The highly anticipated new game, WWE 2K17, has many wrestling fans on the edge of their seats since it’s said to be one of the most impressive wrestling games in history.
To many, the N64’s No Mercy or some of PlayStation’s SmackDown series are seen as the very best wrestling games to have ever been released, especially when looking at WWF/WWE games, but the hype, buzz, anticipation and promise surrounding WWE 2K17 is something that hasn’t been seen for many years. It finally looks and feels as if the gaming world could be in store for something extra special.
Now, as with any video game release, we won’t really know the full ins and outs of WWE 2K17 until we actually have it in our hands and have played it over and over. Yet, that’s not to say that there isn't a plethora of information already out there, concerning this upcoming release.
To simplify things, we’ve compiled a list of all the details on WWE 2K17 so you can be ready as soon as it’s released. This is perfect for those debating on whether or not the game will be right for them, as well as how it stacks up to the game’s predecessor, WWE 2K16. Check out our list of the 15 things you need to know about WWE 2K17, and find out all the new additions along with what’s missing in this exciting new wrestling game.
15 The Cover Star
In recent years, the WWE has made a major deal about who the cover star of their video games will be. From CM Punk in 2013 to The Rock in 2014 to John Cena in 2015 to Steve Austin last year, being the poster boy for a release has become a coveted spot. It has also been used, such as it was last year, to drive a certain aspect of that year’s gameplay.
With 2K16, Steve Austin’s visage on the game’s front cover was indicative of the Showcase mode of that particular release, which featured players that were prominent through Austin’s career from his time in WCW, ECW, and WWE. This year, the honor of 2K17’s cover spot goes to Brock Lesnar.
Many presumed that Lesnar on the front cover would mean a Brock-driven Showcase mode, but that’s sadly not the case now that the Showcase feature has been removed for 2K17. Instead, Lesnar is pretty much just being used as a marketing tool due to how he’s a superstar who truly transcends the wrestling business.
From what we know so far, Lesnar and Heyman will indeed pop up during the MyCareer mode in order to drive that particular element of the game. Yet, that’s about it for Brock bar, all of the cool buzz around Suplex City, and his presence in the advertising for 2K17.
14 No Showcase Mode
To many, one of the main draws of recent WWE video games has been the Showcase options, such as playing through Steve Austin’s ascent to becoming a true icon of the industry in WWE 2K16 or reliving some of the greatest rivalries in WWE 2K15.
When Brock Lesnar was announced as the cover star of the release, many automatically assumed that the Showcase feature of 2K17 would revolve around Paul Heyman’s Beast, which Heyman himself teased as much in various press interviews. Instead, Showcase is on a hiatus this year and WWE 2K17 won't feature any sort of Showcase options.
2K’s reasoning for this is that they weren’t able to have full access to the relevant superstars needed in order to produce the Showcase ideas that they were considering. For example, if they were to do a mode that saw players relive Brock Lesnar’s career, a key part of his initial WWE run was his battles with Kurt Angle. However, Angle would have to be left out since he was not under a contract to WWE or 2K, and therefore would be unavailable to the developers. While the logic behind this decision seems understandable, it's a little disappointing that some sort of Showcase mode couldn't have been implemented, even if it wasn't built around Lesnar.
13 Goldberg! Goldberg! Goldberg!
Granted, most of the “Goldberg!” chants from the WCW days were piped in by management, but the hype around Bill Goldberg’s inclusion in WWE 2K17 is very real. While Brock Lesnar has made waves as the cover star of the upcoming game, the inclusion of Goldberg has also caught the attention of many.
As was the case with the likes of Sting and Ultimate Warrior in previous releases, Goldberg will be available (at least initially) as a pre-order exclusive. The pre-order will actually give players two versions of Da Man: one from his time running roughshod through WCW, and then one version of the former World Champion from his year-long stay in the WWE.
