North Texas Daily

The Dose: NBA 2K16 continues to dominate the virtual hardwood

The Dose: NBA 2K16 continues to dominate the virtual hardwood

The Dose: NBA 2K16 continues to dominate the virtual hardwood
September 29
17:54 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer

@alexlikechexmix

In a series that consistently outsells its rival product NBA Live, many gamers were left searching for ways NBA 2K could possibly get any better than last year’s version.

With newly-added animations, other-worldly graphics and a brand new MyCareer story written and directed by Spike Lee, NBA 2K16 has once again put out the most realistic basketball video game in history.

The addition of Visual Concepts as the 2K16 developer led to a much smoother gameplay in this year’s version. When the user possesses the ball , AI-controlled teammates are constantly moving off the ball instead of standing around doing nothing like in previous years.

Some controls have been altered in 2K16, including calling for a screen (holding L1 or LB) and alley-oops (double-tap Y or triangle). It’s a fairly seamless adjustment for experienced players, but may create an even steeper learning curve for gamers new to the 2K series.

Features and game modes are better than ever before in 2K16. Leading the way is a revamped MyCareer mode that lets the user’s character play through high school and college on their way to NBA stardom. This marks the first time sports gamers have had the chance to play for a college basketball team since 2009.

After playing for one of the 10 college teams available, including Arizona, Wisconsin, Texas and UConn, the AI player is drafted and completes an eight-game rookie season before becoming a free agent in the first offseason.

From there, MyCareer goes deeper than ever before, allowing the user to choose an agent, manage off days, sign endorsements and make connections with fellow NBA players off the court. Players can even fully customize their practice court with a wide selection of designs and invite friends to play in it for ranked or private matches.

Most other game modes have returned with minor tweaks, including MyGM, which now includes the ability to relocate a franchise in the game. One of two new game modes is the 2K Pro-Am, providing the user an opportunity to compete in online five-on-five games with their MyCareer star.

Graphics have also reached a new level in NBA 2K16. Technology has reached a point where virtual LeBron James looks more accurate than the King in real life, so prepare for the world ending sometime before Christmas.

2K once again did a masterful job with player ratings, likeness and appearance. Many broken-shot animations have been fixed and signature moves have been perfected, including Steph Curry’s smooth three-point stroke.

While the menus in 2K16 seem more difficult to navigate, this year’s soundtrack and announcers make up for it. The soundtrack produced by DJ Mustard, DJ Khaled and DJ Premier features 50 different tracks sure to please any music taste. Additionally, Greg Anthony has replaced Warriors head coach Steve Kerr as the third voice of the gameplay broadcast, providing a much-needed change from the same old commentary from years past.

If you decide to pick up NBA 2K16, good luck seeing the light of day in the next couple months. Turning the game off may be the most difficult thing you do all semester.

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