IGN has just released new information on the improvements made on the WWE 2K17 gameplay. There have been many addictions and changes in the gameplay structure, some of them really sound interesting like the new "Roll-Out" system or the addition of different taunts types, while others a bit less, like having restrictions on where you can place a ladder which could result in a big limitation if you want to perform ladder bumps/spots.

However, here's the full breakdown by IGN on the new WWE 2K17 gameplay changes, includind a new WWE 2K17 screenshot featuring Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar!
 

Ladder Match Overhaul

In real life, a ladder match means high-impact, high-altitude spots that get the crowd out of their seats. In wrestling games, ladder matches mean a lot of fussing over how to place your ladder properly, and a lot of clunky looking interactions. No more.

In WWE 2K17, the ladder can only be set up in five specific locations: in front of each set of ropes, and in the center of the ring. Just get close to one, press the right button, and it gets set up properly every time. No more setting it up and climbing to the top, only to find you were an inch too far to the left.

On top of that, you can set a ladder up as a bridge from the apron to the outside barrier, opening up lots of new opportunities. I personally get arm dragged from the inside of the ring to the outside through a ladder before I could do anything more creative, but the possibilities are totally there.


The Roll-Out

Fussy, awkward ladder interactions aside, ladder matches also suffer the same problem that all multi-person matches do: it’s a beginning-to-end free-for-all. That’s finally been fixed with the new Roll-Out system.

When a member of a mutli-person match takes a big burst of damage, they will be forced to roll out to ringside, where they’ll rest for a while. Depending on how badly hurt they are, they’ll be stuck there until they’ve at least partially recovered. At that point, you have a choice: do I run back in or do I rest until I’m fully recovered? Coming in early might be the choice if a pinfall is about to be scored, or if you see a perfect opportunity, but coming in fully rested gives you a temporary buff to run wild with.

In practice, this means you won’t spend the entirety of a Triple Threat match bumbling around the ring with two combatants to worry about. Much like in actual Triple Threats, it naturally becomes a sort of round robin, with dramatic moments where a resting wrestler will pop back into the ring at the last second to prevent a pinfall. Finally, these matches have an ebb and flow that feels like the real thing, and provides a layer of decision-making that just wasn’t there previously.


Backstage Brawls and Fighting In The Crowd

Finally, at long last, you can fight backstage or in the crowd again. You can either play a separate Backstage Brawl match, where you win by KO, or you can transition from any “No DQ” style match right into a backstage scrap. There are three separate backstage areas, and a bevy of interactive props to get nasty with. There are even a handful of backstage-only OMG! Moments to really put the hurt on your opponent with.

I didn’t get to try a fight in the crowd myself sadly, but it can happen during any match type, regardless of rule set.


Taunting Matters

Taunting has mostly been a way to “role-play” your wrestler of choice more than anything, but now it has an actual gameplay purpose. Some taunts grant you a temporary damage boost, while others increase the rate at which you gain momentum for a time. Finding chances to taunt is easier than ever too, since you can now taunt in a much wider variety of locations. Doing the right taunt at the right time can really turn the tides!


Major Reversals Play a Bigger Role

Major reversals were a new addition last year, but you seldom saw them because of how narrow their timing window was. This year, the timing is a bit more forgiving, and it does a lot more for you when you land one. In addition to getting as bit of an offensive boost like before, a successful Major Reversal locks out your opponent’s ability to perform reversals of their own.

This is a particularly big deal for creating an opportunity to get a clutch finishing move off without fear of having it turned around on you. More than even last year, I really found myself holding onto a couple of reversals while taking a beating, choosing to wait for a Major Reversal opportunity to really turn things around.


Chain Wrestling and Submission Changes

Of all the neat new features we’ve seen from Yukes and Visual Concepts over the last few years, Chain Wrestling and the new submission system have been the two most contentious. They aren’t going anywhere this year, but some changes have been made to help address the complaints some of the fanbase has voiced.

Chain Wrestling is no longer automatically engaged at the start of a match. It will still happen if two characters try to grapple each other simultaneously, or in other situations based on the wrestler’s style and personality, but it is no longer the standard way to start a match. While I dig the Chain Wrestling system, it being the guaranteed match opener didn’t make a lot of sense, so I’m glad it plays a smaller role.

As for the submission system, it’s been tuned so that your rotating “pie wedges” aren’t so slippery. It definitely feels like you have more control in submission situations as a result. That said, some people still just want to mash buttons, and for them, an alternate submission system can be turned on that let’s them go back to the days of controller smashing and mashing. How that will work online with people wanting different styles is up in the air, but it’s cool that 2K is giving everyone a chance to play the way they want.
So that’s everything I tested out. None of the new WWE Universe or MyCareer stuff was available for me to try, but I got a very good sense of how WWE 2K17 is going to feel in the ring, and I really dig how the franchise continues to march farther and farther towards being a simulation sports game.
 

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