Category Archives: NBA 2k14

NBA 2K14 Next-Gen: Hands-on Impression of Graphics, Gameplay and Features

Article Courtesy Of Bleacher Report & Columnist Brian Mazique

After attending the media event held for the next-generation version of NBA 2K14, the overwhelming impression I came away with was: wow. Obviously, we knew the graphics would be stellar. It is easy to see from the feature image the attention to detail is on another level.

Because it is a next-gen title and this was expected, it says something that most people I spoke to at the event were still impressed with what they saw. These weren’t newbies on hand. Besides myself, other hardcore sports gamers like Shakedown2012 and Da Czar were in attendance. Here’s a taste of what they had to say about what they saw.

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These positive vibes extended beyond the initial look at the “flashy” replay screens. Once we got an opportunity to play full five-on-five gameplay, the raves continued. There was obviously more to discuss than just the visual excellence in the game, but as long as eyeballs are the organ most prominently used to enjoy a video game, things will always begin with graphics.

Eye Candy Galore

The closeups during replays and cutaway scenes are simply the best you’ve seen in a video game. The emotion captured in players’ faces brings them to life. The sweat, jersey movement and seemingly endless amounts of animation are jaw-dropping. According to the developers, nearly every NBA player in the league had their heads scanned with this level of detail.

Even I had my head scanned. Because of the enormity of my cranium, they had to bring in HD widescreen lenses…I’m kidding..I think.

Here’s a look at one of the images the scanners took of me in the game. This is not a photo, this is just how detailed I would look if I were in the game. It captured every blemish and hoops-related scar on my mug. I was sitting too high, so the top part of my dome was cut off a bit, but you can see the imprint my tight Chicago Bears hat left.

This type of detail translates to the on-court action.

Once the camera is panned out to a realistic and playable camera angle, the game looks just as good. You know how parents, spouses, girlfriends and other non-gamers mistake some games for a real broadcast on current-gen games? This could easily happen to a person who plays the game on a regular basis now.

From a TV-style camera view, the action looks just that real. Take a look at more screenshots and full gameplay here:

Gameplay

NBA 2K14 is powered by a new engine called Eco-Motion. The game plays similar to current-gen, but there are noticeable enhancements. Foot planting is a big deal, as it eliminates the sliding that was prevalent in current-gen games.

There was a solid demonstration shown with LeBron James and James Harden. This technology goes a long way in bringing home the concept that every step counts and is realistic. This is really noticeable when you’re guarding a man one-on-one. The over-exaggerated momentum doesn’t automatically throw you off course as it did before.

The Eco-Motion system also brings home an almost endless array of shot releases. There was a video shown of Kevin Durant launching three-pointers from the wing. Each release was different with the variations caused by how he landed and the impact the closeout defender physically had on him.

True sim gamers will love and appreciate this type of detail.

While I can’t completely confirm this in the three quarters of gameplay I experienced, it would appear that the new Point of Emphasis feature brings out the influence of a coach, and his philosophy, more than ever.

The POE ties into a coach’s tendencies and approach, and it can be switched mid-game. If you believe the inside game needs to be taken away, you can direct your team to shut down driving lanes and post entry passes.

There was visible proof given of this type of change via screenshots in the demonstration, but in all honesty, during a whirlwind of gameplay, I didn’t think to try and implement it. The menus and options were definitely there, though.

Overall, I came away impressed with the A.I., especially as it pertains to off-the-ball action. Cutters moved realistically, and more importantly, defensive players sought to deny passes more aggressively.

Last but not least, on this front is the new feature called Emotion Plus. Senior designer Rob Jones introduced this option. It captures the impact and effect a player’s personality has on the game.

Some guys are leaders and alpha dogs like Kobe Bryant, while others are seen as volatile personalities like DeMarcus Cousins. Depending on the events of the game, these personalities shine through in players facial expressions, mannerisms and on-court performance.

Guys like Bryant and Chris Paul were shown counseling and leading their teams on the way to the sidelines. Cousins was shown getting very emotional after a call didn’t go his way.

It was pretty awesome.

My Career

Per the NBA 2K14 presentation, My Career is by far the most-played mode in the series. There seems to be a lot of work put into making the next-gen version of the popular mode standout from its predecessors.

From a customization standpoint, there were at least five new hairstyles to choose from when creating your My Player. The player on display was a spot-on recreation of community manager Chris Manning, aka @LD2K on Twitter.

The hairstyle he was sporting was a fade with star graphics carved into the sides of his hair. It was over the top but cooler than the outside of an igloo to see.

Aside from the new customization options, an entire storyline has been added to the mode. We saw a snippet of LD2K’s character, aka Chris Cross, interacting with his agent and rival during some awesomely rendered cutscenes. There is more than 40 hours of gameplay in your My Player’s first season alone.

Essentially, all of the things you’ve come to expect from My Career appear to be present, it’s just that a personality and story have been given to hopefully enhance the experience. Some gamers may not welcome the story line as it could create an identity for their character for them, thus taking away the option to carve their own niche.

There could be some validity to that, but it is too early to tell. More information is needed before we can make a true assessment as to how the story-driven direction and the old setup will mesh.

