A Spike Lee story mode and upgraded defensive controls help maintain 2K’s dominance.
Year after year, the NBA 2K series sets the bar as high for its game as any franchise—no matter the genre. The game was stacked with so many features last year, it felt like seven games in one. With NBA Live offering some semblance of competition, 2K Sports and developers Visual Concepts have added even more to this year’s title.
Does it all work like a well-oiled machine? In a word: yes.
Visually, NBA 2K has progressed to a level most games only hope to reach. Screenshots like the one that is featured at the top of this article and below don’t require any filters or touch-ups. Simply pause the game at just about any point and you can catch a glimpse of photo-realistic player renders and lifelike environments.
Over the last two years, the series has nailed most of the players with a few guys routinely missed. Most—if not all—of those guys have been accurately captured in NBA 2K16.
It’s not just faces, it’s body types as well. In the past, NBA 2K has been raked over the coals for having players too muscular or too skinny. InNBA 2K16, heavier guys are represented well and there’s an overall distinction between the different body frames in the league.
One of the issues with NBA 2K15—and there weren’t a ton—was the unrealistic amount of made jump shots we saw in the game. Essentially, if you had an above-average shooter and you released the shot at the right time, you’d never miss an open look from three-point range.
That just wasn’t realistic, and it made head-to-head games more like three-point contests with some dunking mixed in.
Forget everything you did in NBA 2K15 because NBA 2K16′s made-to-miss shot determination is entirely different. To put it plainly: You will play simulation-style basketball, or you will lose…a lot.
It’s just that simple. Bad shots rarely go in, and great shots don’t always fall. That’s the way basketball is in real life, and you really get an appreciation for that concept when you play head-to-head with another person.Watch as you or your opponent are penalized for bad shots and poor passing. I played online against a guy who had the Cavs. Missed shots quickly turned into transition opportunities. If LeBron James had the ball in the open floor, he was almost unstoppable, and that’s the way it should be.I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the improved offensive and defensive logic. In this year’s game, the teams automatically run sets that mirror the real-life coach’s philosophy. Translation: you don’t have to call plays every trip to get your team to play to its strength or to put the right players in position to score. Nino “Da Czar” Samuels deserves a ton of credit for this, as he was instrumental in the development of the game’s freelance offense.
The defense doesn’t get left out. Now your players will react more intelligently when defending pick-and-roll, impeding the path of cutters and keying on a hot player.
I went on a little run with Pau Gasol, and before the quarter was done, he was being doubled on the low post. Much like Da Czar did with the offensive side of the ball, Scott O’Gallagher’s influence and knowledge about defense has augmented gameplay in this aspect.
Overall, the gameplay team, led by Mike “Beluba” Wang and also featuring Zach Timmerman and a host of other talented individuals, has produced the best gameplay the sport of basketball has seen on a video game.
If you haven’t played it, you have to get your hands on the sticks to understand how good this game plays.
Now little something about numerous options in the game.As I’ve mentioned already in NBA 2k16 announcing article in august, improvements comparing to previous version are obvious.It’s difficult to know where to begin when discussing the various ways to play NBA 2K16. There’s Play Now, which is traditional exhibition games with all 30 NBA teams, both All-Star squads and/or any of the 47 classic teams and 25 Euroleague clubs. That’s 104 teams in all.
PLAY NOW ONLINE
There’s the new Play Now Online mode, which lets you play a soccer-style promotion and relegation system with head-to-head matches. And yes, that’s just as awesome as it sounds.Blacktop returns with no real additions, as does the Play With Friends team-up option. The popular MyPARK streetball mode is also back. Aside from Play Now Online, those are just the modes that are relatively unchanged.
What’s even better is that the same editor is now also available inMyTEAM. The mode that blends card collecting with fantasy sports concepts and gaming is now allowing you to truly make your squad your own.
The new additions to MyTEAM don’t stop there. There are also several new challenges and modes to keep you entertained and earning virtual currency that can be used in several areas of the game.
One of those modes is the ever-popular MyCAREER mode.
Every year, there’s a new storyline that helps to immerse gamers in their own world of single-player, campaign-style hoops. This year’s story was written, directed and created by Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee.
I don’t have many issues with NBA 2K16, but the biggest one I have is with the MyCAREER mode. Lee’s influence and character direction feels forced and doesn’t mesh well with the core principles of the mode.MyCAREER is supposed to be about writing your own story, but instead it feels as though you’re too chained to Lee’s script.
It begins with the face-scanning process, which has seen little to no improvements. This year, the scans are easier to perform, but the renders are far from accurate. Once the MyCAREER portion of the game begins, the voice acting is pretty awesome for all of the characters—except your guy. There’s some issue with the translation of the scanned render and it makes your character look aloof throughout many of the cinematic scenes.
Your character begins his journey in high school—which is great—but the high school games are bland as they don’t feature an announcer. It takes about a quarter or so before the novelty wears off, and I was left wanting more from this aspect of the story mode.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some really cool elements to MyCAREERthis year—especially once you get past Lee’s heavy-handed influence on the mode. But it’s not one of the better examples of integrating cinema screens and storyline in a sports game.Admittedly, the ability to spend your off days building connections with selected players to open up perks like MyTeam cards is pretty cool, but it’s also pretty sterile, with no cutscenes to drive home the fact that you’re actually building up a connection with them. It’s just a menu with a series of unlocks.
