At a press event held earlier today 2K Sports finally revealed details on what to expect from the next-gen version of NBA 2K14. There is only a little over three weeks until it arrives for the PS4 and under a month away from Xbox One. The biggest news is 2K14 will not be a current-gen port but instead was built specifically for the new hardware with a game engine called “EcoMotion”.
There are four areas of focus for next-gen NBA 2K14 in terms of modes: MyCareer, MyGM, MyTeam, and NBA Today. MyCareer and MyGM (formerly Association) are taking what appears to be dramatic departures from the traditional career and franchise mode. Online components were not touched upon today.
MyCareer is going in more of a story mode direction – some elements have appeared in the LeBron Path to Greatness mode or other games like Fight Night Champion – while MyGM sounds closer to the ideas implemented in Madden’s Connected Franchise. There’s the managing of team chemistry, fan expectations and so on while also factoring in the various interactions with the owner, other GMs, and individual players along with facing job uncertainty.
Of course visuals are a big part of the advancement being made with the new systems – the level of detail was a significant part of the presentation from the player scans and their emotions to the surrounding environment – and there will be far more detail available in crafting a MyPlayer. AI (coaches will adapt during games), physics, animations, and foot-planting were also discussed.
2K obviously put a great deal of resources into making NBA 2K14 a spectacular launch product and along with FIFA 14 they look to be way out ahead of the other two sports offerings. However a lot of what they talked about is technical in nature, and that was EA Sports’ strategy back at the previous console generation transition when they rebuilt titles completely and 2K ported theirs. EA stumbled mightily then and they never fully recovered from it. It was time for 2K to make that leap – and in doing so there will be some current-gen features that don’t make it in which EA suffered from as well then – but until it is all seen and experienced it would be wise to temper expectations somewhat despite how great a lot of it sounds.