Regular visitors to this here ‘puter game inter web location will know by now that I’m a big fan of professional wrestling (please feel free to check my archives for some of my grapple content if you’d like to see more of my wrassle ramblings).
As such, I usually have an annual battle with myself over whether to stump up the cash for the latest wrestle offering from 2K Sports. As my review for WWE 2K16 shows, I wasn’t entirely thrilled by 2K’s effort that year. Though the sequel fared considerably better this year when it came to review, I still have to feel that WWE 2K17 is a considerably flawed game. That’s not to say that I haven’t had fun with it, nor that I regret purchasing it, but I can’t help but think that if I weren’t a long time grapple nut indulging in a heavy dose of nostalgia that I’d struggle to really see the point in the game this year.
Despite numerous patches the game is still overly buggy and suffers from some quite horrific slowdown, considering it’s supposed to be a triple A big budget release in 2017. The main single-player career mode is immediately hampered by the game insisting that you create a hapless chump from scratch to do battle in the wacky world of WWE, when most suplex fanatics would rather take their current favourite wrestler to the top of the WWE Mountain instead.
The only thing that gives the game any real sort of mileage is the, frankly excellent, roster on offer.
Not only can you choose from all the current heavy hitters from the male roster, but the female contingent is probably the biggest it’s been since the early SmackDown games on the PlayStation, and that’s before we get to the almost staggering amount of legendary wrestlers who have been included.
Not only are the expected big stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock present, but classic supporting stars like Big Bossman and The Natural Disasters also find their way onto the roster select screen. I think it’s telling that I tend to mostly spend my time selecting the legend superstars to fight with as opposed to the current crew of brutal body slammers.
Considering that the existing roster contingent could use a shot in the arm, I was pleased to see 2K release five more wrestlers as DLC on the 17th January. After downloading them and having a go with them the past few days, I thought I’d share my impressions on the newest guests to the party.
Considering Tye has been suffering in WWE Developmental purgatory in some form for over a decade now, I must admit that it warms the cockles of my heart to see him make his way onto a WWE video game. With his increasingly popular “Perfect 10” gimmick, Tye really came into his own in 2016 and makes the roster on absolute merit.
He’s very fun to play as, with a good mixture of speed and devastating strikes. In a nice touch Tye will take down his knee pad before delivering his finishing move, and the knee pad will actually then stay off for the remainder of the match. Out of all five of the DLC superstars, Tye was probably my favourite of the bunch. Graphically, he looks on point, and his entrance is accurately recreated for the game.
One half of “The Club” tag team, Anderson is more of an all-round fighter in comparison to his bigger and heftier partner. One notable thing about his offence is that he is given a couple of very powerful moves for use in his standard arsenal, such as a sit out Tombstone Piledriver. This makes him somewhat overpowered in comparison to the other four, but not enough that it makes the game feel unfair, though you will notice the difference.
Graphically, they’ve done an excellent job recreating Anderson, and he’s another who I enjoyed playing as. It would be nice if he’d be slightly more balanced though, as in online play I tend to find that some people who pick Anderson will spam quite a lot of his better moves, and they’ll wear you down quicker than you’d think.
The other half of “The Club”, Gallows is bigger than Anderson and generally works better as a striker and power wrestler. He feels better weighted than Anderson is, with his increased power offset by him being less nimble than his more slender partner. I did often find that I’d use his superior reach a lot of the time to stun an enemy before setting them up for a big power move.
Again, I have to give credit to the graphics, as Gallows looks impressive. A nice touch with these particular guys is that if you tag up Gallows and Anderson with their sometime ally AJ Styles, the game actually has an entrance and victory animation for them. Of course, the game has to make this overly difficult by making you have to mess around with the placings of all the team members. The way teams/factions are set up on the game are that you put the tag team portion together first and then add supplemental members next.
However, if you set the guys up in this order it will mean that Anderson acts out Styles’ victory animation, meaning you have to mess around with putting Styles in the tag team portion of the group which plays happy havoc should you choose to put the group together in WWE Universe Mode. Would it have been so hard to program it so that the person in the third slot did Styles’ animation?
Despite that disappointment, it is great to have The Club in the game, even though I honestly think I’ve used them more in singles matches than tags.
Urgh, this guy.
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t actually mind Mojo that much in his team with Zack Ryder. Yes, the bloke can be bloody insufferable, but he’s also the kind of larger than life character that makes wrestling so great to begin with. You remember Mojo Rawley, even if it’s because you think he’s a loud and obnoxious cretin who keeps blurting on about how “HYPED” he is.
Graphically, Mojo looks probably the most lifelike of all five DLC superstars, but what he suffers from is a samey moveset which lacks variety. This wouldn’t be too bad if the moves in his arsenal did a decent amount of damage, but Mojo feels strangely underpowered. As a result of this, Mojo is a guy with flimsy and samey offence, which means he is neither particularly interesting to play as nor particularly effective either. It’s a shame really, because they’ve done a great job recreating him in the game, but I just don’t feel moved to select him.
Aries also suffers from underpowered offence but benefits from the fact that his moveset is more varied, and thus he’s much more entertaining to play as. Be prepared for matches to last a considerable time though, especially if you do battle against anyone with even modest stats.
Aries is quick and technically proficient, but it takes a while to wear down opponents. His moves are without question the flashiest of the five DLC superstars though. Graphically, Aries isn’t as lifelike as Mojo and The Club, but his entrance is recreated well for the game, and the animation for his moves looks excellent.
So, the five DLC superstars are somewhat a mixed bag, but they inject some freshness to the roster at least. If the thought of having these five wrestlers on your games roster doesn’t enthuse you that much, you won’t really be missing out on much if you decide to give this particular DLC pack a miss, but if you’re a fan of them, then you’ll more than likely by happy with what you get.
Thanks for reading!
The Urban Dictionary defines “The Fitzgerald Scale” as “A scale used to measure the awkwardness of a situation. The Fitzgerald Scale is divided into ten subunits, called ‘Geralds’. Each Gerald is in turn divided into ten Subgeralds, which gives 100 possible levels of awkwardness. One Gerald is a commonly awkward level, where a ten Gerald situation would be a scarring event.”
Man, the atmosphere of that party was off the Fitzgerald Scale when we decided to leave