NBA 2K14 Review
✘CPU makes questionable plays at times.
Another year yet another uncontested season in the basketball sim world for 2K Sports as they release NBA 2K14, the newest title for the current generation. 2K14 brings a lot of the same gameplay mechanics that players from 2K13 loved and made it even better with the addition of thousands of new little details that translate into one of the best basketball simulation games of ALL TIME.
Let’s start off the review with the obvious things. Personally, I was quite disappointed with the graphics. 2K14 and 2K13 literally look identical. Literally. I could tell no difference whatsoever from Jeremy Lin’s still-too Chinese – looking face and Kobe’s alien pod of a head, Graphics wise, the 2 games look exactly a like. Props to LeBron James however for choosing a very good music playlist for the game featuring songs like Radioactive and All of The Lights.
Clark Kellog, Steve Kerr and Kevin Harlen are back with new voice overs for the game which are always great to listen to as the occasionally drop a few jokes, indirectly give you tips on what you’re doing wrong and give interesting fun facts about players as you’re playing the game.
Back then, most basketball simulations tried to capture that broadcasted/ live tv feel during games but all have failed except for 2K14. From the slow zoom-ins to players as they do their pregame rituals, fantastic commentary in the background to the Sprint halftime report delivering the highlights at the half, one of the things that make NBA 2K14 the best game is that it successfully captures the Broadcasted match feel in their games.
But where this year’s #1 Basketball Sim game shines the most is in its gameplay. There are thousands of new little animations from dribbling, contact layups and defensive plays that make playing NBA 2K14 feel like playing a new game. It’s this fine attention to details like Jame’s Harden’s patented 3 point celebration pose to LeBron’s signature dunks that make players feel like they’re part of the game. Dribbling also is improved, ALL of the dribbling is done with the right stick and it’s amazing to see how one stick can pull off the most flashiest movies on the court be it cross over or a half-spin move that will get your opponent to his knees.
But one has to realize when playing this game that basketball, especially NBA basketball, is not just about style. It’s about balance. Try to do too many flashy passes and you WILL get turnovers. get too intense on defense and you won’t have enough energy to run on the break. Everything must be done with finesse and precision if you want to be winning games, especially in the higher difficulties. AI is smart and put up a very good challenge, almost as if you’re playing against another human opponent which make winning games all the more rewarding.
Shame that almost the ENTIRE layout of the menu looks exactly the same as NBA 2K13, It was obvious that very little effort has been done in that part but menu’s are an extremely minute problem in a game that has gotten many things right. The new LeBron: Path To Greatness Mode puts in the shoes of LeBron James after last year’s championship. You can either stay with the Heat and build up their dynasty or part ways and try yourself in free agent waters and make a new legacy. Other than that you have your basic game modes like Association and My Player.
One problem that was present in previous 2k games and is still present in 2K14 is that even though the AI is smart, sometimes make head scratching decisions like just staring at the ball as it goes out of bounds or fouling people unintentionally which can at times be very frustrating when you have a game down to the wire.
The fact that 2K Sports even bothered to release a current gen version for it’s PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 users is already a plus in itself, I didn’t think they’d do it because of the soon-to-be released PS4 and Xbox One. The graphics might be completely identical to the last game but the gameplay is what makes this game worth it. A lot of very minute details have been implemented into the gameplay which all make for one amazing basketball experience.