Saturday, 7 November 2015

NBA 2K16

It’s not exactly a big thing on this side of the pond but 2K’s NBA game series has been at the top of the most visually impressive video games available out there. Gameplay, while incredibly impressive from a simulation standpoint, it always felt like it could be exploited a bit too easily. NBA 2K16 though is even more impressive visually but the big change that’s been made this time around is in the defensive A.I. that makes things feel more like the real thing than ever before. 

Developed by Visual Concepts and out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, NBA 2K16 is a simulation sports game with a plethora of game modes that would please every type of player. The MyCareer mode is directed and written by Spike Lee in the style of a documentary called “Livin’ Da Dream”. While this may sound exciting, it’s a bit of a disjointed mess. The story starts with you being a prodigy in high school and it brings your created player through to his rookie year. There are moments where it seems to set up opportunities for you to make a choice only to make the decision for you.

Even though the voice acting is decent, the dialogue is cringe-worthy in places and only becomes what you want it to be once the rookie season is over and you can finally progress your player in a meaningful way. From there, it's all about playing good matches and improving the player's stats. It's deep and thorough, guaranteeing a few dozen hours of enjoyment.

But that isn't the only mode in which to enjoy the game. There are a surprising number of modes here for you to jump into. Whether you want to take other people in online play, or dig deeper on your own, NBA 2K16 is one of the most complete packages to cater to the fair-weather basketball fans as well as the court junkies that holler at every dunk and 3-point shot to everything in between.

Moving away from the modes, the gameplay is incredibly deep. Everything from the type of dunk to how your player dribbles the ball is dictated by your controls. You can even utilise rolls and movement of your team mates if one plan of attack isn't working. That is something that may be required because developers Visual Concepts have vastly improved defensive A.I. Before, a few exploits could be made like running the player in circles to kind of break the A.I. but this time around, they actually catch on to what you’re doing if you use the same approach time after time. Knowing when to strike is crucial and even then a 3-point attempt is your best bet.

NBA 2K16 is quite easily the best looking sports titles out there and honestly it feels like the deepest too. I’ve barely mentioned the fun 5 vs. 5 online mode and that the online stability has improved a great deal meaning lengthy sessions online are no longer hindered by spotty lag and connection issues. It’s as accessible as you want it to be but it also gives you the opportunity to control literally every aspect of play on the court. When you do decide to dig in deep it’s overwhelming in the beginning but staying with it yields satisfying plays and matches.

Like a clichéd analogy, NBA 2K16 is a slam dunk with 4/5.


Jason Redmond

NBA 2K16 at CeX

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