During an earnings call yesterday Take Two announced that WWE 2k15 will be on PS4 and Xbox One which will be the first time in the franchise’s history that a game will come to the next generation consoles. While the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were not mentioned, it is probably safe to assume that the games will be available on those platforms as well. NBA 2k15 was also confirmed for PS4 and Xbox One, but I don’t think that anyone will be surprised by that considering the fact that NBA 2k14 is out on PS4 and Xbox One already so that was probably to be expected.
Stay tuned during the summer months (most likely anyway) as more info is released on these games.
It’s finally time for me to dig in to reviewing PS4 games, not so much because of any sort of embargo or any of the likes. But mainly because I’ve been trying to get a good feel for these games. And NBA 2k14 has had me cultivated to say the least.
The part about NBA that really caught my eye was that it plays great and the visuals are amazingly detailed, far more than on current gen consoles, which was to be expected right? At least the visuals were expected, but the game play, I had some reservations about that.
Let me be honest, the last NBA game I played before 2k14 was NBA 2k11, and while that game was good, it wasn’t great in my eyes. And I feel like 3 years later that NBA 2k is mainly the same but looks prettier and the defense appears better than in the past which is good because the old games for me used to be scoring fests, and it still is, but to a much lesser extent.
In terms of gameplay, I like it, the game feels very fluid whether you are walking the ball up the court, or driving to the hoop for a hoop the players look and feel very good. The defense from 2k11 to 2k14 appears much improved, mainly in terms of contesting shots and grabbing rebounds on the defensive glass. Perhaps defensive rebounds are a little too easy for the CPU to snatch.
I think the most fun of all of the gameplay is trying to match up man to man against your opponent, this is even more the case in MyCareer mode where you guard your assignment it is up to the CPU team mates to do their job otherwise whatever work you’ve done to stifle your opposing point guard in my case is completely worthless, and against great teams that is typically the case.
The coaching parts of the game are a bit annoying since none of the settings previously saved seem to stay, so every time you play you have to turn timeouts, substitutions, and points of emphasis from auto to manual if you like making your own choices, and personally it adds to the depth of the experience trying to do things all on your own. That’s not to say auto is a bad way to play, but for someone like me it is not ideal if you’re somewhat of a control freak. And coming from someone who is addicted to the NHL hockey series from EA, I usually set those type of things up so I am used to making those decisions and that translates into this basketball series, even if my knowledge of basketball is not nearly to the level of what it is for hockey, baseball or football I still want to make these decisions, even if it sinks my team like it usually does.
I loved the career mode in NBA 2k11, the post game interviews were really the best thing about the mode back then because you could be a complete jerk and really have no drawbacks from anyone. Sure your team mates would never get you the ball but surely that was just because they were afraid to be exposed for the frauds that they were.
But in the MyCareer mode in NBA 2k14, things have changed, and not for the better. First off back in NBA 2k11 you were speaking to the media right out of the gate, but now, the only time I speak to the media is if I do something terribly wrong like have a bad night on the court. There is literally nothing to do most games in between outside of meeting with the coach and GM every now and then except for when the vets try to haze you. And you better believe I wasn’t going to be hazed by Elton Brand, and it showed on the practice court one time where my player had a bit of a dust up with Brand on the practice court. Trust me, he didn’t scare me, I was ready to put him on the ground. But outside of these rare occurrences and a chance at a “film study” which is merely a cut scene with no film to go over which is a disappointment since that could have been a nice touch to have pointers from these supposed mentors like Al Horford was mine.
Plus there seems to a period where you have to wait to be traded, I’ve yet to have the option to demand a trade from my current team, which is a shame because they blow so badly. I mean sure real superstars lift cruddy teams, but the idiot coach that I deal with only plays me 8 minutes a game, he’d be lucky to get blown out by 20 points a game with the way he misuses the talent that he has on the team.
