NBA 2K15 has built on already arguably the best basketball game franchise to date and with it comes changes and improvements that in our view firmly places NBA 2K15 at the top of its genre and even general sports simulation games.
The game looks superb and runs at a solid 1080p resolution and 60fps on Xbox One and PS4. You could be forgiven for thinking that you are watching basketball on the TV if you walk into a room where it is being played. Everything from the court side atmosphere, player movement, game presentation and highlights look stunning and life like. The interview after the games look and feel authentic. The player animations make the players feel human like.
Arguably NBA 2K14, last years release, made the biggest technical leap bringing the game to life but its the actual player movement and physics improvement that makes NBA 2K15 really stand out from any other entry I the franchise.
Handling the ball has never felt so intuitive and reliable and the offensive side to the game seems so much more better at understanding what moves the player intends to do. This is mainly owing to to the better controls. You can freely control the player, change direction and execute finesse moves with the right analogue stick making it harder to execute moves that you did not mean to do.
You also have a bigger arsenal of moves in your back pocket such as fakes and step backs. This greater tool set allows for players to create more room on the court, move the ball more efficiently and execute carefully worked out team moves.
The introduction of thousands of new animations makes the players feel lifelike and the game as a result runs so slick at a gorgeous 1080p resolution and at 60fps which adds to the ease at which the game play handles in 2K15.
The AI is much more intelligent and will punish you for the slightest of defensive mistakes. You could criticise NBA 2K15 in that you feel defensively hopeless against some of NBA’s superstars such as Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, but then you could also say that that simply reflects the reality on court!
The new shot meter improves the gameplay by giving the player better court situational awareness for example by feeding back to the player where that player characters release point is when shooting taking into account the player character, the room around him, and position on the court.
My Career Mode
The Career mode puts you in the feet of an undrafted player and allows you to customise your very own upcoming NBA Star. Whilst the Kinect and PlayStation Camera can yield some gruesome results in creating your characters face, generally, we found it was fun to play about with and there is enough options to tweak your player to get some good results.
MyPark has seen a raft of improvements most notably the reputation system allows you to unlock upgrades and shorter games as you progress through it. If this does not take your fancy you have the traditional online mode too but MyPark can be a rewarding experience and we found its worth putting the time into it.
Similar to the old Association Mode, My League is new to NBA 2K and allows you to create your own Basketball league. Anything from short mini leagues spanning a day to franchises spanning upto 80 years can be created! Every setting can be adjusted from salary caps, lengths of seasons and draft preferences so you are really only limited by your own imagination.
My General Manager
Added this year is a new conversation system which is a nice added touch to the mode. In all honesty it doesn’t add that much to the overall experience. You still monitor trades and oversee the teams finances and team morale and unquestionably that’s where the most fun is to be had if you like this kind of thing but the new system does introduce choice which can add a sense of realism as superficial as it is.
Whilst the game benefits from a raft of off the court modes and improvements which add value to the overall experience, the game truly shines on court and with the improved physics, animations and gameplay, this is the most authentic looking, realistic playing and beautiful looking Basketball game to date. Period.
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