£44.99 - Xbox One/Xbox 360/PS4/PS3 - 2K Sports

There are some things that WWE 2K17 does incredibly well, others that fall just that little bit short of what you expect or may have experienced in the past. The latest incarnation of the apex 2K wrestling series will both leave you begging for more and twiddling your thumbs, depending on how you prefer to spend your time in the ring.

Let’s start with the positives – and there are plenty of them. The in-ring gameplay is fantastic, and while have been simplified a touch when it comes to submissions and pins, they’ve been advanced with new moves, fresh ways of attacking opponents and a bigger emphasis put on hurting your opponent.

But to really feel the best improvements in the game, you need to join forces and take to the ring in tag team action. It’s now much easier to change targets during the match, with names above characters heads making it much clearer who your focus is on. The shift means the default setting is now manual control – a good thing – meaning if another Superstar attacks you the focus will shift automatically – also good.

Superstars will also roll out of the ring if they are hurt and take a breather in triple threats or fatal fourway modes, giving matches a much more realistic feel that also adds a recipe for unorganised chaos. MyCareer mode relies heavily on in-ring performances, which sees exciting, creative and back-and-forth matches rewarded with better opportunities as well as points t purchase better wrestlers, moves and skill sets.

However, this is where to game starts to slip. You may find yourself playing MyCarrer mode more this year given that the 2KShowcase mode has gone. That means you’ll need to sit through the long-winded task of creating your own character and going through a tutorial before you begin your path to the top, although the create-a-character is exceptionally in-depth.

As a result, the promo inclusion has been given much more prominence with Superstars able to choose from multiple responses that provoke a different reaction from the crowd – which depends on their hostility, respect, and enthusiasm – and help to decide whether a wrestler is face or heel and whether they excite the crowd. However, the cut scenes take far too long, and beyond the interaction with the brilliant Paul Heyman, you have to read the subtitles while your Superstar lip syncs something completely different. It feels pre-2K10, let alone 2K17, and this needs addressing urgently next year.

Such is the way of the WWE, the game already feels behind the times. The build-up to its release saw WWE 2K17 sold on the cover of Brock Lesnar and the inclusion of WWE legend Goldberg. Was this a hint to a future, real-life bout? In short, yes – the match was announced on Monday – but if this was an effort to keep the game up-to-date it has failed. There is no brand split, meaning no new titles and GMs beyond The Authority.

However, take to the MyUniverse mode and you’ll see some fantastic improvement. The Titantron builder has undergone a major reconstruction that allows you to do just about anything you’ve ever wished to the arena, while the requirement of completing matches in order of their card slot has enabled Juke’s to add a much more detailed commentary system – so much so that commentators will reference previous matches that night if appropriate.

All-in-all, WWE 2K17 is not a major advancement on last year’s edition, but it doesn’t need to be. The edges have been smoothed, the detail built upon and there’s enough there to tell you that if you’re into the WWE franchise, then go out and get yourself 2K17.

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