Each year devout fans of basketball and sports video games alike patiently wait for the day they can pick up the latest edition of NBA 2K. This year, 2K Sports attempted to create the most realistic on-court experience ever. They succeeded.
Fans of the game waited to hear about the changes that were made to the most popular mode of the game: My Career. In this mode, the player takes control of their created player and progress through a story that closely resembles what it is like to move through the ranks of the NBA from rookie to superstar.
This year, 2K Sports hired writer/director Spike Lee to take the reigns on the mode, bringing in a host of changes. Your created player starts out as Frequency Vibrations, or Freak for short. After selecting which high school you attend, and progressing through three games, you select which college you will be attending from the list of ten colleges that are included in the game including UCLA, Kansas, Louisville and others. After six games at the collegiate level, you begin your journey in the NBA after being drafted to a team in the league. From here, your player will be provided with a path to NBA stardom.
However, the new changes to the mode aren’t all great. As previously mentioned, your player’s name is Frequency Vibrations, and there is no option to change this throughout the mode. Instead, you have to listen to college recruiters and other players refer to you as “Freak.” Another quirk in the updated my career mode is your player’s family. No matter which ethnicity you choose for your player, your family remains African American. This seems to be a weird oversight in a game that perfects many of the little things on the court but misses something in a mode that was marketed with the hashtag #BeTheStory. Despite these minor oversights and annoyances, the game mode is unlike any sports game we have seen.
Outside My Career mode, there are plenty of other modes to be enjoyed. You can bring your created player online and play in modes such as 2K Pro-Am and My Park. 2K Pro-Am is a more traditional five on five mode, but has highly customizable options including courts, jerseys and even the option to upload your own team logo. My Park is more of a pick-up game setting played on outside courts with fewer fouls, where the winner is the first to reach 21 points. Both modes allow you to play online with friends and earn virtual currency to purchase in-game rewards.
Other traditional annual game modes such as My League and My GM are included as well. My League is a highly customizable mode that allows gamers to take total control over a franchise from the regular season to the offseason, while also giving the opportunity to decide the length of the season, how logical trades are and other options that aren’t included in any other mode including a complete re-draft of every player in the league to re-create rosters. In My GM mode you are tasked with creating a winning team both on and off the court. This mode also allows you to earn virtual currency to improve just about every aspect of your franchise. The newest addition to both of these modes is the new team re-locator. This new aspect allows you to move a franchise to a variety of cities, as well as complete customization of the new courts, jerseys and logos for your franchise.
Outside the various game modes, 2K continued to impress fans. Each year, multiple classic teams are offered for users to play exhibition games with. Teams such as the Michael Jordan led ’95-96 Bulls have been included before, but this year 2K included 12 newer classic teams such as the ’99-00 Raptors and the ’06-07 Rockets opening new playing opportunities for avid users of the game.
From Chris Bosh’s video bombs to LeBron’s “silencer” signature move, 2K Sports has not only made this the most realistic NBA video game yet, but quite possibly the most realistic sports game to date, and is highly recommended to NBA fans and fans of sporting games.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5