If you’re not familiar with it, Universe Mode is an experience based on the WWE shows and events, with WWE Superstars competing against each other in rivalries and for championships, in settings where anything can happen all year round. This includes things like a surprise underdog earning a title shot, a fan-favorite Superstar turning against the crowd, or tag team partners competing against each other to see if their comradery will endure the rivalry or if they’ll go their own separate ways.
What makes Universe Mode really stand out is the huge level of customization we support for the players who want to take control with their own ideas. You can create your own roster of WWE and custom Superstars, choose the championships they compete for, change up the shows and PPVs they compete on – or even create your own! The WWE 2K17 Creation Suite and Community Creations options unlock a huge level of potential for WWE Universe that are unlike anything else.
Universe Mode Basics
When starting a new WWE Universe file, you are given a set number of weeks before the next PPV show. Before then, you have different RAW and SmackDown shows that you can play out to develope rivalries, change hands on Championships, and much more. Everything that happens within these shows is completel customizable.
The Calander shows every show and PPV for each month within the year, lasting from April to March. While viewing the Calander, you can change the cards and details about every single show and the matches that occur. The My Universe section displays all of the stats and key events from matches that have been completed within your WWE Universe file.
Story Options allows you to change specific details for events that can occur throughout the entire year of Universe Mode. You can set rivalries to happen automatically, Injuries to Superstars, changes in the crowd reaction from event to event, and more.
Special events like Undertaker's Wrestlemania Rivalry, and rivalries for the Royal Rumble and Survivor Series can be set ON/OFF or made to be triggered randomly through the WWE year.
Everything about WWE live shows can be customized for each event of your WWE Universe. The intro videos, the pyro effects, and the camera focus can be tweaked to your liking. This is all done before starting each event in the WWE Universe menu at the start of the WWE year.
This also includes match cards for every single RAW, SmackDown, and PPV during the week.
When an event has started, you can view all of the matches you've set up on the card. You can either play or simulate matches on the card during a show. One important thing however is that you need to proceed through the match card in the order it’s presented.
Matches that have Superstars engaging in an open rivalry will be marked with an "R" graphic next to their names. Rivalries can be set and adjusted in the menus before every show.
There are surprises waiting for you as you play through Universe. You’ll never know how a Superstar is going to react to losing his or her match, how desperate a Superstar is to win that coveted championship, what a Superstar will do when confronted by his or her hated rival and so on.
Here we find Rusev celebrating his win against Sheamus and being confronted by Roman Reigns afterwards in a staredown over the WWE United States Championship. Storylines between rivals will develop constantly in Universe, featuring cutscenes during their matches. Our talented mocap and animation teams have done an amazing job updating the majority of our cutscenes, so expect to see a lot of new content in your play-throughs.
There are more to just matches in a show, though. Promos are also a part of Universe, where Superstars can speak their minds to the crowd or lay the verbal smackdown on their rivals.
We’ve also listened to your feedback from last year, and we’ve added support for Run-Ins in WWE 2K17, letting you choose which matches you want a run-in to happen on and even when in the match you want the run-in to happen. Be warned that you’re not the only ones making the choices; you never knew when a Superstar might take matters into his or her own hands!
Another Look at the Show Menu
Once you’ve wrapped up all the matches of the show, let’s head back to the show menu, where we can dig into some more details. Access the News option to recap the exciting moments of the show or catch up on dramatic events between rivals that you might’ve missed in a simulated match.
Enter the Championships menu to see the prestigious titles of the show and where each Superstar ranks for his or her shot at the gold. Superstars and Teams is where you’ll find the ratings, stats and news of the show’s competitors. These menus bring you info related only to the show you’re on, which I think helps emphasize the brand identity by removing clutter of other shows.
It wouldn’t be Universe Mode without all of its customization! This is the part that some players find the most depth in the mode and where they can really tailor their Universe experiences just the way they want by using our Creation Suite. I haven’t touched on the customization much in the walkthrough above, and you may not have seen much of it in the screens shown, but don’t worry – it’s all still there.
