NBA 2K17, Xbox One Review
So, another year has passed and here we have the next NBA 2K coming our way. This year we have, um, Paul George on the cover. I know this because his name is also there. He plays for the Pacers, I know this because it is on his shirt. And I think his left elbow gives him trouble. Other than that, never heard of him. Makes me wonder why 2K don’t regionalise covers like the old Rugby games.
Chuck Steven Adams on the cover down here in New Zealand and I bet sales would go up. Surely there is top NBA players from most regions of the world to make this viable and even profitable for 2K. Just remember to send me a cheque from the increased profits.
Anyway, lets get to the game. Stalwarts of the NBA 2K franchise will already know what to expect and this year for some reason I found myself really getting hooked with the Career Mode. Even if my young College prodigy looks more like a middle age me. The down side to the Career Mode is the painful cut scenes. Not only are they visually extremely bland but the voice acting is incredibly forced and even awkward at times. I understand these scenes are only there to walk you through the rise to NBA fame but considering the polish of the actual in game visuals it is a real let down when a cut scene is played, especially since you can’t skip them.
Along side your Career Mode is your My Court set up. This is where all your hard earned Virtual Currency will be spent on everything from wall art to shoes and hats. It is all window dressing and allows for dreaded micro transactions to make some more money for 2K. It is strangely satisfying to pimp out your crib though. Team mates will often visit your My Court for a bit of practice and it is your central hub to control your calendar which lets you decide which public events, practice sessions and games you will attend. But like the cut scenes My Court lacks any visual brilliance, which is a shame as it is all about the eye candy in here.
The ball play itself is as stellar as ever and between last year and this year I have found myself really enjoying some time shooting some hoops. There is a multitude of modes both online and off, Pro NBA to street. Thankfully with Exhibition Mode you can choose the best players and get straight into dunking and long range 3 pointers, something a new player in Career Mode is unable to do. I actually recommend not playing with the best players too much early on as it is a bit frustrating when you then start at the bottom with your college player. One new aspect in Career Mode is the ability to team up and do combos with another player once you climb the ranks enough. You can even switch control to this player allowing you to mix things up a bit. It seems to work but takes that extra level of concentration, something I struggle with.
There is also the trading card style game that completely confuses me. And the fact that there is so much product placement that one would think the game should be free. Like previous years, I will mention the horrendous music included in the NBA 2K series. Now I know this type of music goes hand in hand with the game but, damn! I also had one bug that really annoyed me, no effect on the game what so ever but annoying none the less. Recording clips with the ‘Xbox Record That’ results in clips with no sound. I still like this play, so here is a silent video…
NBA 2K17, like its predecessors, will have a huge number instant fans and purchases made solely because it is NBA 2K. And rightly so. This latest NBA 2K does nothing but solidify the strangle hold the franchise has on the basketball genre in gaming. There is a huge amount of content for the die hard fan but enough ease of access for the casual player to get into as well. I guess it only comes down to whether you a fan of basketball or not.