Along with these two takes on Goldberg, those who grab the game on pre-order will also get access to two classic WCW arenas. The classic Monday Night Nitro arena is a nice addition to the game, but it’s the inclusion of the fan-favorite Halloween Havoc arena that has fans most excited.
Many believed that WWE 2K17 would see WCW and its history utilized as a driving force of the game’s Showcase narrative or as a big selling point for the game. Sadly that’s not the case, although the addition of Goldberg and two classic WCW settings is certainly a smart move from the guys at 2K.
12 The NXT Collector’s Edition
Many feel that the NXT brand has been a true breath of fresh air amongst the wrestling landscape over the past few years. With simple, effective storytelling, delicate character development, not over-exposing talent, and allowing their wrestlers to actually be wrestlers, NXT’s weekly shows and TakeOver specials never fail to impress.
Looking to capitalize on this, WWE 2K17 has got a special ‘NXT Collector’s Edition’ available for die-hard fans. This new edition, which retails at $99.99, will feature a whole load of impressive extras. Gamers are able to play as Shinsuke Nakamura, Nia Jax, and Apollo Crews. The release will also feature a signed lithograph by Nakamura from fan-favourite WWE artist, Rob Schamberger. The set additionally includes an 8-inch ‘Demon’ Finn Balor figure, some exclusive trading cards from NXT TakeOver: London, and an actual piece of NXT ring canvas. Added to that, this edition also gives players 50 percent more points in the MyCareer mode, plus the standard Bill Goldberg pre-order bonuses. While this is certainly a hot package, the NXT Collector’s Edition of WWE 2K17 is restricted to just 50,000 copies worldwide.
11 Interactive Environments
With the ability to once more take the action all over the arena and backstage (something that’s been missing for several years in a WWE game by this point in time) comes the ability to interact with a whole load of new environments. By that, it means that you basically can’t turn a corner without finding a handy weapon to bash your opponent with.
Of course, the standard tools are out to play, such as steel chairs, tables, and barricades, but gameplay footage has shown how players can actually clobber their rivals over the skull with LCD TVs or even spear opponents through electrical boxes. Added to that, there are toys such as briefcases, lockers, guard rails, garage doors, equipment boxes, shelving units, and even the stage itself that can all be used to inflict damage on fellow grapplers. Simply put, there’s the opportunity to inflict carnage at every turn in WWE 2K17 and in a whole host of varying, brutal ways.
10 Taking The Action Outside Of The Ring
In WWE 2K17, not only will players get the chance to slap around their opponents in the squared circle, but the action can be taken outside the ring as well. Many fans have clamored for the return of more free-roaming backstage brawls in recent WWE video game releases, and 2K17 heard their cries. In fact, players can actually fight in the crowd during certain 2K17 matches, which will include varying environment effects and coordinating weapons.
Once players finish laying the smackdown among the audience, the action can continue in an extensive backstage setting. Amongst the usual backroom hallways, there’s the chance to brutalise your opponent in the locker room, or make an impression on Triple H by laying a beat down in The Authority’s office, or even interrupt a Renee Young-hosted interview segment by throwing somebody through the backstage interview set.
In another nice addition, you’ll actually be given a split-screen view as you throw your opponent through the various backstage doors, giving you an idea of what to expect before you enter the room to continue with your violent assault.
9 GM Mode
The GM Mode is something that has come and gone with plenty of previous WWE games, and it’s got to be said that it’s a mode that’s never really set the world alight. Sure, it was there, but it was just a little bland and formulaic once the initial novelty wore off. With 2K17, though, the hope is to reinvigorate that mode for a new audience.
In this new take on the GM Mode, players can create their own customized character or select from characters like Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Corporate Kane, William Regal, JBL, and Steve Austin to lead their brand. Once a GM has been chosen, players then have to pick which brand they actually want to lead, with the options for that including Raw, SmackDown, NXT, Main Event, Superstars, Heat, and Velocity. As for the roster, you can choose to either manually pick your own roster, use the default roster, carry out a random draft lottery, or do a pick-for-pick-style lottery.
