When I had a chance to preview NBA 2K12 this week, I honestly came in ready for a let down. NBA 2K11 was out of this world, plain and simple. Without question the best sports game of the year, and arguably the best video game of the year. But even though the hype for 2012 was there, I wasn’t quite buying into it. Oh, how I was wrong.
After playing 2K12 for a few minutes, it was obvious that there were some widespread changes once again. Although last year’s game physics were pretty awesome, posting up was a little too difficult, speed dribbling was a little too effective, and crossovers were a little too devastating against other users. Not anymore.
The post-up button has been switched to “Y” on the Xbox controller, so you don’t have to worry about randomly jump-stopping or speed bursting by accident. Crossovers are a little less herky-jerky and one-on-one moves are even more varied, allowing for smooth transitions and changes of player direction. Even cooler is the speed dribble, which, when employed, makes the player push the ball out in front of him. Just as in real life, a guy dribbling at full speed has very little change of direction abilities. Even more, you can chase a ball out of bounds and dive into the crowd or over the scorer’s table.
Smoother player movement isn’t the only in-game upgrade – your teammates actually move without the ball. Even if you don’t run a play, expect more screens, players demanding the ball in the post, etc. I’ve never been a guy to use organized plays, but sometimes I had to simply because going one-on-one on the higher difficulties is, well, difficult. Now you can have that true, innovative NBA feel where player creation and imagination fuels the action.