2k sports’ "NBA 2k" franchise released its 19th installment in the form of “NBA 2k18” on Sept. 19. The NBA 2k series has been considered by many to be the gold standard of sports video games. Therefore, the critical and commercial success that "2k Sports" has enjoyed in the last decade led to high expectations from fans of the franchise, and rightfully so.
Whether it’s the slow improvement of its only competitor, EA Sports’ “NBA Live,” or the complaints that fans had about the previous installment, "NBA 2k18" adds enough new content and refreshes older concepts to make the game
The signature mode of the "NBA 2k," the format of MyCareer has remained essentially the same since its inception in “NBA 2k10.” MyCareer is the go-to mode for many fans and, while this year’s edition of MyCareer still follows the same “play games, earn virtual currency, upgrade your player” formula, they achieve this in a unique way when compared to previous editions of the game.
It seems like "2k" developers made a concerted effort to streamline MyCareer and it’s surrounding modes. "NBA 2k18" succeeds in this endeavor with its introduction of “The Neighborhood”.
This new open world RPG (Role Playing Game) mode gives "2k" fans the ability to walk around, go to stores and play pick-up games and various other activities with their respective MyPlayers, something completely fresh and, in turn, the main selling point of “NBA 2k18.”
The ability to transition from MyCareer games to a MyPark pick-up game or Pro-Am game without a separate loading screen is an underrated addition, and the combination of these modes into a simple, singular game experience is something that was much needed.
Server problems have plagued the "NBA 2k" series for the past couple of years. Therefore, it is understandable that when “The Neighborhood” was revealed, fans were worried that the "2k" unreliable servers wouldn’t be able to handle the scope of the new mode.
Thankfully, at first glance, server interruptions and lag seem to be a distant problem. While the open-world environment in “NBA 2k18” is rudimentary compared to traditional sandbox RPG’s like “Grand Theft Auto,” “The Neighborhood” is a huge step
"NBA 2k18" was able to trim the fat down from previous editions. No longer do players have to suffer through off-day events between games or struggle against 7-foot-3-inch ball handling centers that can pull up in your face from beyond the arc.
The goal of MyCareer is now mainly focused on simply upgrading your player to 99 overall. While the cinematic story of DJ that “NBA 2k18” forces upon you isn’t necessarily bad, sitting through cutscenes before and after games can quickly become stale when all players want to do is earn quick virtual currency and purchase
Not to imply that game modes like MyTeam or MyGM are lesser or inferior, but with MyCareer and MyPark being the main calling cards of the “NBA 2k” series, other modes can be forgotten among the vast amount of content that “NBA 2k18” possesses.
"NBA 2k18’s" card collecting mode, MyTeam is a big selling point for many "2k" fans. MyTeam’s concept remains the same but nevertheless, it remains a satisfying game mode for fans looking for more than the usual Play Now game.
"2k Sports" has added wrinkles that keep MyTeam from becoming stale. The implementation of strategy cards give the mode an extra layer of depth that will likely pull in players that avoided the mode in previous games.
The anticipation of opening a new pack of cards and bolstering your team with better players becomes intoxicating and the tournament-style gameplay is addicting.
The exciting inclusion of the feature “
The feeling of having the dominating presence of both Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar protecting the paint is now possible without downloading fan-made rosters and is extremely riveting. Settling debates or feuds between franchises is now possible at the click of a button.
Negatives and Conclusion
“NBA 2k18,” while a great game, still has its flaws. Earning the games
Players can purchase VC with real life money, and without the occasional grind for VC, players may feel like their character will be “under leveled” compared to other players who give in to the urge to purchase it.
This becomes a problem for players who may be less skilled and, in turn, can’t use actual game knowledge to compensate for their
Less of a problem now than it will be in say, a few months, is the "NBA 2k18" soundtrack.The soundtrack isn’t necessarily boring – there are quite a few songs that will have fans singing or dancing in their seat, it’s just that after a few months of hearing the same songs over and over, the soundtrack becomes more of an annoyance as songs become repetitive.
This problem cripples basically every sports video game on the market and a quick and likely easy fix to this problem would be to add a revolving list of new songs to keep the soundtrack fresh.
Overall, "NBA 2k18" and its ability to stray from the usual formula and improve existing game mechanics make it the best "NBA 2k" game in a while. The game has a mode for every type of basketball fan and its relatively easy controls and concepts allow both casual gamers and hardcore fans alike to enjoy the game together.
The soon to be
Every game mode in “NBA 2k18” shines in its own way, which is why it has fans daydreaming about "NBA 2k19," a mere week and
"NBA 2k18" makes strides to blend the line between genres, which is what makes it truly great.