NBA 2K13 has received some complaints in some areas, but generally it's clear the game is still quite good. If you are an online player, the server issues are probably driving you batty but if you play offline you might be enjoying one of the better playing games on the hardwood ever.
So simply put, to you at this point: where does NBA 2K13 stand?
The Dream Team vs. Dream Team matchup isn't the only thing 2K13 has going for it.
Matthew Coe: For me, NBA 2K13 stands alone right now. It's at the pinnacle of the sports gaming mountain looking down upon all of it's fallen competition. If you're a basketball fan it doesn't get any better than this year's iteration. NBA 2K13's gameplay is an even bigger upgrade on the floor than I expected, and it's subtle tweaks and fixes that have made all the difference.
I honestly haven't had this much fun with a sports game out of the box in this entire console generation. Sure I've made a couple of slider tweaks to fit my play style, but I've mostly just set it to simulation and played. I know there is room for improvement in the plays and playcalling among other areas, and some bugs are still in need of a patch, but this game truly feels like a game that's worth $60 unlike two recent sports games; NCAA Football 13 and Madden 13. I may come off sounding like a raving "fan boy", but NBA 2K13 just nails it.
Bishop Tart: As a person who enjoys playing offline Association more than online, NBA 2K13 stands as one of the best sports games this generation -- which is something we seem to say every year with this franchise. I do wish offline association got more time and love, but I'm still enjoying every game I play.
Although it's something some people seem to be complaining about, I really like the new controls featured. Yes, some of them will take some practice before you get the handle of them, but they really increase the fun factor by 10. The new animations are also outstanding and they make NBA 2K13 much more fluid. The improvements they made to certain modes might not be for everybody, but Visual Concepts made some significant gameplay and design changes. Simply put, those changes are phenomenal.
When it comes down to it, the NBA 2K series is always in the discussion for sports game of the year (even though I wasn't a fan of NBA 2K12 last year). Despite the fact that it may be a bit early, I'm just going to go ahead and say it -- NBA 2K13 is the best sports game to release in 2012.
A lot of the changes in this years edition make the game feel more 'right'.
Steve McPherson: At this point into its life, the NBA 2K series and every new iteration of it are a little like the blind men and the elephant. When it started, there was just the game of basketball as played in the NBA and your only options were basically exhibition or season. Then they added franchises. Then 24/7 mode. Then online. Then My Player. And now MyCAREER, weird capitalization and all. In essence, this means you can immerse yourself in one corner of the game now and never touch areas that don't appeal to you.
I myself have only begun to explore NBA2K13, but what I can definitively say is that judging by the most basic yardstick for any sports game—how it renders the sport on the field of play—it's much better than NBA2K12. For lack of something more precise, things just feel more ... possible than last year. The first Rubio bounce pass I threw to Love for an open baseline shot; the first time I drove past a defender with Derrick Rose; the first self-alley-oop from Gerald Green off the glass: these things made me jump out of my seat a little bit, and that's at least half of what I play the game for in the first place. I could go through and list the little things: the more realistic way balls get poked loose, the way the Signature Skills make the game quirkier and more realistic, the way the ballhandling feels more true-to-life. But the main thing is that the aggregate has a sort of "feel" that was lacking in the at least the last two versions of the game, in my opinion.
Of course, there are problems. Rebounding is sneakily weird, as when Kirk Heinrich managed to outduel Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic directly under the board. And some of the choices in MyCAREER are hardly transparent. Separating the MyPLAYER stuff out meant that I played a half-dozen games before realizing I could change the height of my socks. (For the record, I just dislike medium height socks.) Additionally, one of the things that has kept me coming back again and again to every NBA2K since they introduced My Player was making new My Players and trying out different positions and styles of play, so this anchoring of the game type to just one MyPLAYER may end up limiting the replay value of the mode down the line.
But looking at NBA2K13 as a part of the entire NBA2K series means trying to figure out how it fits into that lineage. For a couple years, between 2002 and 2006 or so, the series hit a kind of sweet spot where the basketball just felt right. Not arcade-y, but not arcane. I feel reasonably assured in saying that if you went back now, though, and played any of those games you'd find them noticeably lacking. And yet in the past couple years, perhaps without the competition from NBA Live, things have gotten complicated. IsoMotion was dialed back, almost to the point of uselessness. Passing got harder, but so much so that basic pick and roll gameplay felt like a chore, not a joy. It may have been more realistic, but it was also too complicated. It's too early to make a definitive statement on NBA2K13, but there are signs in the new Control Stick and in things like Signature Skills that realism may once again be dovetailing with fun the way it felt a half decade ago.
Fear the beard? NBA 2K13 says yes, moreso like real life than ever.
Keni Glover: NBA 2K13 is not without its flaws, but all in all is the best basketball game ever created. I would go as far as to say that the NBA 2K series in general is inching closer and closer to perhaps being the best sports franchise on the market.
The gameplay and controls of the game really shine this year. Perhaps my favorite implementation the dynamic shot creator, allows for what seems to be limitless scenarios/animations when attacking the basket. This introduces an organic element never before truly present in a basketball game. The control stick is a long overdo addition which along with improved on the ball defense creates a true-to-life cat and mouse dynamic between the offensive and defensive player. What really amazed me this year though is the unique feel that virtually every player in this game possesses. This can be partially attributed to my other favorite addition to 2K13, Signature Skills. Never before in a 2K basketball game have guys like Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant truly felt like themselves on the court as they do in this rendition in my opinion. Basketball is a sport in which each individual player is a brand and a style, and NBA 2K13 captured this well.
Though spectacular in many ways, NBA 2K13 does have some flaws. As a heavy offline gamer there are a few issues with the AI in this years rendition. I applauded NBA 2K12 for having one of the best AI's in any sports game but the AI in NBA 2K13 seems to play in a less than simulation fashion even when on my preferred setting, Superstar/Sim. The computer fast-breaks nearly every play even when defenders are in the vicinity, and rarely calls plays. The real culprit however seems to be your still flawed AI teammates, who arbitrarily leave assignments or sit around and watch as the game is happening around them. This is a frustrating problem which artificially creates opportunities for the computer and makes gameplay balance very difficult, even with slider adjustments. Generally, defensive reactions are just a bit slow, and most players feel Kobe-like with their ability to drain shot after shot irrespective of defensive challenge. Offensive rebounding, which was my major complaint in 2K12, is still severely skewed in favor of the CPU. As a guy who plays 12 minutes, these issues make it difficult to achieve realistic results at the end of games. These issues along with many graphical inaccuracies, outdated courts, limitations with accessories and some questionable player appearances sap some of the excitement out of the game.
Nevertheless, it seems that annually we don't get the full or final NBA 2K experience until at least the first gameplay patch is released, and these issues seem very fixable. What 2K does have with NBA 2K13 is a rock solid foundation from which to build upon for future iterations. It is scary to think what the 2K team can achieve with NBA 2K14, if they build upon what 2K13 started.
What about you OS? Where do you feel 2K13 fits in this season? Is it the greatest of all time?