Wednesday, 27 September 2017 06:10

REVIEW: NBA 2K18 (Xbox One)

Written by Steve Wells
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If you're hanging out to dunk on your opponent, or drop that game winning bucket from the 3-point line, you’re in luck. The team at 2K Sports have released their latest instalment in their NBA titles with the release of NBA 2K18 on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS3 and Xbox 360.

NBA 2k18’s career mode, “My Career” has been a personal favourite of mine since 2K14. In the past you had to create a player that gets drafted into the NBA. They have changed this up in this latest entry as your created player is a rookie on the street who is sighed by an NBA scout and you end up training with the team of your choice.

While I always loved making my own player and hearing his name called out in the game, I realised very quickly that getting your player up to a competitive level playing in career mode was going to take forever without purchasing VC (virtual currency) from the store. You start off with a base rating of around 60 and approximately 200,000 VC is required to reach a rating of around 85. Keep in mind you can improve your player up to level 99, however this was just too much of a grind for me and I really wasn’t keen on spending the money required on VC in the store.

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“The “Neighbourhood” is a new addition to NBA 2K18. This is an area where players can meet and play with other players, train in the training arena, or shop for new clothes and kicks. You can play with your friends, however it is more often than not that you end up playing with and against random players of all skill levels. The system doesn’t automatically match players according to their ability and it’s fairly common to see high ranked players taking advantage of their lower ranked counterparts, provided your team mates are even willing to give your level “60” ranked player a chance. To say that, improving your player as a grind is an understatement, but I guess if you’re not up for the grind, you can always purchase a few VC packs for that extra boost.

The game itself is far more free-flowing than its predecessors. There have obviously been many tweaks added to the game including a revised shot meter and feedback system. You’re able to get instant evaluation on your shot (too early/too late etc.) to let you know where you went wrong so that you can continually try to improve your shots. Although the players act like their real-life counterparts, you can’t just wait for them to make a move and react accordingly. In this instalment, you really have to think on your feet. Fast breaks have been improved greatly and you really get rundown by an opposing player at the other end of the court like in previous titles.

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The court action is the best that has ever been seen on an NBA title. You are rewarded for smart controlled basketball when dribbling, driving, and playing defence like their real life counterparts. Most of the Career modes including “MyTeam” and “MyGM” were pretty much the same as previous instalments but I don’t think this is where most players will spend the time. The games focus on monetisation and is in your face at every moment, right down to purchasing Gatorade for a quick pick-me-up in game. You could say this is what happens in real life but there clearly is a push the purchase of VC more than previous titles.

The basic controls are pretty much the same as previous titles and even players who are picking up the controller for the first time will still get the hang of it easily. While there are many complex moves available using a combination of the buttons and thumb sticks, you don’t need to master these to enjoy the game.

As you would expect with an NBA 2K title, the sounds and graphics of this game are on point. Players will look and move like they do in real life and generally act like their real-life counterparts. There is hardly anything in the game that doesn’t match up with what you would expect to see watching an NBA game on TV. The game is packed with real life player, commentator and coach soundbites making it feel authentic and placing you in the thick of the action. If you want to get as close as a sport game allows, this is the title for you.

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The multiplayer action is great, whether it is located in “The Neighbourhood”, in a quick game online or on the couch with a friend. At times the loading screen seemed to take forever but that something would come to expect from game titles such as these. The multiplayer connection seemed to work well and I didn’t feel any lag throughout most of the games.

While NBA 2K18 is another step forward on the court, the need to use VC has really strained this title considering you have to use it for everything in the game. “The Neighbourhood” gives this title some new life and was generally my favourite place to play, provided I wasn’t having it handed to me by future NBA superstars. NBA 2K18 continues its streak of having one of the deepest franchises around, whether you want to sim your favourite player or team down to the last detail or just pick up a controller and play.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: Playstation 3, XBOX 360, PC, PS4, XBOX ONE, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Visual Concepts
  • Publisher: 2K Games, 2K Sports
  • Genre: Sports