & go on lớn capture the title from Triple H.) It’s fine, certainly better than MyCareer by virtue of allowing players khổng lồ skip whole months of programming if they’re so inclined. However, without any restrictions imposed on players, it’s little more than a sandbox; a toy lớn occasionally poke at until you’re bored. Just lượt thích the real Vince McMahon!

The Universe mode does allow for some pretty neat fantasy booking, if there’s a star (Cesaro) you’ve sầu always (Cesaro) thought could use (Cesaro) a solid push (Cesaro) but never quite (Cesaro) managed to get one. Imagining a match between Brochồng Lesnar và Heath Slater doesn’t quite have sầu the same appeal as watching it play out, even if it’s within the confines of a video game. For the record, Slater came out ahead, along with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, The Rock, Goldberg, John Cemãng cầu, Roman Reigns, me, Randy Orton, Golden Truth, & Finn Bálor. I got a lot of enjoyment from taking the legendary Brochồng Lesnar khổng lồ clown town, is what I’m getting at here. If there’s a single reason lớn give WWE 2K17 a look, this is it right here.

Sadly, the fantasy booking aspect is hindered by the game’s archaic DLC practices. If you want NXT Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, future Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax, or the incredibly promising Apollo Crews, you have to either buy the collector’s edition or wait several months và then buy a DLC pack. Austin Aires, Mojo Rawley, The Club, and Tye Dillinger are locked behind another DLC paông chồng. It’s not the same as the Legends DLC — Syđến Sid doesn’t really need lớn be on the roster, but the “Future Stars” pachồng contains people who are wrestling right now, putting on some really fun matches in the process.

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I can sort of underst& not having the br& split stuff in the game (the new arenas would’ve taken some work, although most of the new titles are little more than palette swaps, so maybe I don’t totally get it), but I can’t imagine a good reason for excluding these characters, some of whom have sầu been with the company for a while. It’s like we’re baông chồng in the 2010s và necessary nội dung is once again hidden behind a paywall. You can always peruse the community creations for a home-made Nakamura, but then you’d be missing his signature moves & the quality physicality that made him so popular.


Also, this is such a petty complaint, but I think Finn Bálor is the only wrestler who manages khổng lồ bring his entrance into lớn the game mostly unscathed. Enzo, Big Cass, & Carmella all deliver their respective sầu catchphrases lượt thích there’s a gun to lớn their heads. The New Day is alright (Big E actually does a great job), but the trombone is just off enough to be irritating. Sangươi Zayn does his little fistpump well before “Let’s go!” Becky Lynch doesn’t throw her goggles inlớn the crowd or give them to lớn a kid. Nakamura’s pre-entrance reveal absolutely fails lớn capture the raw energy of his real-life counterpart. It doesn’t help that nobody toàn thân actually enters during their entrance — their music hits, the camera cuts to the crowd, và then the wrestler in question just sorta appears on the ramp. For me, entrances are a crucial part of the pageantry inherent to pro wrestling. Whenever I’m at a TV taping, I love singing along to lớn Sami’s theme tuy vậy or reaffirming that you indeed can’t teach that with Enzo. To see entrances neutered like this is a huge bummer, even if they’re a big step up from last year. (See? Even I’m not immune to lớn that line of reasoning.)

The wrestling itself is perfectly fine. Once you get used lớn it, you shouldn’t have any problems. Just about everything about the action inside the squared circle is customizable — you can make it so your opponents will literally never counter your attacks or you can turn even the weakest jobber into an unstoppable quái dị.

Reversals still feel iffy, completely unchanged from the similarly inferior2K16. In games that ape theArkhamstyle of combat, you hit the counter button when you’re about to lớn be hit.Here, it feels lượt thích you’re supposed to counter when it’s most convenient for the game to lớn interrupt an animation, not when it feels natural khổng lồ counter a move sầu. You don’t counter when you’re about lớn be punched, you counter when your opponent is setting up for the punch. It can be immensely frustrating if you haven’t memorized the game’s suite of moves. Even when you bởi vì get the hang of reversals, there will still be parts of a match where you’re frantically jamming on the right trigger so you can actually vì chưng something in this video clip game.


A bunch of small things about the in-ring action bug me, like the targeting in the Royal Rumble or the finicky nature of corner work, but all the small nitpicks would be excusable if the fights were exciting — and they aren’t. The mặc định options make the game boring, turning pro wrestling into more of a sport than the spectacle you recognize from TV. You can fine-tune or even turn off mechanics like stamimãng cầu or reversal limits, but then matches are too easy.

You can also make an entire roster’s worth of custom characters, TV shows, & championships, if you’ve sầu got a miễn phí Sunday & you live sầu on a deserted islvà with literally nothing else lớn vày. I’ve sầu also got a theory running that Yuke’s has started making wrestlers in their own create-a-wrestler. Seriously, look at Kevin Owens & John Cena’s character models next lớn each other. Cena looks almost photorealistic, and Owens looks almost unrecognizable.

WWE 2K17 is a poor simulation of the WWE sản phẩm, often because it seems ashamed of pro wrestling. This is a television universe where Jon Stewart has interfered in back-to-back SummerSlams — you either get on board with the nonsense or you give sầu the license lớn somebody else. Adding a promo mechanic is a vague half-step towards acceptance, but it almost feels lượt thích an obligatory nod to the parts of the show where people talk inkhổng lồ microphones. WWE’s current weekly programming is arguably better than it’s ever been; that cấp độ of unique deserves a game lớn match. That game is not WWE 2K17.

Also, they got Finn Balor’s Detháng costume wrong for the second year in a row. C’mon.