2K Sports doesn’t have any competition this year with EA cancelling NBA Elite so the question now is: did the lack of competition make the devs lazy and the game underperform?
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Year after year NBA 2Kxx has been good and also this year there’s little to comment on. Or shall we do some nitpicking and discuss the new stuff? Yes, we shall.
At the start of the game you immediately get dropped in a match. If you’ve got experience with the series, this won’t cause much of a problem, but it can for newcomers. You have no idea what’s happening and you’ll end up losing.
The starting level here is a bit higher than with most games and as a result we get realistic and exciting matches on the screen. If you’re a newbie who gets sad from constantly losing, you can train your skills in the extensive “practise” modes. If reality is what you’re after, then the NBA Today simulated matches will be your thing as these have a daily list with real-time competitions which you can play yourself on that day as well.
Next to the options that were also present in previous games, there’s now also the brand new Michael Jordan Challenge. You get taken back to the start of Michael’s career at the Chicago Bulls and work your way through all his highlights. It all starts around 1999 in a game against the Boston Celtics. You not only have to win but also score x amount of points, x amount of assists and possibly complete other tasks as well. A nice addition to the game that will certainly prolong the gameplay time. Also you can unlock gadgets like shoes by for instance showing the other team the door.
The devs also succeeded again in delivering decent graphics. Lighting effects on the podium, sweaty players, cheerleaders, the game has it all! Maybe not a lot of new stuff under the sun, but it’s the small details that do it. Together with the graphics, the beautiful sound creates a perfect atmosphere. The crowd going insane, music, sound effects, … everything is just as it’s supposed to be.
Add to all of this a good and extensive control system and what can go wrong? Well, the only minor downpoints are the somewhat “wooden” moves from the players when they enter or leave the field and personally we found there to be a bit too many timeout that break up the speed of the game. All in all a pretty decent game and definitely worth checking out for the basketball fans.