But in all seriousness, this mode really does restrict what you can and can not do, I don’t even think there is a practice mode to work on timing your shots, free throws or whatever you want to work on, so the days of practicing and earning points towards your ratings have gone by. Now in order to improve you need to use virtual coins, and that is not the only thing that virtual coins are used for in the mode, but it is the most annoying. Instead of being rewarded for working on your game in a practice mode, you literally have to wing it and hope to get your timing down in a game which is never an easy time to learn your player in any game. In fact the only practice you really get is a 5 on 5 practice with team mates once in a blue moon. Therefore the only time you get to get used to your player is in game, or in these 5 on 5 scrimmages, which in all actuality, is a big problem that I bet 2k never considered.
Another thing with the mode that is an oversight in my mind is that when that rare case comes where you actually have a chance to interact with a team mate you are forced to read from subtitles on the screen. Why? Because there is literally no voice acting outside of when you are going up against your rival in the rookie showcase and later in your career and I believe the LeBron James cut scene was also done with voice acting, but if you want a mentor on your actual team, or someone who is acted out in a way where you can feel the interaction and you’ll be let down in that regard.
Kind of like MyCareer mode, the MyGM mode is limited on things you can do, and that is mostly because a lot of the things you would do is being held back by virtual currency, that’s right in game fake money. How absurd is this problem? Well lets put it this way, remember the days were you could do your own player rotations? Yes? Good, because now such a simple task will set you back a cool 500 VC.
That’s right, the things that should be available from the start are sometimes tied to VC, like the rotations, the hiring/firing of scouts, the CFO, the assistant GM, and various coaches are now tied to virtual coins. It may sound absurd, and in reality it is. In fact for review purposes I ended up spending the $10 PSN wallet voucher I got with my PS4 pre-order and I ended up buying 35,000 virtual coins or whatever you want to call it, just so I didn’t have to play games to earn VC, I did that because that was A) too time consuming for the review process which is now 3 or 4 weeks in the making as it is, and B) it didn’t sit well for people who typically like to simulate their way through their career mode and just play various rivalry/playoff games with their favorite teams.
The mode isn’t all bad though even if I did start out bashing it. The experience is definitely different and a step in the right direction for GM type modes. But it isn’t perfect by any means, not only is Virtual Coins an issue, but the depth of the dialogue boxes are disappointing, You literally see the same replied throughout the season when dealing with your scout, trainer, and head coach. There is little variation in that respect, though I do like the boxes for the free agents, but then again, the replies are limited, and grow tiresome.
The good news is that actual GM work like trades, and free agent signings are not hindered by VC nor is setting up your coach options for game plans, for some reason they targeted rotations but I do not recall them hitting an other coaching method outside of encouragement traits but as the GM that doesn’t matter all that much. If you want to full experience expect to pay a lot of VC throughout your experience with MyGM, I spent roughly 30,000 VC of the 35,000 I got from my voucher on MyGM and it still only filled up half of the badges as it was within the mode. The ones that I didn’t fill were tied to staff contract reductions and little things like that which have little to no effect on how the team is run.
I played one quick 2min quarter game with a friend and it went okay, there was no lag at all on my end, and he didn’t report any issues. However this experience is not typical if reports are to be believed from players on other sites such as Operation Sports and PastaPadre. I feel bad for those players, I think if online is as smooth as what me and my friend had that one night then the game would be a really big success all around, but it seems like their is some problems with online and unless it’s fixed gamers won’t be able to fully enjoy the experience.
NBA 2k14 is a great game on the court in my opinion. Coming from 2k11, the game feels a lot better and the defense appears to be tougher to play against, in particular inside passes to the hoop are hard to make, which is good because that would be exploited big time if that was an easy dish every time up court. The only minor complaint to me would probably be the CPU rebounding being a little too overpowering.
The MyCareer and MyGM modes are decent, not great.
In the case of MyCareer it feels like the mode suffers from a lack of a practice mode, and ways to develop your player outside of using virtual coins. The lack of things to do in between games is a little sickening for a mode that has so much potential to be amazing, you can’t even use the social media function yourself, the only good that does is looking for comments about you, and some challenges from upcoming opponents. But you yourself cannot interact in anyway making the social media screen and function underused and a missed opportunity.
Maybe once I advance more into MyCareer it will be better, but for now I will call it a missed opportunity for 2k to make a big impact on the mode. In fact in several ways it feels like a bit of a step back at this point.
