If there’s an ongoing theme in the blowout hoops sim NBA 2K17, it’s domination. Reflecting the current state of the NBA, concepts such as parity and keeping an even keel are out the window in favor of embarrassing your opponents and putting on a show. That sense stretches from the inclusion of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic team to MyCareer mode, when you create a superstar, partner with a similarly dominant player and rake in titles and endorsements. The sort of thrills you have in mind are the types of those that Kevin Durant dreamed of when he signed with the Warriors.
Game: NBA 2K17
Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Visual Concepts
Release Date: September 20
The revamped MyCareer is the game’s boldest advancement, intent on giving you a reason to avoid the usual routine of season and franchise sims and online matchups in favor of a story-based single-player campaign. Michael B. Jordan of Creed and Community fame stars as your Splash Brother-style brother from another mother who is your partner in crime throughout your rise to fame. You get a two-man game going that becomes the toast of the league both on-court and off, taking on the adversity and HBO’s Ballers sense of joy in expanding your brand to build your sports empire.
The move from last year’s Spike Lee-directed movie-style story to more of a free-form, branching-path drama tree allows you to shape your own story through your choices, giving you a reason to go back and start your career over again and again to see where different choices can land you. Jordan’s motion capture and voice performances are an order of magnitude beyond what you’d expect in any video game, let alone a side mode in a sports game. You feel as though you’re playing through a hoops-based reality show with you as the star.
The on-court look and action of NBA 2K games has been at the cutting edge for years, and barely-noticeable graphical and animation upgrades are only apparent if you boot up last year’s game for direct comparison. Window dressing is upped considerably, with pregame shows leading up to every matchup, complete with fresh analysis that promises to be updated with relevant real-world news throughout the season, thanks to continual live updates. That sense of continuity extends to online play, from standard one-offs to the street ball themed MyPark, which focuses on loot collection, style and social aspects of basketball culture.
There are no sure things in gaming, but NBA 2K17 seeks to be the Golden State Warriors of the sports sim world. Ridiculously stacked with talent, tech and design innovation at every turn, this is a game created by developers who are nowhere near content with going through the motions to rehash past success, and are laser focused on obliterating the competition and giving gamers no choice but to keep buying each new edition year after year. Like an angry LeBron dunk or a relentless stream of Curry treys, NBA 2K17 pours it on in the most exuberant of ways.
NBA 2K17 Reviews Around The Web:
“MyPark After Dark might become the hottest virtual hangout spot among basketball fans.” –Forbes
“It’s focused on giving players more control than ever on the court, and when the onus is on you to execute, that’s a big responsibility.” –Polygon
“There’s always one thing for certain when it comes to the world of basketball: one video game simulation reigns supreme.” –Heavy
NBA 2K17 Screenshots
The publisher provided a review copy.
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