Release Date: November 15, 2013
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 4], Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Rated: E for Everyone
A full review is needed for the next-gen version of NBA 2K14 as it’s more than just your occasional update or tweaked release. NBA 2K14 on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is a complete 2.0 that is leaps and bounds better than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. And to put the questions to rest between the choice of Live 14 and 2K14, dominance has been recognized in favor of 2K Sports.
It immediately begins with opening presentation. The first glimpse of NBA 2k14 is exhilarating and deserves a highlight reel of its own. There’s a handful of gameplay changes, graphics and overall feel to NBA 2K14 to warrant it sports video game of the year.
You can feel the emotions of each player as they make a shot or suffer a loss through the next-gen graphics and emphasis through the players facial expressions. Everything between controls and responsiveness is well timed and works in sync. If you played 2K14 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, you also notice a smoother transition up and down the court.
One of the most common complaints I’ve heard evolving around the NBA 2K series was the fact that gameplay became more and more difficult recently. 2K14 you can feel a bit of that tension ease up as you can drive to the rim a bit easier.
Another new feature in NBA Real Voice which allows real NBA players to be interviewed during halftime and post-game to discuss strategy or obstacles they overcame. It’s all stepping stones to becoming the most authentic NBA game ever to hit the market.
Two modes that are more of the same is once again MyGM and MyTEAM. If you are familiar with the Ultimate Team cards distributed by EA Sports, allowing gamers to create their own fantasy teams based on the redeemed cards by earning or buying packs or sports cards. The process is exactly the same here at 2K Sports now. Pick a city, name your team and build a dynasty! MyGM simply places you in the role of a GM creating the best possible sense of entertainment for the fans throughout the arena. Do you have the right players, seats and most importantly, business sense?
The complete revamp of 2K14 is the new MyCAREER mode. Instead of moving from rookie game to the draft event, there’s a lot more you are able to interact through, molding your my player through his career. Before games you can speak your agent, team players or even your competitors. As you converse with them, your actions and choice of words will reflect your likability and more.
The further you progress in MyCAREER I found one setback to be certain players become subtitles and don’t respond at all. At the same time, you will also see at various times your own player will have that same reaction; for example while filling out the personality sheet. All in all, the storyboard attempt was a great improvement to the career mode.
If you enjoyed the commentary before, you’re going to love it in the next-gen version on 2K14. One of the most emphasized features is the “NBA Today.” NBA Today covers all of the real life NBA action as it takes place with a full recap board. So while I played a game with the Rockets taking on the Heat, the commentary team literally spoke on Miami last game (in real life) defeating the Atlanta Hawks. And as always, every conversation was fluid. Transitioning from the sideline back to the commentators, they followed up on any action that took place shortly after hearing from Doris. NBA Today is also a game mode where you can play upcoming games.
Graphics are clearly a testimony to the power of next-gen. In fact, NBA 2K14 has the best graphics offered so far from any next-gen launch title! Character models are so detailed with camera angle stepping in to confirm the realism 2K Sports has delivered.
A bit of a let down from 2K14 on next-gen was a few mechanics. The most noticeable problem with NBA 2K14 was players gliding across the court. Whether you threw another player the ball of someone like Lebron was preparing to dunk, players glided across like ice skaters on a rink. The second issue, more of minor flaw, was the fact that players still perform moves and glitch through the goal post or rim. In real life NBA scenarios, moving too fast, players either side stepped out the way or ran into the barricade around the post. It doesn’t feel like a hard fix for developers, but it also seems like a simplistic task overlooked.
I also wasn’t too much of a fan of the new interface. The home menu as well as the NBA Today both felt like a rushed menus thrown together. While user friendly, not at all eye candy in comparison to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
2K Sports told us a while back they made big changes to NBA 2K14, they never said it was phenomenal! It’s amazing to witness the first glimpse in regards to what 2K Sports are capable of and the boundaries they can push. Detail to visuals are better than any other launch title, controls remains the same for an easy transition and the gameplay is unbelievably smooth. Whether you are a fan of the series or just searching for a great game to play on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, it’s here.