There isn’t a right answer, but there is certainly a wrong answer. In NBA 2K16, I feel like we do a thorough job of explaining the new Team Building logic, via feedback to you, the user. This was a big year for the brains of the mode.
In MyGM, just because you submit an application doesn’t mean it will be accepted. Once the league office approves your application, it still has to go before the relocation committee. That group is made up of NBA owners.
They may not want to allow you to move a third team to the N.Y. area. Boensich explains, you can always expect to have the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets owners to vote against a relocation project such as that. However, you will have an opportunity to try to sway the opinions of owners.
Your proposal can be strengthened through the conversation modules that were previously included in the mode.
MyLEAGUE now allow you to relocate teams throughout North America with the option to re-brand the entire franchise. When I say re-brand, I’m not talking about some cookie-cutter team editor. The tool in NBA 2K16 is the best team editor since NCAA Football’s Team Builder application.
2k PRO – AM
2K Pro-Am mode could be headed for huge things. You’re able to take your MyPlayers online to compete in competitions with full stat tracking. Best of all, that same amazing creation tool allows you to completely customize your Pro-Am team.
You can build legends rooster since 2010 version.There were a few cosmetic requests the creation community had for developers. We wanted to be able to make guys taller than 7’2″ and add a headband, more hairstyles, tattoos and goggles. I guess two out of five isn’t bad. You can now add headbands and a huge number of hairstyles, but the other three options might have to wait another year.
Finally we should be talking about gameplay.What would succesfull game be without it?Only a visual tour,perhaps.
Another interesting feature is summer league.
There are actually two Summer Leagues in the game this year: 1) The Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, and 2) The 2K Summer League. Your team will get an invite to one of the summer leagues each offseason.
The first step in any Team Relocation is deciding where you want to move the franchise to. This is a big decision. We have created complete metro profiles for most of the big North American cities. These profiles include the population of the metropolitan area, the income of the people residing in this area, and how many TV homes there are in the market. We take these numbers and boil them down into three very simple meters for you: 1) How the Median Income of the market affects the future financial success of your franchise, 2) The overall population of the metropolitan area in comparison to other relocation city options, and 3) The overall fan interest of you moving your team to their city. And you thought you were just going to pick your favorite city with no other factors. That’s cute! This is big business.Once you have selected your city, you then need to decide whether you want to build the arena in a Downtown setting or in a Suburban setting. Land prices cost more downtown, so that will be a costlier relocation and will incur higher operating costs, but with the uptick that your team will be centrally located to where the action is (higher attendance), and to where your more affluent fans reside. Wait, it costs money to relocate a team? Of course it does!
Gameplay isn’t without weaknesses at all.NBA 2K seems to make a habit of locking you into animations, especially when you’re driving toward the basket or you’re posting up.When the game finally hits the floor you will notice that each player have signature moves and animations.When you get the ball you will notice control changes.Visual Concepts has also messed with the controls again, as this is somethnig they are frequently want to do. There are now dedicated buttons for lobs and bounce passes, and you can go into the post game using L2 (or LT on the Xbox One). The interface in this game can be pretty intimidating for newcomers; but once you get the hang of calling pick and rolls with L1, you’ll be knocking down buckets off fades in no time. If anything, the pick and roll may be a tad overpowered this year, though the computer will compensate somewhat if you call it too much.NBA 2K is a deep and entertaining basketball sim that gives you the tools to pull off some truly awesome highlight reel dunks and passes. It also does a great job of capturing the personalities of various teams, with Golden State bombing you with threes, Memphis and Philadelphia trying to bully you in the paint, and LeBron James doing LeBron James things. Of all the sports games I’ve played, only MLB The Show does a better job of capturing the feel of playing the real game.
Realistic features are present there as well.Commentary,Pregame shows,Half time shows,post game shows,replays,crowds etc.When mentioning crowd and fans it should be said that they indeed are looking a bit more realistic than in NBA 2k15.It is not a big difference but it is worth a mention.
You could say that NBA 2k16 gameplay physics are just good as visuals.Each single game you will play can result in different impression. For example it is not the same thing if you play with Milwaukee Bucks or Cleveland Cavaleers.Every team plays as they would be playing for real.They are using strategies that thay would be using in the games you watch live.You wont be able to use different teams in the same manner.Some teams preffer defensive strategies, some teams are playing slow,some teams you will face are determine to play with a lot of fouls.This should help keep the game fresh, and give you a true home-court advantage when playing with your go-to squad.
The part of the game that has been upgraded the most is exactly gameplay.
Impression is that it is slightly better than 2k15,with NBA 2K16 is absolutely brimming with content; so much so that you’ll need big amount of playing hours to experience it all. Its core basketball experience is spectacular, and it takes big chances with an expansive story mode, a multitude of online options, and a presentation that is second to none in the sports game space. The only lingering doubt is its ability to keep its online infrastructure up and running from Day One, as many of the game’s features are tied to the 2K servers being operational.
It’s the one of the most ambitious sports game ever made, and a must-play for anyone who’s ever picked up a virtual basketball.