There is no main “Edit Universe” option anymore; instead you’ll find an “Edit” option available on screens where you can customize something. The idea behind this was that we don’t need separate “View Superstars” and “Edit Superstars” menus, for example.
If you’re looking at something you want to change, you shouldn’t have to leave that menu to go do it. If I’m looking at Superstars and I want to customize something about one of them, I should be able to go into an edit mode straight from there.
Superstars can be changed around in a variety of ways: their skills, attributes and personality can all be adjusted. You can choose their enemies and their allies, what championships they’re competing for, which attires they compete in and how the crowd responds to them
Teams can be customized, whether you’re adding or removing members to an existing team or making a team of your own creation. Why not add Kane to the Wyatt Family and show what would’ve happened if he had been converted? Or you could pick Superstars of your choice to join Finn and really establish the Balor Club.
Championships will show you which Superstar has which title and let you edit the rankings around if you like. Access Shows and modify a specific show if you want to change which championships are featured on it. You can also change the Superstars who compete on that show, how many matches it runs and even its presentation.
Making Our Own Brand Split
WWE’s draft between Raw and SmackDown was a huge deal, but unfortunately it happened too late in our development to get those changes into WWE 2K17. However, our Creation Suite and Community Creations will make it possible for you to get your Universe lined up to match the brand changes. I’ll walk you guys through some of the ways you can make these changes:
1. Create a new Universe save. I don’t want to interrupt my first Universe already in progress, so I’ll create a new save that we want to customize.
2. Assign Superstars to SmackDown. We were able to get most of the Superstars assigned to their drafted shows, but some were up in the air at the time of the draft, and I wasn’t sure where they would end up going. Let’s head into My Universe > Superstars and highlight Heath Slater.
Pressing Y/Triangle enters the Edit Mode for Heath Slater. Selecting Affiliated Show lets us decide which shows he will participate on. Let’s uncheck Raw and check SmackDown, and Slater’s ready to go. I’ll also make sure we have other Superstars on the blue brand, like Nikki Bella.
3. Assign the new Championship to Raw. One of my favorite parts about the brand split is the new championships. I went through our Custom Championships to see how close I could get to recreating the new titles with the options straight out of the box, and turns out it’s pretty close!
With my titles ready, I’ll go into My Universe > Shows and choose Raw. I’ll swap out the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with our own Universal Championship and hand it to Kevin Owens. I’ll go into SmackDown and remove the Tag Team and Women’s Championship titles, but I won’t add the new titles just yet. I think it would be fun to recreate those title matches in our own Backlash PPV to see who comes out as the new champions.
4. Create a custom PPV. Let’s get our SmackDown-exclusive PPV ready. I’ll go into Calendar, press Y/Triangle to enter Edit Mode and pick an empty Sunday for our Backlash. The important thing we want is to set our Host Show to SmackDown. PPV Match Theme determines what kinds of match types we’ll expect, which we’ll leave alone since I want to customize the matches to be close to Backlash’s match card.
Show Details takes us to Custom Show, where we can edit all sorts of new details in the new Custom Show menu in the Creation Suite. I have my Backlash logo imported through Community Creations via our Logo Importer, so we’re almost finished setting everything up.
5. Customizing matches. With my Backlash PPV setup, I’ll quit out of Edit Mode and select Backlash on the Calendar to simulate straight to it. I can start customizing my matches by selecting the match card and choosing Edit Show. Our first match is going to be for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. I’ll highlight the first match, hit RB/R1 for Edit and choose Customize Match since we’re changing the match type completely.
From there, I choose 6-Man > Battle Royal and pick SmackDown’s women’s division competitors. For the finishing touches, I’ll open Match Options and pick Title Match, placing our SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line. The process is similar for setting up the rest of our matches, and then my custom PPV is ready to go!
6. Finishing Touches. I’ve finished my PPV and I havemy new SmackDown champions, so now it’s time to assign the new titles to SmackDown. Using the same process as we did with Raw, we’ll go into My Universe > Shows > SmackDown and assign our SmackDown Tag Team and SmackDown Women’s Championships to the show so that the Superstars on the big blue can compete for these titles in future PPVs.
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