Release Date: October 1, 2013
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 3], XBOX 360, PC
Rated: E for Everyone
It’s another season on the horizon and LeBron is the new face for NBA 2K. Even though he was named the cover star a week before they won the NBA Finals, He shocked the world leading the Miami Heat to another trophy. It’s NBA 2K14 and it’s finally here for another year to dominate rims and backboards.
Over the last couple year, 2K has earned the crown as king of the NBA gaming franchise. So for the simple fact that LeBron is gracing the throne this year, it’s like watching to kings splitting a crown and merging the best of worlds.
LeBron: Path of Greatness is a flash back of NBA 2K11 where you played as Michael Jordan rewriting history with the Bulls or taking Jordan in a new direction and earning rings elsewhere. In 2K14 you now have LeBron with the opportunity of playing the Heat Dynasty or rerouting his success by playing the Fantastic Journey.
Heat Dynasty keeps LeBron James on the Miami Heat where you trying to capture as many championship rings as possible. Fantastic Journey starts you as a free agent looking for the right team. Realistically, it’s what was done in real life; a prospect player that had no chance to make it all the way, simply wanting to move to a team that could help him collect a ring or two.
The game opening presentations transitioning to actual gameplay is awesome as always. 2K has set a very high bar to where even NBA Live making a return this year will have their hands full at EA Sports. While the gameplay for the majority felt about that same in comparison to NBA 2K13, I felt a higher level of excitement each game.
MyCareer made a few changes that were pretty interesting. The biggest change that immediately stood out to me was the player injury. Not even a week in to the beginning of my season on the Bulls, we feel apart with Boozer having to sit out for 4-6 weeks. Ultimately, it gave me more minutes on the floor and became that perfect sixth man for the team.
Social media challenges also were pretty interesting, though not as creative in my opinion. NBA players trash talk you via Social Media and challenges you to beat their goal. For example, a player might speak against you getting so many points or assist. Managing to complete the challenge will set you up with a nice amount to skill point to upgrade your player.
LeBron has a pretty darn good track list in 2K14, a much better list then 2K13. It felt has that perfect arena feel, the fuel to make me want to push one more game. From Radioactive to Eminem singing I’m Not Afraid to Kanye, the album was consistent!
Something that toppled over the soundtrack was the commentary. There were always genuine conversations as you listened to the team talk up the game, players (including your career mode player) and team/career history.
As the only thing left to do is wonder exactly what Next Gen is going to look like as it releases, NBA 2K14 honestly does deserve to rock its crown as the best NBA gaming experience to date.