If you’ve been following along with the live shows, you’ve seen two wrestling legends — “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar and “Bill” Goldberg — threatening to come to blows over their respective appearances in commercials for WWE 2K17. Goldberg was freed from containment in a wooded bunker by some police officers, and Lesnar became the Night Mayor (whatever that is) of a destroyed, overrun-with-wrestlers municipality known as Suplex City. They’re resolving their issues at WWE’s Survivor Series, but we can run the digital version whenever we want.
We got a chance to really sit down with 2K17 over the past two weeks and wedge ourselves into its nooks and crannies to get a full vision of the game, for better or worse. Apologies if we get stuck in a trashcan halfway through the review and go skipping down a hallway.
WWE 2K17 (PS4, Xbox One, and PC, available now)
This is the first game ever made where you get to stage a Buddy Murphy vs. Bushwhacker Butch dream match, and I think we need to take a moment to appreciate that.
The game looks great. It seems like the same game at first, but the visual presentation is so much better than 2K16. 2K16 felt unfinished. Only some of the Superstars looked like they’d had someone take the time to make them look right. So Randy Orton and Goldust looked photo realistic, but, say, Emma looked like an alien trying to pass as human by wrapping themselves in a morphsuit of human skin. Remember trying to talk to Renee Young backstage without being weirded out by her crazy teeth-face? The best compliment I can give 2K17 is that it feels like the finished version of 2K16. 2K16 if they had more than like seven months to crank these things out.
Once you’ve got everything downloaded and/or unlocked, the roster is dope. This is maybe the best and most complete WWE video game roster since Here Comes The Pain. You can run Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hideo Itami in the Tokyo Dome (thanks to the WCW Japan Supershow arena), you can book Carmella vs. Eva Marie on WCW Monday Nitro or you can send Fernando of Los Matadores to face the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania. As Fire Pro Wrestling taught us, the most fun thing you can do with a wrestling video game is get kinda bored of it and start running the most ridiculous, bullshit matches you can think of. 2K17 MURDERS that.