With all the sports games to choose from every year, the NBA series has always been one of our favourites. NBA 2K17 is no different, as it still manages to improve on its predecessors, even after we thought the game had reached its highest moments.
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NBA 2K17 screams personality. The wild and extreme crowds manage to bring the sport to life, where other sports games fail. The excitement that 2K17 creates, and the overall feeling of being part of the game, is where 2K17 shines the most. New control mechanics, bring interesting ways to play 2K17, and it now feels more casual than the complicated analogue movement we found hard to master in last year’s entry. It is almost like the studio applied a new layer of controller options, to make it easier for newcomers.
Although NBA 2K17 does not feel like a massive overhaul in new content, the game’s smoother gameplay, improved animations, and flawless controls, are reasons enough to love it. It is easier to transition into new animations, and it all feels really great and possible this time. You will no longer feel frustrated when stringing movements together, all in order to throw the perfect shot, as it all feels so natural.
Improvements on AI seem to have mixed the game up a bit too. You can no longer cheese your way through various maneuvers as you could in NBA 2K16. The opposing team has just as many moves as you, and they will put up a good fight, no matter what you throw at them. Sure you might have control over your current player, but we found it hard to keep in control of the rest of the team. It gets a little difficult when you are relying on the next teammate to do his job, but he is in the wrong position when you need him. This is where you will need to make sure your team is in check, but it does not always help, as they often are not as good as you are.
Again, the game comes alive in matches as you are pulled further into the game thanks to the great commentary. David Aldridge, Greg Anthony, and Kevin Harlan, all make the matches feel like a good NBA playoff match on TV. The sound is great and it is yet another layer of great game design that adds to the NBA experience. Squeaking on the ground as you turn across the court, echoes in the hall, and the sound of the crowd. It all adds to bringing NBA 2K17 to life.
Back when the MyCareer mode was introduced in NBA 2K14, it was a great feat for the series. However, the mode has become rather dull. It feels like a grind, forcing yourself to attend matches and practices you do not want to, and you cannot skip cutscenes. It has lost its way somewhere in recent years, and it will need a revamp soon enough.
Aside from the MyCareer mode, there is so much more to do in 2K17 that will keep you busy. MyPark and the MyTeam auction house offers great ways to manage your players. There is also MyGM, which now offers a way to expand to 36 teams, and you can really get your hands dirty with the stadium creation tools, and team tactics. You feel like a real manager of an NBA star squad in 2K17.
NBA 2K17 is a great entry into the series. Besides the MyCareer mode, that is swaying off the path. The game offers an awesome and authentic experience and polishes up much of the best parts of an NBA 2K experience.