My GM

Because I’m an Association/franchise mode guy, this mode was of major interest for me. No matter how good online play or single-player modes like My Career are, if a game doesn’t have a solid franchise mode, it is almost always a no-go for me.

My GM takes the place of Association in next-gen and there are some distinct differences. I got an opportunity to interview senior producer Erick Boenisch, the man in charge of the mode. He shed some light on his vision for My GM now and in the future.

Riding on the conversation engine is a great platform and it leaves tons of room for growth. As great as the game looks and feels, this is just the first version on the next-generation consoles. Boenisch mentioned to me how this was just the beginning of the way he plans to have the mode evolve.

There wasn’t much discussion about drafts or controlling multiple teams in My GM, so those are two major components of the mode we still have to learn about over the next two weeks.

My Team

Very little if anything was discussed on My Team. It will be in the game as it was present on menus and the screen shot above confirms it, but there is no word on what differences—if any—it will have from the current-gen version.

It would seem logical to assume the mode will function almost exactly as it does on current-gen, which conceptually is very solid. We’ll have to wait to see how this evolves as well in the days leading up to the Nov. 15 launch on Playstation 4 and Nov. 22 release on Xbox One.

The Park

Mostly every mode was on full display at the media event with a good amount of information shared on each, with the exception of My Team and the purposely teased mode called The Park.

Many fans balked at the announcement that Crews mode would only be available for current-gen systems, but little did we know something potentially bigger and better might be on the horizon for next-gen.

The mode was only discussed and shown for about 45 seconds, but from what was shown and talked about we know it takes place in a blacktop environment, and up to 100 online gamers can interact at once.

The short footage showed a park with multiple courts with games taking place simultaneously. Taking it beyond that would be purely speculating and running the risk of leading folks down the wrong path. At the very least, I can say the concept and subsequent execution of the idea is intriguing.

Parting Shots

This game could seriously take over my life in a way a game hasn’t in a long time. It will be difficult to restrain myself because the graphics and gameplay are so tight. If the full details on the modes included are verbose enough to provide long-term enjoyment, this could be the game of the year.

First NBA 2K14 Next-Gen Gameplay Footage & New Screen Shots

The first video featuring direct feed gameplay footage from next-gen NBA 2K14 comes from Gamespot on the heels of all the feature reveals today. While the reviewer expresses thoughts after playing briefly what is more valuable is that first look at the game in action. Graphics certainly look significantly better and the foot-planting evident but otherwise it looks a lot like the 2K basketball consumers have been drawn to in recent years and not as drastic a change some may have envisioned with the talk of a new engine. Also below the videos be sure to check out some of the new screen shots from the next gen NBA 2k14. Continue on to check out the videos and leave any thoughts in the comments! 

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First NBA 2K14 Next-Gen Feature News

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.

NBA 2k14’s New Signature Skills

Signature Skills were introduced in NBA 2K13 providing more differentiation between players with unique definition of abilities. 31 Signature Skills were featured though the “Acrobat” skill was later removed in a roster update to accommodate an online tournament after a flaw was discovered allowing for Euro Step three pointers to be exploited.

Seven new Signature Skills debut in NBA 2K14 with one of them being exclusive to the King James pre-order bonus pack which is available through all retailers. Continue on to check out the new skills and their respective descriptions.

Pick & Roll Maestro
A ball-handler that excels at orchestrating the pick & roll. As the point man in the pick & roll, immediate following a screen this player receives a three point boost to his shooting attribute and is more accurate than most when passing to the screener.

Flashy Passer
This player is known for accurate flashy passes. When throwing a flashy pass the penalty enforced will be reduced by up to 60%.

Pick Dodger
A player that does not get caught up on screens very easily. He counters the Brick Wall signature skill, and when hitting a screen set by a regular player the screen often fails to be effective.

Tenacious Rebounder
This player is known for his relentlessness when going for rebounds. During rebound situations he receives up to 50% increase in winning boxout battles and poking balls loose on rebounds.

Screen Outlet
A player who excels as the receiver in pick & roll/pop game. If this player shoots immediately following a screen he set he receives up to a four point boost to his shooting attribute.

One Man Fastbreak
A player known for his ability to take the ball coast-to-coast on a fastbreak. Speed, Quickness, and Ball-Handling attributes are boosted six points if this player takes the ball from one end of the court to another on a fastbreak following a change of possession.

Lebron Coast to Coast (Pre-Order Bonus Exclusive)
Takes the ball coast to coast and finishes through contact. Speed, Quickness, and Ball-Handling attributes are boosted four points and the shot penalty enforced for hitting a defender is decreased when taking the ball coast to coast on a fastbreak following a change of possession.

NBA 2k14 Preview (Xbox 360)

The most noticeable change to this year’s game and probably a real game changer is the new blocking system. Not only do you get to see awesome block animations, the feel and reward of playing defense is much higher than last year. On one possession, I played great defense against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs until the end of the shot clock, at which point I blocked his shot because he couldn’t get a good one off. You really feel the presence of good shot blockers around the rim this year. Great addition.

