Erick Boenisch, producer for NBA 2K13, recently gave us a hands-off preview of things to come. While we were shown a small sample size, I spotted a few good nuggets.
Some of you may notice, from time to time when player animations quickly transition into other animations, the player sort of looks robotic or maybe even warp into other players or objects. You see this when players go from a basketball move to a celebration, for example. This is referred to as an Ambient Animation. 2K Sports says they have worked very hard on removing those odd animations to make them look more realistic.
While briefly showing off some gameplay, here are a few things I noticed in a game between a user controlled Miami Heat and an AI San Antonio Spurs squad.
The first thing I noticed was better floor spacing and definitely more movement from players without the ball. The crowds looked slightly better as well. I saw a few Dwyane Wade stepbacks, stepback hesitations and stepback jumpers that looked just like him. I also noticed Tony Parker getting into the lane and shooting some floaters.
I saw some quicker dribble moves in general, with what seemed to be no hesitation. It seemed to be more responsive, but it's hard to tell since I wasn't the man behind the sticks.
Saw a brief glimpse of collision between players going to the rim, but it happened so quick, it was hard to gauge if what I saw was definitely there or not. I also noticed some player sliding.
When on the perimeter, I didn't see as much player bumping, as seen in NBA 2K12. I mean, there was bumping, but it wasn't exaggerated bumping. I didn't see a fast break, so I couldn't tell if players filled the lanes any better.
Never saw a big defender on a smaller quicker guard, so I couldn't gauge speed effectiveness. Was hoping Duncan would get caught up on a switch with Wade, but it never happened.
Now, before you go off on the deep end, with the above being said, I will also note a few comments from Sr. Game Designer, Mike Wang, who has already confirmed via Twitter and our NBA 2K forums, as being worked on or fixed, based off of this early footage. Also remember, there are roughly 4 months to go before the game ships Oct. 2.
Quotes from Mike Wang:
- Just a small update... I figured out why Manu blasted through the D in that vid. I fixed it this morning. Rest assured there will be PLENTY of contact in NBA2K13.
- We've completely reworked the way we handle contact on drives and shots.
- The up and unders (aka flick flicks) are now interruptible. So if you read it properly you can force the "under" into contact.
- I've personally hated isomotion for years. Fixing it has been my primary objective for 13.
Kotaku's recent article mentions the team worked their butts off on the passing game, which in my opinion, is more great news.
The NBA 2K13 team is not looking to reinvent the wheel with controls, but they want to simplify the controls so new users aren't overwhelmed with advanced controls. They also don't want to take away anything from the advanced users.
As most of you already know, by pre-ordering NBA 2K13, you are offered the free downloadable NBA All-Star content package presented by Sprite. In this free DLC, users can pit the NBA’s current superstars against classic players in both the Foot Locker Three Point Shootout and Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Rosters for both the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge and the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston will feature the 2012 All-Stars, with dynamic updates to the 2013 rosters once the participants are announced.
The blacktop mode was said to be too complex and with the way 2K Sports wanted to simplify controls, it seems they wanted to go that direction with a guitar hero-esque look and feel. As the player gets close to the rim and gathers himself, the "dunk hero" scroll pops up (think guitar hero; this look will change, but overall have the same simplistic approach) and the player goes into slo-mo as you perform your button presses. Simple dunks are slow and methodical button presses, while more difficult dunks will be much faster and include right and left analog stick movements. Timing everything perfectly will obviously result in a higher score.
There are over 100 dunks in the current build with plans on having over 150 dunks in the final release. Prop dunks, teammate dunks along with a few others are included. All of the dunks that were shown to us were realistic, nothing over the top. Another item to note, this is not a stand alone mode. It is integrated into Association, My Player and Season modes, if you have the content enabled. So for example, if you are selected in My Player for an event, you will be in the All-Star Weekend festivities. At this time, the DLC will only be available for 360 and PS3 users, it seems there are no plans, as of right now, to add this content for PC users.
Be on the lookout for more info coming down the road, as this is just a primer of things to come. I can't really state much else about gameplay on such a short sample size. I'll ask if this is available in online association and leagues and report back. If you have any additional questions about the All-Star Weekend DLC, post them here.