After that, it’s time to sit back in your office and book the matches, keep an eye on TV ratings, and keep up-to-date with the day-to-day challenges that come with running your own brand.
8 Promo Engine
To many longtime players of WWE games, one of the elements that have been missed in recent years was the ability to carry out interviews or cut promos. In the SmackDown series of games and beyond, players were able to utilize interview segments, be it backstage or in the ring, to have their superstar interact with other grapplers. From there, you could choose from set lines and replies that would dictate which direction your character would take. You could pick tag team partners or alliances, and even decide when to turn on somebody or to attack them.
Now not only is the ability to cut promos and carry out interviews back for WWE 2K17, it’s supposedly vastly superior to anything seen in previous releases. Well, that’s if the guys at 2K can be taken on their word, for they have gone on record to say, “WWE 2K17 will deliver a brand new Promo Engine that lets the WWE Superstars express their thoughts and emotions to the WWE Universe and one another. The Promo Engine creates a new dynamic and brings the experience closer to the actual WWE than ever before.” Regardless of the official blurb, let’s just hope that this new addition is as enjoyable as it has the potential to be.
7 Improved Universe Mode
With the Showcase feature sadly binned for WWE 2K17, that blow has been slightly softened by the news that 2K spent plenty of time focusing on improving the Universe Mode for this upcoming release. In this mode, players will now be able to actually start their own federation or brand from scratch. Potentially tying in the with the GM Mode, this feature will allow players to pick their own rosters, pick their own champions, set up the feuds that they want to see, and then use the promo engine to have their brand’s superstars cut promos backstage.
What's also an intriguing prospect is the brand split aspect with Raw and SmackDown. It's known that the brand split will play somehow into the Universe feature of WWE 2K17, but it's not yet known just how that will work.
The fact that the WWE brand split was something that only happened a few months ago means that 2K really haven't had all that much time to fully incorporate that into the storytelling aspect of all of the game's features, but gamers should expect to see the brand split present in some capacity.
6 Break Outs
One of the more fun elements of WWE 2K16 was the option to interrupt your opponent’s entrance and whoop ‘em like a government mule (Jim Ross represent, yo!). Not only is that feature back for 2K17, but there’s a nice new twist to it, too.
As well as being able to lay a beating on your opponent before a match, WWE 2K17 will also give players the chance to bring a whooping to their foe after the match as well. From the footage that’s been shown so far, this option will (sensibly) only be available to the victor, but it’s certainly one that will appeal to those who wish to carry on the action once the match has been decided.
With the intricacies of the Universe and Career modes, such a feature would be a great way for a superstar to turn ‘heel’. Has your competitive rivalry turned into more of a personal grudge? Following up a victory with a post-match beat down is the absolute perfect way to put an exclamation mark on a win in order to intensify the rivalry and send your superstar down a different career path.
5 The Soundtrack
It’s no exaggeration to say that the majority of wrestling fans aren’t necessarily fans of Sean "Diddy" Combs, but we’re stuck with him for WWE 2K17. As seen on TV earlier this year, the WWE has made a huge deal of the fact that Combs has been brought in to exclusively oversee the soundtrack for WWE 2K17.
While this may not be a selling point for some, Combs will be creating a video game soundtrack featuring the likes of Andy Black, Yellow Claw feat. Lil Eddie, FIDLAR, and iSHi. Although these aren't actually big hit makers in the music world, only time will tell how well the soundtrack will go over with wrestling and gaming fans.
Luckily there’s Black Sabbath’s Paranoid to save the day for many a gamer, and it’s likely that many of the relatively-unknown songs that will be featured will become casual favourites of some players, but it’s certainly looking like a soundtrack that won’t be striking the right notes with a large portion of those picking up WWE 2K17.