On the other hand MyGM is actually a really good mode, which might surprise some people with as much as I ragged on it. But the over importance of virtual coins in the mode really stops it from being a huge success in the short term, also hurting the mode is the lack of variation in the dialogue boxes between you, and your coaches and players take away from an asset that can be critical to the modes success in the long term. I mean I don’t mind earning the skills needed to be a successful GM but at least give me the basics like player rotations right from the start.
Despite that though, MyGM has the makings to be a success in the long term if they do some of my suggestions. But what the mode misses with that it more than makes up for with a good simulation engine, an impressive draft presentation (though I wish we could skip after the first go round since it doesn’t change at all outside of the names being called), and outstanding scouting reports that include a strengths and weaknesses section which I loved from the old NBA Live games. There are also plenty of stats, and rumors to sort through if that is your thing as well.
The game overall is a very good experience and should be in any next generation line-up, not only does it look great but it also plays great. The modes are either hit or miss, it will depend on the player and how much he/she is willing to put up with. But as a whole the game is definitely a buy in my book mainly on gameplay alone, which is saying a lot since I am usually a GM Mode type of player in these sports games.
I recently read an article on Pastapadre and he discussed the fact that EA has missed the prime opportunity to showcase NBA Live 14 and I agree, and I agree even more so now that almost four weeks have passed since the blog and we really have nothing to show for NBA Live to this point outside of a gameplay trailer (NOT EVEN REAL GAMEPLAY) which wasn’t that great, and they detailed ultimate team which does nothing for me. Where as last week 2K released it’s list of new/upgraded features including MyPlayer and MyGM modes which both sound really good and they even said the gameplay and AI got better. Anyway if you want to read Pasta’s story from October 4, click here.
That brings me to Madden now because lets be honest we know nothing about the game outside of it has updated visuals and better offensive line battles, that’s it! Less than 3 weeks away and I feel like we know very little about the next Madden. I mean certainly there must be more to learn by now, right? Right? Is EA really going to make it a lackluster port like they did to open this generation with nice visuals? I mean seriously, sure you can trade up and get the next gen version for $10, but if that was your launch day game that made you pre-order a PS4 or Xbox One, you can not and should not be happy to see the lack of information that has come out.
The only saving grace for Madden could be the improved crowds that EA has been touting about and we’ve yet to really see it in action, so how can anyone even be excited about this feature? The answer here is that I really can’t until they show it off, and they haven’t. Wouldn’t you think that if they were so proud of it they would show it off?
EA has made it extremely hard to get excited about the next generation version of Madden, no matter how much I try to get excited about it. I want to be excited for it, I really do, but can I really get excited for a game that I’ve pretty much already played on PS3? The short and reasonable answer to that is no, I can not.
So instead of going on about this, I think I will close the blog out with this, I am strongly considering canceling my pre-order at this point. I will give it a little bit longer but I have no faith in this situation. I am also still on the fence a little on NBA 2K14, I really want to be impressed with MyGM and MyCareer otherwise I might look into other games to replace it with, or even wait for other games. As it is I have 3 next gen pre-ordered games, and all I really need is one and Battlefield 4 is the only one really on solid ground at this point.
Am I the only one that is not thrilled with the lack of news on Madden 25? Hell we could even lump NBA Live into this because that is just as disappointing in terms of news.
According to a post on http://www.operationsports.com 2k had a conference call on Wednesday revealing info on NBA 2k14 which included info on gameplay and some new modes.
Below are excerpts from the post:
Graphics and New Engine
The first thing you need to know, NBA 2K14 is not a port. It has been built from the ground up for the new hardware with a new engine called “Eco Motion.”
The game will feature much improved graphics, with additional details like leg tattoos, new celebrations, hairstyles, and facial hair.
2K will be focusing its efforts on four main pillars of gameplay: NBA Today, MyCAREER, MyTEAM, and MyGM.
NBA Today is brand new, built from the ground up. Video highlights from previous days games will be shown with the menu looking like a scoreboard w/ all games listed.
All your NBA news connected on your console updated daily. This is all driven by Dynamic Living Rosters – which is adjust daily based on how players are performing in the real world.