Defense on the whole felt a lot stronger as offensive players tend to lose the ball when going into traffic and a lot of contact animations are triggered around the rim. Defense movement seemed improved as well – all in all I really liked playing defense, it was a lot more fun than in last year’s games.

On offense there are some great improvements as well. Passing animations and speed are noticeably improved plus the addition of the stick as a passing trigger felt great too. Shooting is a lot more responsive as well – unfortunately there are still those very quick release points where you don’t have the opportunity to really hang in the air while shooting. Shot releases did feel disconnected again for me which was very disappointing to see.

Another thing I didn’t see a lot of improvements in was the floor spacing. You can tell that they were trying to address the issue (which has plagued the series for years) and the faster passes and jump shots did help a bit – but the main problem with help defense being too one-dimensional and defensive recovery being too quick still exists. Also the teammate AI doesn’t space the floor well enough when penetrating. On one occasion I had Parker of the spurs on Chris Bosh in the post & paint and no Spurs player came to help.

Hope they can fix this issue in the next gen versions. The new Pro Stick needs a little getting used to at first. I had some instances where I wanted to dribble but went up for the shot. Overall I liked this setting more than holding down LT for a shot or drive. There are a couple of nice new dribbling animations as well. There were other positive aspects as well. Biting on pump fakes can cause very realistic looking animations where players fall over each other. Contact animations in the paint seemed more varied but you can´t really tell how good or varied they are from playing only a couple of games. I did see some familiar contact drive animations from 2K13 a little too much. I saw a one handed dunk by Lennard on Haslem which looked almost exactly like the one in he NBA finals against Miller. I had the feeling that dunks were a little bit more explosive as well.  Playing the Euroleague teams feels a little different as a result of different defensive schemes.

Overall I liked the improvements a lot after playing for a while but was disappointed to see some issues I had with the last couple of games still existed (jump shots & spacing). This is the year of the first next gen version of NBA 2K so I can understand that the wheel won´t be reinvented with the last big current gen effort. NBA 2K14 will may very well be the best version of NBA 2K to date – just don´t expect a  very different game.

NBA 2k14 Official Euroleague Trailer

For the very first time in history, the NBA 2K14 videogame will feature 14 Turkish Airlines Euroleague teams, bringing the opportunity to all the fans to take control of their favorite team, and now you can see them all in the release of the official trailer of the game!2K Sports and Euroleague Basketball announced earlier this summer an exclusive multi-year global partnership that will see top teams from the Turkish Airlines Euroleague introduced into NBA 2K14, the next installment of the top-selling and top-rated NBA video game simulation franchise*, for the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4 systems. This will mark the first time Euroleague teams have appeared in the critically acclaimed NBA 2K series. Fourteen teams in total will be integrated as playable teams in NBA 2K14, allowing fans of European basketball to pit their local teams against the biggest teams from the NBA for the very first time.

Features List For NBA 2k14 (Xbox 360 & PS3)

2K Sports has released the full features list for NBA 2K14 specific to the Xbox 360 and PS3. The company has yet to address next-gen in any fashion but did confirm today that Crew mode won’t be available on the Xbox One or PS4.

New in this release are daily attribute and streak updates for players, “Smart Play Button” to make an automatic situational play call, six new “Signature Skills”, and some gameplay specific improvements. Nothing new is cited for Association, no confirmation of legends and classic teams returning, and Path to Greatness mode is not referenced so details on that will instead come at a later date.  Continue reading Features List For NBA 2k14 (Xbox 360 & PS3)

Crew Mode Confirmed But Only Coming To Current Generation Versions of NBA 2K14

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As many suspected over recent days Crew mode is back with NBA 2K14. The news first came through discovery of the achievements for 2K14 – the list is almost identical to 2K13 except for one relating to Crew and two for the Path to Greatness mode – and 2K Sports has since confirmed its return. 

Without informing consumers beforehand Crew, which involves teaming up online with created players on custom designed teams, was removed with the release of NBA 2K12 and the company avoided addressing the topic at all until a month later. An overhaul being conducted to improve online performance was cited as the reason it was taken out and that it would not be back until the mode could be offered with solid online performance and minus some well-publicized exploits. Continue reading Crew Mode Confirmed But Only Coming To Current Generation Versions of NBA 2K14

Many Leaning Towards Waiting for Next-Gen Versions of Games Releasing Twice

Last week polls were posted to gather some data on how consumers who plan to get an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 at launch may be approaching the franchises releasing on 360/PS3 first and later One/PS4. Lets take a look at the results and what they may be suggesting with about three months until next-gen’s arrival. 

Madden NFL 25

Likely buy only One/PS4 version: 31%
Likely buy only 360/PS3 version: 25%
Likely buy both 360/PS3 and One/PS4 versions: 25%

FIFA 14

Likely buy only One/PS4 version: 34%
Likely buy only 360/PS3 version: 16%
Likely buy both 360/PS3 and One/PS4 versions: 11%

NBA 2K14

Likely buy only One/PS4 version: 47%
Likely buy only 360/PS3 version: 15%
Likely buy both 360/PS3 and One/PS4 versions: 11% Continue reading Many Leaning Towards Waiting for Next-Gen Versions of Games Releasing Twice

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