Maybe it was the increased competition from EA Sports and the NBA Live series, or maybe they just wanted to set a high bar for the start of the generation, but fans of the franchise, and early adopters of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are definitely in for a visual treat.
Basketball being an emotional sport, technology held back 2K from really exploring this facet of the game. They make emotional responses to actions on the court, and this game is a stickler for the finer details. When you couple these more realistic players on the court, and an improved presentation, you get a better basketball game across nearly every game mode.
So does it really look like the beautiful screenshots that have been shown leading up to release? It really does look amazing. Player details and models, and the range of emotions that they can express is unparralled.
We only get to see this type of leap in these realistic type of graphics once in a great while, and NBA 2K14 is that game in the sports genre.
It signals a promising start for the next-generation of sports games, and what we should expect them to look and play like. If things are only going to get better from here, 2K has indeed set a high bar for themselves in terms of graphics and presentation.
This aspect of the game has not been overhauled. NBA 2K14 is a paced to real life basketball game. Finding team chemistry, making the extra pass, boxing out for a better chance at rebounds — NBA 2K14 expects you to play the game the way it was meant to be played.
The NBA 2K series has become the most realistic game on the market for its attention to details in not only what you can see, but what you do with the controller in-hand.
Gameplay is still not perfect. Unfortunately, the good outweighing the bad is only in the gameplay and enhanced graphics of the game. Stacking this game up against its counterparts on the last-gen consoles, 2K comes up short. But did you really want to play through the Lebron James mode again?
The absence of Crews is one of the biggest disappointments in this version of the game, but there are plenty of other omissions in the game modes and features set to get angry with. The game is definitely more streamlined when it comes to what it does offer, breaking down modes into four categories at the home screen.
Stats, scores, leaders and more. But inside of this stat layering are a number of different game modes that include the online offerings, quick games, and leagues.
You can team-up with other players in quick matches for five-on-five gameplay that has each player controlling a single man. You can head into a quick match for a one-on-one experience, or you can invite friends to play as well, in either the one-on-one or team-up gamemodes.
These modes are pretty much mandatory. Where some fans are going to be a little bit angry, is in the barebones offering in Online leagues and general lack of compelling modes to play.
Where previous games in the series including the current games on Xbox and PS3 gave commissioners way more power to set up options in these online fantasy leagues, 2K14 on the PS4 lacks this.
Those making the transition from last-gen to PS4 or Xbox One will see a lot of popular features no where to be found.
What makes matters worse in the lack of some of these popular features, is that there is a lot of completely useless content in the game as well. I know if you ask some fans, some of the offline modes could have been done without as well. These game modes feel like bad reality television, where you control either the path of a player trying to break into the NBA, or a GM who is trying to lead his team to victory.
It really depends on how heavily you value the single player solitary experience in NBA 2K games.
Here, you can tackle numerous challenges on your way to earning packs of cards to improve your team in the process. My personal preference was in the NBA Today modes. The online connected experience that allowed me to connect with other players, was a more enticing option. Obviously, in hopes that you purchase currency from 2K Sports instead of wasting your time.
The free to play roots that this model comes from is just as egregious here as it is in games designed solely as free-to-play experiences. The big difference here, is that you actually have to pay upfront, full price, for the ability to pay them more money. It makes for a more believable on-screen affair, but the lack of game modes and online features is worrying as to how long the fun will last.