|a game by||Visual Concepts|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 8 votes|
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|See also:||Basketball Games, NBA Games|
The NBA 2K series is the only basketball series in town (sorry NBA Live) it comes around like clockwork each year and hardcore fans eat it up. Did the 2K18 version though offer enough to make it stand out from the crowd?
Welcome To The Neighborhood
NBA 2K16 went all out with its My Player mode, getting Spike Lee to be involved and creating a pretty cool narrative. Fast forward two years and 2K have decided that the way to go is with this thing called The Neighborhood. This still serves as your base for My Player, but it has an open world feel to it.
You run around the neighborhood taking on other players, doing pickup games, learning new moves, changing your appearance and so on. It serves as a large hub world for you to run around going from objective to objective. The idea is pretty solid and I think it is a good first step.
What About On The Court?
The NBA 2K series is a game that is all about playing good basketball. I would argue that the series really nailed it a few years back and since then they have been just tweaking the gameplay each year. NBA 2K18 certainly adds some interesting tweaks. NBA 2K18 is a game that really does require you to think before you act. You cannot just drive to the hoop and expect to get an easy layup or a dunk. You have to work to get your point.
The AI on defense is a lot more aggressive forcing you to think about each play. I really liked this and it makes NBA 2K18 a more thinking man’s kind of basketball game. I also love how they have tried really hard to make each player feel like an individual. In the GM mode you will come to rely heavily on your star players and if they go down or you lose them you certainly feel it.
GM Mode 2.0
I am a huge fan of GM Mode in the NBA 2K series. I love taking complete control of an NBA franchise and GM Mode lets you get in super deep with the running of your team. What is new in this year’s game is that they have added a narrative to GM Mode. I like that they tried this and it does give you some choices to make as you progress like dealing with the owner's annoying son! The choices never really felt like they had any major impact on what was going forward. I do though have to say that this is a first try so I am interested to see if they add more story options over the next few years.
Look At Those Reflections!
As well as tight and solid gameplay, NBA 2K is known for bringing it in terms of the presentation. 2K18 is no different! Since the series’ first launched on the Sega Dreamcast people have been in awe over the way the game looks. NBA 2K18 has that TV style presentation that you come to love and expect.
I will say that the character models, as usual, are great, some look better than others, but with this many players, it is always hard to get everyone completely perfect. The arenas also look great from reflections on the floor, fans going nuts and lots of little details all over the place.
Get Your Hand Out Of My Pocket!
NBA 2K18 does so many things right, but I have to talk about the big elephant in the room wearing those expensive pair of Jordans! I am talking about the Microtransactions! NBA 2K18 is completely unfair with its Microtransactions. I am more of a GM Mode kind of guy so it did not impact me a whole lot. However, those who are super into My Player will find that unless they are willing to grind for hours, hours and I mean hours! They will have to put their hand in the pocket to boost their stats.
NBA 2K18 from a gameplay point of view and also from a modes point of view is once again a huge slam dunk. I love how the game makes me have to work for each win and I think the addition of storylines to GM Mode is a great idea. I can honestly say had it not been for these horrible Microtransactions, I would have probably scored NBA 2K18 at an 8.5!
- Amazing presentation
- Lots of strategy needed to get the best out of your team
- GM Mode has a storyline
- The Neighborhood is an interesting idea
- Gameplay tweaks make it better overall
- Microtransactions are way too much!
- There is a strong learning curve
Download NBA 2K18
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
It can be kind of hard for the NBA 2K series to stand out and NBA 2K18 certainly did try something a little different for the 2018 version of the game. It is known as THE basketball series and for good reason too.
Taking My Player To The Next Level
My Player has long been a staple of the NBA 2K series. Many fans loving being able to make themselves and strive for NBA glory or even create a legend from the past. For NBA 2K18, 2K introduced a mode called, The Neighborhood which in its idea was very ambitious and would serve as the hub world for your My Player. The Neighborhood is a pretty good size and you can go talk to other players, challenge them to pick up games, you can learn some cool new movies and of course you can change the way your My Player looks. The idea for My Neighborhood is pretty solid and it works better than many people thought it would.
Taking It To The Court
What makes the NBA 2K series so popular is how it plays on the court. The problem is (if you can call it a problem) is that 2K has really perfected the basketball formula and as a result, the last few games have just had a few tweaks here and there. What I feel NBA 2K18 tries to do is make you be more of a cerebral basketball player by making you think before you act. The days of just driving to the hoop with your best ball handler are long gone. What I found is that the AI in NBA 2K18 is much stronger than it has been in past years. I think this is actually done quite well and it never feels “unfair” most of the time they stop a play, intercept the ball or prevent you from scoring is down to your own failure. One other thing that I really like in NBA 2K18 is how players stand out. Now granted there are a ton of players who do feel the same, but the superstars like your Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, and LeBron James all have their own feel to them and that is cool.
What Is The Story?
A couple of years back, NBA 2K had an actual story mode that I thought was pretty good. In NBA 2K18 there is a narrative that runs alongside GM Mode. It is actually pretty cool and something as a hardcore player of GM Mode that I actually had a lot of fun with. Dealing with players and the office is really cool and adds to the stress of trying to make your team the best in the NBA. This is the first time that they have done this so it is something that I hope stays in GM Mode and something that the people at 2K expand upon. There are choices to be made, but none really feel all that important.
Just Like TV!
One thing that the NBA 2K series is known for is its presentation and NBA 2K18 is no different. This is a game that is just pure eye candy! Some players do look a little off, but for the most part, 2K have nailed the majority of the NBA roster. As well as great looking players I love all the little attention to detail that are in the various arenas.
MBA 2K18 (The M Stands For Microtransactions!)
I think that NBA 2K18 is a solid basketball game, but there is one thing that really does bring the game down. The Microtransactions are flat out disgusting in this game. These are a part of gaming these days, but NBA 2K18 feels very unfair with the way it does Microtransactions. My Player is going to always have its hand out trying to get money out of you and it is very annoying. I would hate to imagine the kind of grinding you would have to do in order to avoid spending money.
Final Thoughts On NBA 2K18
On the court, NBA 2K18 plays a great game of basketball. This is the most fun I have had with GM Mode in years and think adding storylines was a neat idea. The way the player's actually play feels great and I love how you have to earn each point that you get. What really leaves a sour taste in my mouth is those Microtransactions. Honestly, I would have given this game close to a 9 had it not been because of the Microtransactions, but the way the game always has its hand out asking for more money is a bit much.
- The game looks like a TV broadcast
- Forces you to be smart about how you play
- GM Mode is the best it has ever been
- The small gameplay tweaks do make it better
- The Neighborhood is a nice adding to My Player
- Microtransactions are a flat out rip off!
- It does take a while to get good at the game