4 The Creation Suite
One of the first features that many longtime WWE video game fans reach for with each year’s new release is the Creation Suite. Even as far back as the now-primitive Create-a-Superstar feature on the very first SmackDown! game back in 2000, gamers were eager to try and create superstars of yesteryear including non-WWE grapplers, superheroes and villains, and even original creations based totally on themselves or what was in their imaginations.
Plenty of new details were released on the Creation Suite's features including the ability to build customized superstars from scratch, but one element of this feature likely to grab the eye of many is that you can now create your own custom Titantron videos for any and all creations. 2K17 allows players to use a Highlight system that records the best bits of their matches. From there, these clips can be used to make an entirely original and custom entrance video for the created superstar. With that said, it still appears that the game won’t allow you to upload your own entrance themes for your creations, though. A nice new addition, however, is that you can create your own victory celebration for your created superstar.
3 The Largest Roster Yet
WWE 2K17 boasts featuring the largest roster yet when it comes to WWE-based games. Included in the game are a whopping 136 superstars, ranging from jobbers, to mid-card talents, to main eventers, to all-time legends of the industry. Then, as with 2K16, there’s also the inclusion of various NXT talent as well.
In terms of the most anticipated new addition to the series, that’s likely the current WWE Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One and his breathtaking offence will be there to be used to its fullest when 2K17 hits shelves. Also, many gamers might be impressed to see the addition of plenty of new female grapplers. After many were shocked that WWE 2K16 didn’t involve the Four Horsewoman, this new game will feature Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Bayley. Added to that, there’s also other female newcomers to the series such as Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Asuka, Dana Brooke, and Eva Marie.
Other notable new additions include the American Alpha tandem of Chad Gable and Jason Jordan, Braun Strowman, The Revival team of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, and the return to the series of the legendary Dudley Boyz. And this huge roster of 136 is merely the basic roster, with plenty of DLC content and superstars expected down the line.
2 Missing Out
Although WWE 2K17 may boast the largest roster ever committed to a WWE video game, that’s not to say that everybody could make the cut. In fact, there are a few notable names from last year’s release that were unceremoniously dumped this time out.
To run through the WWE 2K16 names who missed out this time around, they read as General Adnan, Wade Barrett, Dave Batista, D’Lo Brown, Cameron, Fit Finlay, Haku, Honky Tonk Man, Layla, Santino Marella, Kama Mustafa, Roddy Piper, Stevie Ray, William Regal, Dustin Rhodes, Adam Rose, Ryback, Damien Sandow, Ken Shamrock, Ron Simmons, Sgt. Slaughter, Savio Vega, Mikey Whipwreck, X-Pac, and, err, The Terminator. Out of that list, Dustin Rhodes is still in the game under his Goldust guise, whilst William Regal has a presence as an authority figure.
Names like Wade Barrett, Adam Rose and Ryback are no longer with the WWE, so they were always likely to miss out depending on when the game was first put into development. As for Mikey Whipwreck, he was only involved in 2K16 to highlight Steve Austin’s time in ECW. Leaving out some of the previous game’s ‘legends’ characters may come as a surprise to many, though, particularly somebody as iconic as Rowdy Roddy Piper.
1 The Nitty Gritty
In terms of release details, 2K will be releasing their next WWE game on October 11th. As for the cost, US gamers will have to fork out $59.99 for WWE 2K17, whilst players in the UK will have to shell out £42.99. Of course, there’s also the aforementioned ‘NXT Collector’s Edition’ available as well. When it comes to what platforms the game is available on, the current release schedule will see 2K17 initially arrive on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Much like WWE 2K16, it’s expected that a PC version of the game will be available at a later date, too.
Still, the serious question is whether WWE 2K17 will rival the greatness that was Royal Rumble back on the SEGA Genesis back in the day. Now that you have more WWE 2K17 information than you can swing a steel chair at, it’s just a case of sitting back and eagerly waiting for October 11th to come around. Gamers can sit back and anticipate the release of a game with the potential to be one of the very best wrestling video games of all time.