In the dynamic world of video games, the WWE 2K series has been a stalwart contender, consistently delivering immersive and authentic wrestling experiences. With the release of WWE 2K17 for PC, 2K Sports raised the bar once again, offering fans a chance to step into the virtual squared circle and engage in bone-crunching action. This comprehensive review will delve into the various facets of WWE 2K17, assessing its gameplay, graphics, features, and overall impact on the world of digital wrestling.
Gameplay: The Art of the Suplex
WWE 2K17 boasts a refined and polished gameplay experience, staying true to the series’ reputation for realism and attention to detail. The game introduces a plethora of new moves, animations, and grappling mechanics, adding layers of complexity to the in-ring action. The control scheme is intuitive, allowing both newcomers and seasoned players to execute signature moves, reversals, and high-flying acrobatics with relative ease.
One notable improvement is the expansion of backstage brawls and interactions, giving players the opportunity to take the action beyond the ring. From the parking lot to the locker room, the immersive environments provide a diverse backdrop for intense rivalries and jaw-dropping moments.
The inclusion of the Promo Engine adds a unique dimension to the gameplay, allowing players to shape the narrative of their career through engaging and dynamic interviews. Choices made during promos can influence storylines, alliances, and rivalries, providing a level of storytelling rarely seen in sports simulation games.
Graphics: A Visual Feast of Muscles and Mayhem
Visually, WWE 2K17 raises the bar with improved character models, lifelike animations, and stunning attention to detail. Wrestlers are meticulously rendered, capturing the nuances of their real-life counterparts. Facial expressions, body movements, and signature taunts contribute to a level of authenticity that immerses players in the world of professional wrestling.
The lighting effects and arena designs add to the overall visual spectacle, enhancing the grandeur of pay-per-view events and weekly shows. From the pyrotechnics during entrances to the dynamic camera angles capturing the intensity of each match, WWE 2K17 succeeds in replicating the broadcast quality of real-world wrestling events.
Game Modes: Beyond the Ring Ropes
WWE 2K17 offers a diverse array of game modes, catering to a broad spectrum of player preferences. The MyCareer mode allows players to craft their own wrestling persona, navigate the challenges of the WWE roster, and climb the ranks to championship glory. The inclusion of a promo system in MyCareer adds an RPG-like element, providing players with the agency to shape their character’s destiny.
Universe Mode returns with enhancements, allowing players to manage rosters, create storylines, and oversee the day-to-day operations of their own wrestling promotion. The depth of customization and control offered in Universe Mode ensures a dynamic and ever-evolving wrestling universe.
The Showcase Mode takes players on a nostalgic journey through iconic moments in wrestling history. WWE 2K17 pays tribute to legends such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, providing a series of matches and video packages that encapsulate their storied careers.
Online multiplayer modes, including the ability to create and join custom leagues, add a social dimension to the game, allowing players to test their skills against opponents from around the world.
Creation Suite: Crafting Champions and Arenas
One of the standout features of WWE 2K17 is the robust Creation Suite, empowering players to unleash their creativity. The character creation tools are extensive, allowing for the meticulous customization of every aspect, from facial features to ring attire. The depth of options ensures that players can recreate their favorite superstars or introduce entirely new personas into the mix.
The Create-An-Arena feature lets players design and customize their own wrestling venues, complete with unique lighting, banners, and even animated displays. The level of detail achievable in the creation suite adds longevity to the game, as players can continually introduce new elements to keep their virtual wrestling universe fresh and exciting.
Audio: The Soundtrack of SmackDown
The audio experience in WWE 2K17 complements the visual spectacle, delivering a soundtrack that captures the energy and intensity of live wrestling events. Entrance themes, crowd reactions, and commentary by Mauro Ranallo, Jerry Lawler, and JBL contribute to the immersion, creating an atmosphere akin to watching a pay-per-view on television.
The inclusion of authentic wrestler voiceovers and signature catchphrases adds an extra layer of personality to the game, making each superstar feel distinct and true to their real-life counterparts.
Critiques and Improvements: Navigating the Turnbuckle
While WWE 2K17 received acclaim for its overall presentation and gameplay enhancements, there were a few areas where the game faced criticism. Some players noted occasional glitches and clipping issues, impacting the fluidity of certain animations. Additionally, the AI behavior in certain situations was deemed less intuitive, leading to instances of awkward character movements and decision-making during matches.
The creation suite, while extensive, could benefit from further refinements to streamline the customization process and address occasional limitations in certain design aspects.
Conclusion: A Championship-Worthy Entry
WWE 2K17 for PC successfully solidifies its position as a championship-worthy entry in the esteemed WWE 2K series. With its refined gameplay, stunning visuals, diverse game modes, and robust creation suite, the game offers a comprehensive and immersive wrestling experience. The inclusion of the Promo Engine and the expansion of backstage interactions add layers of depth, empowering players to not only compete in the ring but also shape the narrative of their virtual wrestling careers.
While facing minor criticisms, WWE 2K17 stands as a testament to the dedication of 2K Sports in delivering a product that caters to the diverse desires of wrestling enthusiasts. Whether you’re a fan of reliving classic moments, crafting your own wrestling universe, or engaging in competitive online matches, WWE 2K17 invites players to step through the ropes and experience the adrenaline-pumping world of professional wrestling from the comfort of their PCs.