NBA 2K16 review

Ever since 2K took over the NBA games a few years ago they have managed to make some great improvements to the series, yet again they have managed to do with NBA2K16, but that’s not to say they could put some work into other areas.

The first things you’ll notice about this years title is the emphasis on MyCareer, which this year has been written by Spike Lee. You’ll play as your created character, starting at school and college before being picked up by an NBA team. As much as I love having a storyline to play along with, I didn’t feel like I was “Livin da dream” and more like I was putting up with Spike Lee’s vanity project. The build up to becoming a star is pretty boring to be honest, I didn’t even like my own player, let alone my annoying ‘friend’, pushy agent and patronising team owner!

It will take a few hours to escape the Story of “Frequency Vibrations” or as he prefers to be known “Freq” before MyCareer becomes the mode we all know and love. At this point you can really start to get on with progressing through your career. You’ll live the basketball players life, in a virtual sense of course, by managing your stats through training as well dealing with sponsorship deals and working on the social side of being in the NBA. It can take a while but it’s great watching your player begin as a rookie and end as a star.

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If playing through a career isn’t for you the. Visual Concepts have you covered with a whole host of content, play through a regular season as your favourite team, or if you prefer you can take the reins as a GM and bring you franchise some glory. A nice new feature is the ability to move your team to a different city, not much more has changed from what was already a solid mode. MyTeam also returns giving fans the chance to create their team of superstars in a similar fashion to FIFA Ultimate Team. It works really well, you can customise your lineups while seeing real-time info that will help you determine how you play each game, for example your team might be strong at scoring three pointers so you’ll know that it’s worth attempting them more often. There 5 game modes to pay through which are all quite good fun, I spend more time creating my own team, customising my kit and court, the TiX Typhoons are the team to play! Just like in previous titles you are able to line up against all-star teams as well as important teams throughout NBA history in the Play Now section, where you can also see the latest scores in the NBA, via NBA Today. You can play some Blacktop or take part in the All-Star team up.

I suffered terribly online last year with 2K15, getting games was difficult and when I did they was too much lag or I completely lost connection which mean losing out on the games Virtual Currency. This year is much better, 2K Pro-am is a blast (even if I’m terrible). You are quickly teamed up to play some 5v5 and for the most part it works really well, you’ll occasionally get paired up against a team of 5 who will have a much better time taking a team of randoms apart.

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For the third year in a row I’m pleased to say that NBA 2K16 is still the best looking sports game around. Starting with the player models and animation, all of your favourite players are instantly recognisable and if for whatever reason you can’t quite work out who they are you’ll notice how well matched they are to their playing style. The actors who play your family, your coach and your agent in MyCareer also look great (it’s quite cool watching the mocap footage if you get a chance).

The different venues all look incredible, from the high school courts you first play on, right up to the huge arenas you’ll play in during in MyCareer from the crowds to the lighting, it’s rare to see such a polished sports title. The audio is superb too, you’ll hear cheerleaders chanting at the lower level games and the roar of the crowd at the bigger venues. All of this is supported by the superb commentary and general presentation of the matches. The conversation between the commentary team flows brilliantly.

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The control scheme has been altered again this year, which if you are a hardcore fan will be frustrating but as someone who doesn’t play as often it feels the most accessible it’s ever been. The main focus has been aimed at the passing game, there are now separate buttons for the bounce and lob passes and it certainly helps you against the vastly improved AI. Practice makes perfect with the game, as does varying your tactics, AI defenders are able to pick up on you using the same play to score and you’ll soon start to notice that you aren’t as successful and mixing things up is key.

NBA2K16 is a superb title, yet again setting the bar in presentation and accessibility, it’s massively let down by the beginning of the MyCareer mode but the improvements to the online elements and control scheme makes this one of the best sports titles around. There is plenty to do, whether you are a part-time fans or hardcore player, you’ll find yourself more than happy with your purchase.

Thanks to Xbox and 2K for their support

[rprogress value=88 text=”TiX Score 88%”]
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