NBA 2K16 – Review

NBA 2K16 is 2K’s latest basketball simulation and once again they have done a great job. There is so much to do here from your standard exhibition play, to MyCareer, MyTeam, MyLeague and much more. It is your job to decide the fate of a team whether you are a player trying to win a championship or a general manager who is trying to relocate the team. Online play works decently but could work better and you can even build your own team in the MyTeam card collecting game.

If you want to immediately start playing basketball as soon as you boot up the game you can go into the “Play Now” section where you can immediately pick what team you want and hit the court. You also have access to “NBA Today” which gives you yesterday’s scores so you can keep up to date with your favorite team as well as other teams around the league. This is also where you can go to play online, play on the blacktop, do an all-star team up and play with friends. It is a quick way to get into the action and something I really appreciated. My first game I played as the Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers and just marveled at how great this game looked and how well it played.

NBA 2K16

The next thing I tackled was the “MyCareer” mode. As the name suggests this is where you have your full career experience as you try to become an NBA Legend. This was written and directed by Spike Lee and is broken into chapters that will play at different times in your career. As your career progresses you will have to make decisions both on and off the court. The on the court decisions are self explanatory but off the court you will need to decide which endorsements you would like to make as well as the relationships you choose to grow whether with business partners, other players in the league or fans. You will begin your career at the very beginning by being able to choose your high school and the college you attend. Unfortunately your choices are extremely limited with only three fictional high schools available to choose from as well as three colleges. As you become more popular you will need to be careful how you manage your commitments. If you take on too many you will get to the point where you have to miss some and if you miss an event with Adidas, for example, they aren’t going to be happy with you. Just like a real NBA star does, you have to be able to manage everything appropriately as you ascend to greatness.

The story of “Livin’ Da Dream” in the MyCareer mode will take roughly five hours to complete and encompasses your journey to the NBA as well as your first year. Once you have completed that things will change. You still play as a star in the NBA but most of the narrative is gone. You will now have to play a full schedule in the NBA instead of some key games telling a story about your life on and off the court. You will still have decisions to make though whether to get in on some practice drills with the team, hang around with other NBA stars to try and improve your image and much more.

If you would like to see more of what it is like to actually run an NBA franchise then you have the “MyGM” mode as well. This is where you can take control of a franchise. You can try and relocate a team if you want, go through contract negotiations and even control food prices in the arena. You can pretty much go as deep as you want here. 2K Pro-Am also makes its debut with NBA 2K16 and is a pretty interesting idea. This mode is where you can bring in your “MyCareer” character(s) online to form some custom teams that will compete in games. This mode will give you some customization as well with arenas, jerseys and courts. You can customize things to your liking and I look forward to seeing what some of the more creative people in the community will do. It looks like this new mode is a replacement for the “Jordan Rec Center” that appeared in last year’s game. Each 2K Pro Am offering will have four courts that can handle up to 40 players at the same time. Your team and club will have to fight to prove you are the best with leaderboards that will show who is at the top and the people trying to knock him off his throne.

If you are someone who really enjoys the online experience there is also “MyLeague” where you can have a customizable season/franchise/online league experience. During my time with the game it seemed to work fairly well although there were some hiccups with the online. There was some stuttering from time to time and it wasn’t as smooth as it should have been. This didn’t happen to me all the time or anything but when it did it was incredibly frustrating. It can really take you out of the game if it is late in the fourth quarter and you are trying to mount a comeback (or hold on to a lead) and the game decides to have a poor network connection at that moment and you end up losing because of it.

NBA 2K16 (2)

There is also “MyTeam” in NBA 2K16 which is a card collecting game where you can build your own team. There are five card tiers in NBA 2K16 with Bronze, Silver, Gold, Amethyst and Diamond. Different cards will have different themes such as a “Special Moment” theme whenever current NBA players have a play that that creates buzz around the league. If this takes place then the development team will create special edition cards that feature boosted attribute ratings.

Overall NBA 2K16 is a solid addition to the franchise. I enjoyed “Livin’ Da Dream” and what MyCareer mode had to offer. That was definitely my favorite part of the game. I also really enjoyed the idea behind the 2K Pro-Am and it will be interesting to see how I fare as more people get the game. My only real complaint was some of the online could be a little wonky as I described above. It didn’t happen all the time for me but it definitely warranted mention in this review. Whether you are someone who enjoys the career mode, the new Pro-Am mode, being a GM and controlling the fate of a franchise or something else, NBA 2K16 has a lot that will keep you busy. If you are a basketball fan I would definitely recommend picking up this game and beginning your journey towards becoming an NBA legend.

Score: 8/10

Originally posted on Gaming Target

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