Points of emphasis has been added to the game, which is a feature last saw in the old College Hoops franchise. No warmup outfit for bench players, but the crowds look much better. There are now less duplicates in the crowd. FYI the gameplay clip we saw was only 4 possessions.
Little imperfections of dirt on the backboard tells you all you need to know about the attention to detail. 2K built a material library. It looks like 2K took each arena and really upgraded them.
Details shown at scorers table. A thumbprint on a monitor is shown. Redid the scoreboards in each arena and the lighting in each arena, it is a small but definitely noticeable improvement.
Now showing off the new LED dynamic lighting system. Just stunning. Scoreboard lights are dynamic and showcase reflections.
2K actually measured the color temperature of lights and count the number of lights and manufacturer of lights.
2K now showcasing Kobe Bryant getting head scanned. Kobe hung around while they built his model and his reaction was “GTFO here”
Watching Lebron face map. Asking him to make intense faces. Can’t lie the game has his and Kobe’s face down. KD’s and Iguodala face maps. Both look great. Even have KD’s bad skin.
The team captured and head scanned constantly working around NBA schedules to capture nearly every player in the NBA. Hundreds of players with thousands of expressions you will see in the game. Showcasing art of those now. This is photo realism.
2K captured nearly every player in the NBA. Parker looks great. Have Amare haircut with brown streak. Ray Allen looks great.
Mike Wang is on and speaking about elevating the game harnessing the tech. Primarily in physics and animations. Foot planting clips shown.
Wang is talking about Ecomotion. Foot planting. No sliding or phantom steps. Showed difference between cur and next gen. It looks great. Really no sliding. Now showing dribbling. Ball actually rotates while dribbling which is not in current gen.
Now speaking to ball handling. Eco Motion allows them to track true physics. Ball spinning when dribbling, ball in hands. Tangible object.
New animation system. Guys will have real life wingspans. New KD shoes look great.
Mike speaks about animation synthesis, Eco Motion – based on physics and situation, animations will change. With animation synthesis, animations will change based on circumstances. If KD takes a shot and D is guarding him tight, anim will change on the fly.
The game feels alive. For example, a shooter won’t land the same way two times. Animation will adapt to the situation. Truly incredible stuff here.
Coaches will adapt to what is happening in the game. So game plans will dynamically change based on what other teams are doing.
Rob talks about points of emphasis. Every coach will have its own ai and strategize based on how the game is going.
There are nine different options on offense and defense to strategize how to defend or attack your opponent.
Emotion Plus will categorize all the players personalities. For example, Kobe is an Alpha Dog. He wants the ball, he’s fierce.
“Human emotions translate into performance. Every player has personality, highs are highs, lows are lows.”
Emotion plus is a new feature. Each player has a personality. Personality and game events can affect how a plot performs.
My GM is new franchise mode. Lots of RPG elements are in the next-gen game.
MyGM is a cerebral experience. Every decision changes the world around you. GM has attributes and special abilities.
MyGM includes conversations. You have to asses the emotional intelligence of the person you’re talking too.
You will get fired from the owner of you don’t maintain harmony in your organization, locker room and fan base. Revolutionizes what franchise mode is.
This is the complete evolution of association mode. Decisions and reactions is what this mode is all about.
“We have built a completely new experience for franchise players. All your day to day experiences have no right or wrong answers.”
Complete cut scenes in MyCAREER. Team captured hundreds and hundreds of scenes. A rival, agent, buddies and a compete cast of characters.
This mode “will leave you asking, “what will happen next?” Building relationships, making deals, etc..
Over 40 hours of gameplay in your first year alone.
“captured 1000s of cut scenes w actors & whole life of player. Every experience of being NBA player. All you want to see is next path”
When you’re not balling in MyCAREER, you can hang out with hundreds of MyPlayers in the Park.
Open field of courts shown with hundreds of MyPlayers playing. Quite a tease.
Jeff: “When MyPlayer isn’t balling, he likes to hang with 100 of his friends at The Park.”
That was the conclusion of the presentation from 2K. We will have hands-on experiences from the event very soon!
I am excited to try the MyGM mode, it sounds pretty cool, I think it could set the landscape for future sports games, especially if it is as immersive as it sounds.
