Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Visual Concepts
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, iOS
Release Date: PS3, Xbox 360, PC: NA: October 1st 2013, EU: October 4th 2013, PS4: NA: November 15th 2013, EU: November 29th 2013, Xbox One: November 22nd, 2013
NBA 2K14 is an upcoming basketball sports simulation game from the California based video game development studio, Visual Concepts (developers of WWE 2K14 & NBA 2K13). The game is currently slated for release on the current generation of games consoles, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Windows platform.
However it is also being launched alongside the next generation games consoles, the Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, in this case it will be a launch title, releasing on the respective dates of the individual consoles (November 22nd 2013 for Xbox One and November 15th 2013 for PlayStation 4).
NBA 2K14 is the most recent entry into the NBA 2K basketball sports franchise. Developed by Visual Concepts, who are best known for their work on the 2K series, the game is very similar to its predecessors. It has however been tightened up and refined in key areas that fans had issues with in the previous installment. As the series has grown over the years, the need to innovate has become a constant worry within the sports divisions of the video game industry, when NBA 2K13 arrived it was hailed as one of, if not the best basketball game ever made.
But with the arrival of NNA 2K14, the development team have focused more on minor game play tweaks and additions instead of innovation, which is by no means a bad thing. As with previous series installments, there’s an emphasis on capturing the real likeness and abilities of the players portrayed on screen. The NBA 2K series is renowned for having balanced gameplay mechanics and features that make the game both accessible and fair, even at a higher level of play (competitive play and league games).
One new feature that has greatly switched up the games play style and flow is the ability to assist pass and throw. This new feature gives the players on screen avatar the ability to toss a pass in any direction while faking out the opposing teams players, making for some fast, fluid and impressive moments of counter manoeuvring gameplay.
To prevent this newly implemented gameplay mechanic from totally breaking the game, the opposing teams AI has been tweaked to present a much better defensive game, however various publications have stated that this can cause “far too much goal tending.” The development team tweaked and improved the “dribble sticks” mechanic for close ball control, allowing for a more robust and arcade feel to the game while maintaining its sports simulation appeal. More small additions to the game have been made such as small aesthetic add ons, new gestures and player animations have been mapped accordingly, bringing a greater sense of “real world” simulation.
Appearing on the cover of NBA 2K14 is the Miami Heat star, LeBron James. Posing on the games cover art, wearing the ‘Heats’ home team colors (White jersey and shorts with vertical red outer stripe), he is not only the current figure head for the game’s advertising campaign. He also curated the game’s soundtrack that ranges from rap star extraordinaire, Jay Z to the actor / writer Phil Collins. Career mode makes a return to the series, wherein players can create a character of their own, and build from the bottom up, starting as a no-one in the little leagues and growing to be a league faring powerhouse athlete.
Gamers who have pre-ordered the game were given a limited edition pre-order DLC pack, this bonus content included 10,000 VC (virtual currency for buying in game components) as well as signature skills to the returning “My Career” mode. This DLC pack also adds LeBron James wearing the Miami Heat’s away kit (team uniform) which is a black jersey and shorts with a red outer stripe. Alongside “My Career” mode, the games popular “Crew Mode” will also be making a return.
In 2010, NBA 2K11 dropped into stores, and one cause of its success was the inclusion of a dedicated gameplay mode, catered towards the game’s cover player. Back then it was Michael Jordan, with the “Jordan Challenge” challenging players through Jordan’s career, trying to recreate the glorious plays when they happened. Now Visual Concepts have designed a gameplay mode specifically tailored for LeBron James.
The new game mode, called Path to Greatness brings two separate player controlled career arcs for LeBron. Both follow the player (as James) through his career and into its fictional future. You progress through a series of different scenarios that you need to play in order to further your career; these can be full games or even just segments from a particular match. Both gameplay arcs have the same ultimate goal, which is to win five more NBA titles, meaning you can finally outdo the mark left by Michael Jordan.
You are scored on how many ‘Stars’ you collect throughout these scenarios. In order to earn more stars, you must achieve certain objectives and goals in the matches that you partake in, these further your career as LeBron, as well as increasing your overall final score, which can then be viewed on the online leaderboards to see just how good you actually are at controlling the superstar.
There is a short, more focused game mode called “Continue Heat Dynasty” which simplifies the previous game mode down to approximately 10 separate scenarios, such as winning the championship every year for continued victories, this is divided into seasons to reflect the simulation aspect of the game and LeBron James personally introduces each season with voice over to help provide the player with a sense of context. In both of these modes, the player still retains control over the entire friendly team on the court, they do not simply control James, he is merely the character focus for driving the narrative and goal.
At the minute there has been no official mention of DLC that will affect the team roster, as for now the player has access to these 14 teams:
- Lithuania Žalgiris Kaunas
- Spain FC Barcelona
- Spain Laboral Kutxa Vitoria
- Spain Real Madrid
- Spain Unicaja Málaga
- Russia CSKA Moscow
- Turkey Fenerbahçe Ülker Istanbul
- Turkey Anadolu Efes Istanbul
- Alba Berlin
- Greece Olympiacos Piraeus
- Greece Panathinaikos Athens
- Israel Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
- Italy EA7 Emporio Armani Milano
- Italy Montepaschi Siena
Below you will find the list of artist along with their respective soundtracks in NBA 2K14:
- Big Krit: Cool 2 be Southern
- Jada Kiss ft. Ayanna Irish: Can’t Stop Me
- Jay Z: The Ruler’s Back
- John Legend ft. Rick Ross: Who Do We Think We Are
- Kanye West: All Of The Lights
- Kendrick Lamar: Now Or Never
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton: Can’t Hold Us
- Eminem: Not Afraid
- Fly Union: Long Run
- Gorillaz: Clint, Eastwood
- Imagine Dragons: Radioactive
- Phil Collins: In The Air Tonight
- Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell: Blurred Lines
- The Black Keys: Elevator
- The Black Keys: Howlin’ For You
- Nas ft. Puff Daddy: Hate Me Now
- Coldplay: Lost!
- Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams: Get Lucky
- Drake: Started From The Bottom