The as-yet unreleased NBA 2K14 has already revealed some of their new features — like the return of crew mode — as fans and players eagerly await it’s October 1 release date. Dime was lucky enough to be offered a chance to play a test version of the game today.
Something to keep in mind before picking up the first edition of NBA 2K14 is that a second version will be released along with the new Playstation and XBox consoles coming next year. So you can get the NBA 2K14 for PS3 and XBox 360 on October 1, but you should know an updated version will also be released with the new consoles. Just a ton of great features and a whole separate edition of your favorite basketball game to look towards.
It’s true that LeBron James picked the soundtrack, and Jadakiss blared for the New Orleans Pelicans introductions at the beginning of the second game we tried. Those introductions are pretty cool, and definitely make you feel like you’re about to watch a spectacle despite it being on quick game mode without some of the more advanced features.
The biggest difference over earlier versions of the games, at least to us, was the ability to try out flashier passes and the verisimilitude of shooting motions and post-foul reactions. For the latter point, when we were playing as the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony had the ball on the left wing; we drove him towards the bucket, but were stymied by the Heat defender overreacting to the dribbling, which led to a foul on his shot. Instead of reacting clumsily, ‘Melo’s nuanced body movements stood in stark contrast to a plodding topple in earlier versions.
We had thrummed down the Pro Stick™ shot button, and ‘Melo subsequently jumped into his defender to draw the foul while getting the shot up on the rim for a chance at a three-point play. It wasn’t the hesitant defender meets offensive player where the game almost seems to freeze, but the intricate give-and-take of forces colliding that we’re familiar with on our television set when Anthony is plowing ahead trying to use his strength to score inside or — in this case — draw the foul.
The new passing features were an unexpected bonus. When you flick the right control while holding down L2, there are a number of flashy passes that happen, rather than the standard chest pass. When playing with Rubio, he didn’t pass it between his legs, but he did adroitly spin and throw a no-look pass to Nikola Pekovic for a two-handed dunk. All it took was a flick of that right controller after calling a pick-and-roll action with Pek. When you press down on the right action, it also doubles as a Pro Stick shot button, so some might want to use the circle button which is still the shot motion.
Like we already mentioned, the accuracy of the movements is getting so that your brain is tricked for a second as to whether it’s an actual game. While attempting to split a double-team off a pick-and-roll, Jrue Holiday got tripped up, and it looked incredibly authentic as he stumbled forward before the whistle blew. We weren’t even involved in the set, but just watching to see how the computer would react.
While it was impossible to really see it in action, the new Ariticial Intelligence feature means that once a particular set has destroyed an opponent enough times, the defense automatically adjusts to that set. It’s like the Grizzlies when Marc Gasol spots a motion he recognizes before it’s developed. Very cool stuff to keep in mind when you’re playing a full season.