Besides just the screen above gives me hope that the mode feels real, from the face to face contract discussions, to trades hich has yet to be seen but I hope there is dialoge there to in some way it could be fun and set the bar for future games. Even hiring and firing coaches, scouts, trainers and so on could be an interesting experience. If 2k nails the part where it says every decision will change the world in the game, it could very well be fun and entertaining to see the benefits or drawbacks of your decisions.
I never expected to be interested in a basketball franchise mode, but if 2K does this right, the changes to franchise modes could be great and could change franchise modes for the better, and if you ask me, that is wonderful.
I miss the days where sports games actually had contract negotiations and not this reject with no counters crap. There was actual work being done, it isn’t like Madden 25 at the re-sign section where if you make an offer and he re-fuses it the negotiations are over. That to me makes it not fun, especially if you offered him what he was looking for and he still rejects the offer, it is so stupid. And to be clear when I say it is stupid, I mean the end of the discussions, not the fact that he rejected the offer.
So to me, even a discussion like in the screen shot could make the game more interactive, which would make it more fun since you are in the process of trying to make a deal. I don’t know about most other players, but I enjoy going back and fourth in contract or trade negotiations, it makes it more real to an extent.
I am also excited to try My Player, I have not played NBA 2k since 2k11 so that mode I am sure has gotten better since it was already fairly good then. So I am excited to see the leaps it has made since 2010.
The gameplay and AI don’t interest me too much since I am sure it is leaps and bounds above what 2k11 had.
2K Sports today announced that 2013 NBA MVP, LeBron James, will make his video game cover debut onNBA® 2K14, the next installment of the top-selling and top-rated NBA video game simulation franchise*. As one of the greatest athletes of this generation, James will lead 2K Sports’ groundbreaking NBA 2K franchise into the future of sports video games with two dynamic and distinctly unique experiences for current and next-generation consoles.
“My friends, family, and fans all know how much I love NBA 2K. I remember, as a kid, getting so excited for the game to come out and see who was on the cover and it’s amazing to be a part of this great tradition,” said James, who is currently defending the Miami Heat’s world championship in the NBA Finals. “I love partnerships and opportunities that connect me directly with fans. I know from my own experience and now watching my own kids, NBA 2K is among the coolest and purest ways for fans to connect to the NBA. I love being a part of it.”
2K Sports also announced the King James Bonus Pack, which offers exclusive content featuring LeBron James. Customers who pre-order NBA 2K14 for the Xbox 360® games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system will receive:
- 10,000 Virtual Currency to get a jump start on the competition;
- Extra content for the new Path to Greatness mode;
- LeBron James unlocked in Blacktop Mode;
- The all-new LeBron James Signature Skill available for your MyPlayer.
“Widely regarded as the best player today, LeBron James is the perfect choice for NBA 2K14, the biggest and best game in our NBA 2K franchise history,” said Jason Argent, SVP of Sports Operations at 2K Sports. “NBA 2K set the benchmark for sports gaming on the current-generation of consoles, and NBA 2K14 will continue that legacy on next-generation consoles. With two unique experiences that distinctly maximize the power of current and next-generation consoles, NBA 2K14 is basketball how and where our millions of fans want to play it.”
James’ basketball resume includes a 2012 NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP award, four NBA MVP honors, nine All-Star appearances, six All-NBA first team selections, and two Olympic gold medals, solidifying him as the unquestioned choice in bringing NBA 2K basketball to fans across the globe.
Developed by Visual Concepts, a 2K studio, NBA 2K14 is not yet rated by the ESRB. Fans that pre-order for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 systems will receive the King James Bonus Pack at no extra cost on day-one — October 1, 2013 in North America and October 4, 2013 internationally. NBA 2K14 will also be coming to Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, and PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system later this year.
*According to 2008 – 2013 Metacritic.com and The NPD Group estimates of U.S. retail video game sales through April 2013.
For more information on 2K Sports, visit www.2KSports.com.
For more information on NBA 2K14, visit http://www.facebook.com/NBA2K.
2K is a publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).
E3 is next week so I am going to preview what’s left to come to current generation of consoles and make a few predictions moving forward.
