Real Talk By: KJ
It’s another year of basketball. NBA 2K16 (PS4, XO, PC) takes everything gamers have grown accustomed to, and attempts to expand on the experience. Were they able to make this happen?
One thing i noticed right away was better navigation and presentation across the board. Improved graphics, with role players looking about as detailed as marquee ones. James Harden, Lebron, others mirror their real-life counterparts. Commentary generally synchs with the events happening on the court. They continue to bring up how the respective teams have changed from the year before. Little touches like this certainly add to the realism. Solo player interviews with stars in front of the green screen. We see this on real broadcasts, this has made it into the game as well. The graphics seem to get more detailed every year. No major overhaul, but an improvement nonetheless.
Gameplay. Basically how key players behave, this game is able to capture the play styles of the stars. Paying attention to their known strengths, weaknesses, the game will respect it. NBA 2K16 is a sim for those in the loop. I think the title could do a better job of explaining key elements. Controls have changed a bit, yet they just throw you in without an efficient explanation.
The Soundtrack is loaded. Over 50 tracks. Some are in foreign languages making this one of the more exciting compilations. Music was curated to last for multiple play sessions. Other sport game developers should seriously take notes.
Blacktop remains unchanged, and they removed the VC coin restrictions on this mode. So you can pick whoever and hit the court without spending extra real world money.
VC coins is the currency, which can be slowly earned by playing the game, or earned fast by opening your wallet. This covers attribute boosting, and clothing. If you want to wear something cool at all quickly, it’s all about the money.
The Spike Lee directed story “Living Da Dream” takes players through their rookie season. In the early stages of this mode you start balling in High school, then college. Both parts were very fun. Your character pretty much runs through the rival players. As you head into the NBA, “Da dream” really brings the drama. Or at least it tries. I found myself skipping some cut-scenes, as the dialog and performances just aren’t that very good. At least i admitted to that. Not only that, this part of my career is very short anyways. After the Spike Lee Joint is complete, the career plays out like past titles. Year one would skip to key games, but in year two the option is there to play every game. Get sponsorships, more press related NBA stuff to keep you busy.
The online still isn’t ready. Plenty of times I’ve experienced lag, or dropped connection. This mostly comes up when playing with custom characters. It seems like Virtual Concepts gave the players possibly too many gameplay options, that even they can’t keep up with. Depending on how you spend money, this game could run you dry. At the very least, work out the online. Where is the VC money going? Certainly not towards the servers.
Despite those gripes, NBA 2K16 is in its own league. There are some truly impressive motions seen on the court. The likenesses are sometimes scary. Would like to see 2K17 take the online connectivity more serious, balance out the VC coins, and you could have a game of the year nominee. The core gameplay is nearly spotless, and with Classic, Current, and Euroleague players at your disposal this game is guaranteed to last you.
NBA 2K16 Gets
4 Out of 5
+Lots to do
-Online still needs work
-Whack Story Mode