WWE 2K17 has at long last hit the market, and as the Godfather would say, "It's time, once again, to get aboard the hype train!" In addition to being loaded with match types, venues, weapons, props, and customization options, this newest 2K installment has the largest roster in the franchise's history.
With a grand total of 156 people in the game, there are enough people on the roster to fill over five standard Royal Rumble matches. It's needless to say one of the best aspects of a WWE game is being able to pick up a controller and strap on the boots of your favorite wrestler. Of course, in order to fully immerse players into the simulated world of the WWE, it is pretty much essential for the game's developers to get even the smallest details correct, including the appearance of the wrestlers.
It's been 19 years since the WWE's (then WWF) first video game hit the shelves, and technology has certainly come a long way. With today's 3D modeling, superstars, announcers and managers look even better in-game than ever, and it certainly shows in this game. Here are just a few examples of how realistic the game's characters look.
1. Arn Anderson
- Real name: Martin Anthony Lunde
- Wrestling alias: Arn Anderson
Let's start with WWE Hall of Famer Arn Anderson. As an original member of the Four Horseman, old Uncle Arn deserves a model to match his legacy. Here we have a model that captures Anderson's face with a perfect 3D formula. His nose, eyes, facial hair, and even his stocky body type are presented in all their glory. The fine folks at Yuke's and Visual Concepts really showed their craft off with this one.
2. Big Boss Man
- Real name: Ray Washington Traylor, Jr.
- Wrestling alias: Big Boss Man
Here we have the late and great Big Boss Man with his badges and popped collar as usual. He looks appropriately tough-as-nails, and doesn't look like the kind of character you want to go up against in a singles match. If the Boss Man were still on this Earth, it's a safe bet that he'd approve of this model.
3. Big Show
- Real name: Paul Donald Wight II
- Wrestling alias: Big Show
Bald, bearded, and beautiful, Big Show's model is a near mirror-image of the giant himself. He's been in the WWE for so long, that it's no wonder why the game developers keep getting better at sculpting him. Not only did they get the full goatee and beard stubble just right, but they even gave him some characteristic bags under the eyes - likely from that crying gimmick we'd all like to forget about.
4. Bo Dallas
- Real name: Taylor Michael Rotunda
- Wrestling alias: Bo Dallas
Bo-lieve in the power of advanced 3D modeling! Mr. Dallas' model is absolutely rocking that signature wet hair and round, youthful-looking face. In a game full of such great player models, this one is certainly no outcast.
5. Bray Wyatt
- Real name: Windham Lawrence Rotunda
- Wresling alias: Bray Wyatt
Speaking of Bo Dallas, his brother Bray's model isn't too shabby either. Pretty much everything about this model is flawless. From the scraggly beard/wet locks combo to the tight-fitting tank top, this model has every one of Wyatt's defining features. They even managed to get his tattoos just right; a feat that was likely difficult with Wyatt's colorful, real-life ink.
6. Daniel Bryan
- Real name: Bryan Lloyd Danielson
- Wrestling alias: Daniel Bryan
Gone from competing but not forgotten is Daniel Bryan, a short-lived but legendary superstar with an equally legendary model. From the trademark goat beard to the unmistakable bottom lip, this model manages to convey the humanity and sacrifices that make up Daniel Bryan's story. It's a true work of art to say the least.
7. Enzo Amore
- Real name: Eric Arndt
- Wrestling alias: Enzo Amore
What a challenge this guy must have been to replicate. With his crazy hair, bulging eyeballs and numerous tattoos, Amore's fashion sense no doubt caused a few late nights and headaches for the game designers. The good news is that all of the gallons of coffee they must have consumed were not in vain; this is model is a bona fide hit!
- Real name: William Scott Goldberg
- Wrestling alias: Goldberg
Who's next? Goldberg, of course! Just look at how accurate this model is. Every stitch and pad is emulated with careful precision. Not to mention that his badass chest hair is the perfect consistency. A model like this is certainly worthy of coming out to his epic entrance music - spark waterfalls and all. Much like Goldberg in his early WCW career, the design is going to be pretty hard to beat.
9. John Cena
- Real name: John Felix Anthony Cena, Jr.
- Wrestling alias: John Cena
Whether you love him or want him to be buried by every star on the roster, you have to admit that John Cena's model is one of the finest that this game has to offer. It almost looks like they took a photograph of Cena's face and pasted it on to the model, but nope, modern technology managed to sculpt this. Just look at the bulging eyebrows, the distinct scowl, and that tough-as-nails chin cleft (you can never go wrong with a chin cleft). They even managed to get his outfit just right. This model is so good that it may even drive Cena's biggest haters to shout "THE CHAMP IS HERE!" (it really won't, but it's still a superb model).
- Real name: Glenn Thomas Jacobs
- Wrestling alias: Kane
Also receiving a spectacular model is the Big Red Machine. A lazier artist would have just stuck the mask on any old generic model, but not in this case. Kane's face is clearly distinguishable even with the mask on, and the mask itself is the perfect texture and color. It really makes you wonder though; if the artists are this good at modeling Kane, could they even make a model of Fake Diesel look good?
11. Razor Ramon
- Real name: Scott Oliver Hall
- Wrestling alias: Razor Ramon
If there's anything that screams "cocky SOB," it's greasy black hair, chains, and a toothpick in the mouth. All of these traits made Razor Ramon an unforgettable heel for his time, and all of those traits are presented on his 2K17 model. It's even got that 5 o'clock shadow and brawny chest hair. Kudos to you, 2K17 development team, for a model that perfectly gives off the vibes of the original wrester.
12. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Real name: Shinsuke Nakamura
- Wrestling alias: Same
All the way from the Land of the Rising Sun, we have NXT superstar Shinsuke Nakamura. A fan favorite among wrestling enthusiasts, the artists did a fantastic job bringing Nakamura to the virtual world. He's got the same flashy red wristbands and arm bandana we recognize him for, and the same cool-as-ice parted hair. It's clear that just as much technical skill was performed by artists in the lab as Nakamura in the ring.
13. Triple H
- Real name: Paul Michael Levesque
- Wrestling alias: Triple H
You could say that winning over the players with accurate and carefully-crafted models is best for business, and here's one guy who would agree with you. This model is fit for a king; a king of kings to be exact. In addition to his signature schnozz, Triple H is looking as stern as ever on this model - you can tell by those permanently-etched forehead lines. Considering Triple H's role in WWE's business ventures, it's entirely possible that he had some extra say in the development of his player model. With something as good-looking as this, a scenario like that isn't too outlandish.
14. Trish Stratus
- Real name: Patricia Anne Stratigeas
- Wrestling alias: Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus is perhaps the most influential WWE Diva of all time. She main-evented RAW episodes, won the hearts of Canadians everywhere, and even generated some major heat as a heel. While she is well known for being the subject of some pretty sexist storylines and Playboy photo shoots, the developers do her legacy justice here with a modest, practical outfit. They chose to focus on Trish as an athlete and gave her model a spot-on face and chose the practical attire she wore during her more physically-demanding matches. It's safe to say Trish would be more than happy with her portrayal here.
15. The Undertaker
- Real name: Mark William Calaway
- Wrestling alias: The Undertaker
While his famous streak may be long gone, the winning streak continues for the Undertaker's player models. The Undertaker and John Cena always seem to be the most accurate models in the WWE video games, and 2K17 shows that they'll only keep getting better over time. Those ominous eyes stare at you, beckoning you to select him, and his grave attire will instantly bring back over two decades of memories. Playing as the Undertaker is a true tradition to the franchise, and with all the accuracy put into his model, it'll once again be insanely satisfying to play as him.