Last year’s iteration of the 2K basketball series took to the court and received a series of extremely positive reviews, making it arguably not only the best sports game of last year, but one of the best games altogether. But another year brings another addition to series, and with last year’s success, how do 2K continue the momentum? Well, after a short presentation with Brand Manager Andrew Blumberg at gamescom, here’s five waysNBA 2K17 continues to improve the basketball experience.
Affiliation with Pros
“What I find really interesting about these NBA stars is that they actually really enjoy jumping into the series in their down time” Blumberg told us, “it meant we really wanted their input into the series”. While the likes of FIFA and Madden may have endorsements from the stars of the sport, 2K and developers Visual Concept have actually asked for feedback from pros such as Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler and Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, who have helped refine the general gameplay of the series. On top of this, like last year, you will see a number of different cover stars including Lakers’ icon Kobe Bryant in the Legend Edition, the rising star Paul George in the Standard version and Danilo Gallinari and Pau Gasol on Italian and Spanish versions, respectively.
More Realistic Rebounds & Fatigue
Of the gameplay tweaks made this year, both the fatigue and rebound systems have received relatively large overhauls. In previous iterations of the series, you could keep your starting five on court for most of the four quarters and not experience much change in how they play. Now, your team will begin to gradually fatigue, slowing down movement, missing more shots and becoming more susceptible to injuries. It means now, how you choose to utilize the players on your bench is more important than ever before. Similarly, rebounds have also been given a facelift, “last year we noticed most rebounds were being caught; if you watch basketball you know this doesn’t happen”; instead what you’ll see is more of the chaos and jostling for the ball that occurs, players will now struggle to keep hold of the ball as they are under more pressure by defending opponents.
As it’s an Olympic year, once again the NBA2K series will play home to the legendary 1992 USA Dream Team. Though it’s a pre-order bonus, players will be able to purchase the team through the regular edition, in order to play as legends such as Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Also available will be the 2016 Team USA roster, who recently earned Gold for their nation during the Rio 2016 games. They will be joined on the sidelines by well respected coach Mike Krzyzewski, who also underwent full 3D scanning and will also provide the voice for the game’s tutorial mode.
Any true fan of basketball will know that the sport is just as popular on continental Europe as it is in the US. With that in mind, NBA 2K17 now has more European teams than last year’s edition, with 21 fully licensed teams, including the 16 competing EuroLeague teams as well five additional teams from the 7DAYS Euro Cup. This means fans of Europe’s biggest basketball tournament can now play with their favourite teams including the likes of Real Madrid, Galatasaray and 2016 Champions CSKA Moscow, all of which will, for the first time, include the most recent rosters too.
According to Blumberg, one of the changes that may only be noticed by the hardest of hardcore relates to the varying atmosphere and setup of each individual arena. The small snippet of gameplay we saw took place at the Cavaliers’ Quicken Loans Arena, a large and well lit arena where you can see large quantities of the crowd. What this was highlighting was Visual Concept’s improved lighting system, one which accurately captures the uniqueness of each team’s arena. For instance, compared to the Quicken Loans Arena, the Lakers’ Staples Centre is a much darker and intimidating atmosphere.
There is still info 2K are yet to announce such as details on the follow up to last year’ Spike Lee directed MyStory mode, which is something to look forward to. In the meantime, just understand that NBA 2K17 might be the best looking sports game to date and looks to sets to continue to fly the flag for basketball.
NBA 2K17 will release globally on 20th September on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.