Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4, PC
Reviewed on: PS4
Developer: 2K Sports
Release Date: 29 September 2015
Another year, another basketball title from 2K Sports, but what is it about NBA 2K 16 that makes it better than last years’ release? Let us take a look at all the new additions as well as some improvements in this years’ release, and of course give it a final verdict.
To mention every improvement in 2K16 would be impossible. Everything from improved defence, to overall fluidity of a match feels so much better this year. General tactics that you used to spam for defence last year do not work anymore and you are forced to make use of every mechanic. This is plus as every mechanics feels polished and remastered to be almost flawless. Character models, animations, cloth simulation, stadiums, lighting, the list of visual improvements could go on for hours.
From the start to the finish of a match you feel like a rock star, like you are living the dream of being part of a NBA team. Entry animation are awesome to watch, celebrations look great, and even the crowd has lost its generic feel.
Controls have been simplified, you will no longer need to perform a scientific combination on your controller to pull off a lob and bounce pass, and it is just one button now. Not only do the buttons feel easier, but overall they are so much more responsive. Gameplay has been given an overhaul too, matches are more about skill now rather than finding an AI exploit to take advantage of every match. Winning is more about skill and playing actual basketball now more than ever. Saying that you cannot get used to the same play, as opposing teams learn your habits and will find new ways to prevent you from using them. This keeps the gameplay fresh and makes you always find new ways to switch things up.
MyCareer is probably everyone’s favourite mode in NBA and this year the mode has been given a bit of polish as it plays out like a ESPN documentary. Creating your character from scratch, you start off in high school, playing matches with very little “NBA” flair to them. You slowly grow as a player, make new friends, enemies, and are subjected a few cheesy lines of dialogue. The MyCareer mode is a break from the match-after-match gameplay, but in the end is feels more scripted and most of the time you will feel a little bit disconnected from the events happening in the cutscenes and the actions that you are making in between them.
NBA 2K16 is about so much more than just playing basketball. While not the court you can customize your player, rebrand your team, and even build your own stadium with your own logos and choose from other player’s uploads too. Prepare your eyes though, there is no filter for these uploads at all. When you are not building your empire, you can take on an online match that now has a decent progression system. The MyTeam card collecting game feels better than ever as it now has challenges and rewards on offer.
After everything 2K Sports has done to get NBA 2K16 perfected, I cannot help still feel plagued by bugs. The game constantly crashes and once through my time with it, I lost all my progress forcing me to restart the game from the start. It was frustrating as I was already 7 hours in and had my career in full swing.
Other than the technical problems that will probably be ironed out with a patch, I really enjoyed NBA 2K16. Its polished gameplay mechanics and its added new customization features are just another step in the right direction. NBA 2K has no competitor, and if it keeps going in this direction it will be the only NBA title on the market for years to come.