Things I Expect:
- EA will show off its next generation of sports titles, this will be a good look at the new Ignite Engine they talked briefly about at the Xbox One reveal. Games on display barring any surprises will be Madden 25, NBA Live ’14, Fifa ’14, and UFC. And other games from EA will most likely be Battlefield 4, and Need for Speed Rivals for next generation and for current generation it is likely going to be games like the new version of The Sims. I’d also be expecting a new game or two for next generation consoles only.
- Ubisoft has said that they will have a full display for games including hotly anticipated games such as Watch_Dogs, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, Southpark: The Stick of Truth, and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. Ubisoft is also expected to unveil new games for next generation consoles Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
- Microsoft is said to have their event entirely games based, so it will be interesting to see what they offer. Can they build off of the momentum of Forza Motorsport 5 and Quantum Break? Both those games were pretty solid at the reveal judging from the trailers. I am interested in hearing more about Quantum Break.
- Call of Duty: Ghosts is another game I want to see more of, we got a glimpse at the Xbox One reveal but I want to see an actual demonstration at E3. Between this game and Battlefield 4 there is no shortage of war games already even before E3.
- Speaking of Battlefield 4 I am also looking forward to that game, we’ve seen some sick screenshots my favorite one is this one but the thing that worries me is that it won’t look as good during actual gameplay. I mean sure on the PS4 and Xbox One it should look that way, but EA has a bit of a reputation to glorify screen shots to make them look better than the actual game, and also the same goes for their trailers. So I optimistically say, we’ll see.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Patriots gets announced as a next generation exclusive. This game looks to good to be held back by by technology limits. The listing for the game has been removed from Gamestop and it appeared to be very ambitious so I cannot imagine the series is dead.
There will be a new sandbox IP at E3 for next generation consoles, I say this with no confidence, but the lack of sandbox titles to this point leaves an opening for one to be announced but I have no knowledge that leads to me feeling confident in this prediction. In fact I would not be shocked if it was wrong.
Things I am looking out for at E3:
Will NBA Live have to deal with NBA 2k14 at E3? It would be a safe bet that it would, and that could do them a world of good especially if NBA Live impresses people. However the NBA Live series has been a disappointing series for awhile now so I honestly don’t expect it to be great, but I think there is a reasonable expectation for it to be respectable. NBA Live missed its last two release cycles, one was expected because they wanted to work on the game, the other was because the demo was so poorly perceived that EA decided not to release it to retailers though copies of the game did get out to a few people.
Will EA Sports’ new Infinity Engine impress? This is how people are going to judge EA’s future and sadly there are a lot of people who want to see EA fall on its face because of a deal struck all the way back in 2005 with the NFL license. As if that wasn’t enough people were outraged that EA could possibly put a online pass on its products. But overall all joking aside, EA really needs to come out strong overwise these gamers will have a very negative outlook at their upcoming products, and the skepticism will be felt throughout the world wide web. But let it be known I will be open and honest about what I think of the games because I feel like it is only the right thing to do, for both the company, and the gamers. If something stinks I will say it, if something is good I will say it, it’s really that simple.
I am wondering this as well, which of the two war games looks better after E3, I think they are both looking very solid coming into the event so there should be a good competition between Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 in Los Angeles. I am excited to see how they look and how they’re progressed over time. The game with the edge after E3 may very well end up being the better selling product which may or may not result in the highest rated product, I guess we’ll see.
Will there be that one game that catches people off guard? Last year Ubisoft blew my mind with Watch_Dogs and I am hoping for another game like it. One of those games that are relatively unknown until the show and then everyone is surprised that is was announced because it was a relative unknown and unforeseen, because lets be honest the gaming industry blogs are unreal with how accurate their sources are and Watch_Dogs snuck by and looks to be a contender for game of the year here in 2013.
I am also interested in hearing about any new current generation titles, especially considering that the next generation consoles are coming soon, so any new IP’s might be in trouble in terms of sales with video game budgets being smaller than they were in the past with a tough US economy still causing havoc. So to pluck down money on new games for old consoles will not be easy but with the game is able to be hyped good enough it will be interesting to see if gamers buy it.
Stay tuned, because tomorrow we finally dive into the topic of next generation consoles.