When 2K first started their sports section and targeted the Basketball market you got the feeling they had something up their sleeves, the 2013 was ok but when NBA 2K14 came out last year on the Xbox One we got one of the best NBA games you were likely to play. It wasn’t perfect, which at least have 2K the chance to improve on them for the latest release. Was the 46gb download going to impress me more than last year? Only time would tell…
Things get off to a bit of a shaky start as you create your in game persona for the MyCareer mode. You can make the usual sorts of edits to your future NBA star but this year you are able to scan your face into the game using Kinect. The best time to attempt this is during the day, with as much natural light as possible, once you align your face where the game asks you to it will ask you to slowly move your face left and right for about a minute. Once you have been captured you’ll see quite a cool image of the your face being built, as well as how many markers Kinect has picked up to help create the image, you’ll be informed on how good your scan was before see the final result. Unfortunately it rarely came out well for me, there were glimpses of my face but it also looked like I’d lost a 12 round boxing match badly. Once you have ironed out all the usual details you’ll be wicked off to the main menu.
Over the past couple of years The game has visually got bet and better, but totally let down by the UI, finally they have addressed this in 2K15, the first thing you’ll notice is that they have set up a TV show for you to watch, the first one had the host sit with the Cover star, Kevin Durant to discuss the game, it’s worth checking out if you are interested in the behind the scenes action. In general they have made lots for improvements to the UI so it’s no longer an issue with me.
All the same games modes are back from last year, if you are here to play the online modes you are going to find yourself disappointed though, I’ve tried my best to take on other players thorough MyPark but frankly the experience has been pretty awful, if I’m lucky enough to get a game it’s crippled with lag making it almost impossible to play, which is a shame. Unfortunately my experience of MyTeam isn’t much better; there is plenty of more content as well this year with a whole host of new challenges for the single players. As much as I had been complimenting the UI, in MyTeam it’s a bit of a mess and ruins the experience by making things overly complicated. MyGM mode returns although apart from some small tweaks you can attempt to take over a franchise and either select a fantasy draft or use the current roster as you attempt to win championships.
Thankfully things in MyCareer have improved, there is some way to go but 2K have at least taken on feedback and tried to improve the experience for fans. As it stands your character miss out at the NBA draft but gets a chance to earn a 10-day contract with a team later on in the season, if you perform well you may bag yourself another contract, and then possibly a proper one after that. It’s a shame there is no option to start the game in similar fashion to last year, where you played in the game before the draft to show off your skills in front of the scouts. Either way it’s a little bit frustrating at first as you don’t get much game time but if you are patient it becomes really good fun.
On court it’s clear 2K have made a big effort to try and make the game a little more accessible to players less familiar to the sport, the biggest thing you will notice is a little shot meter around the players, release the shot within the sweet spot and there is a good chance that you’ll score. For more established players of the game you’ll more than like know your players and can base your judgement on the animations but for people like me it’s a welcome addition. Players feel weightier this year, which is great when defending and as ever the presentation is simply brilliant. They have thrown in cheerleaders during breaks in play as well as mascot diving onto the floor. I’ve noticed a few glitches such as the mid game interviews sometimes have the players missing despite being able to hear their true voices. Thankfully there is more player audio throughout the game, in MyCareer for example your player gets taken under the wing of one of the senior players and actually has some dialogue recorded, giving the game a bit more atmosphere.
In short this year’s effort builds on what was already the best basketball game about, I’m pleased they have addressed some issues that really annoyed me from 2K14 and if only they can improve the online service this game will become unstoppable. If you are fan then you probably already have the game, and if you are on the fence I encourage you to jump off and start shooting some hoops.
Thanks to XBOX for providing us with a code.
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