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NBA 2K13 Preview (Xbox 360)

Written by DaWolf, owner of http://www.nbagames.de/ (regular in the OS Forums)

I had the opportunity to play an early build of NBA 2K13 for 2 hours today. My impressions are based on the demo code for Gamescom (5 minute quarter, Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, limited options/couldn’t even call for a pick). I also received a demonstration from one of the games Producers at the 2K Business Area, as they showed the demo and a game between the Dream Team and the 2012 Olympic team.


NBA 2K13 feels a lot like NBA 2K12, with a lot of positives and one major negative. Let me go through everything one by one.

Defensive movement: No more sliding, warping and magical defense. If you are beaten by a player you have no chance to recover. That also means that you can’t recover from an opponent’s fast break, if you are not running back at the same speed than the offensive player. I can’t comment on the speed issue at the moment but fast breaks seemed pretty much the same to me as in NBA 2K12. But defensive movement and momentum were really the high points of the game for me today.

On Ball Defense: There are a lot of new animations, as seen in the latest trailer, with two players bumping into each other. But it all felt natural. Overall defense has been vastly improved. I also saw a great block on the perimeter by Lewis, that knocked the ball out of bounds. The blocks under the rim weren’t that great looking, but none of the awkward looking ones with the elbow, etc. as seen in NBA 2K12.

Double teams: Yes, I saw the CPU double team Bosh in the post – I don’t know about double teaming when a player is hot.

Graphics: I saw a slight improvement in the player models – but nothing spectacular at this stage, of course. Coaches looked better as well. I noticed some of the dunk animations are now a little faster than last year, which is a good thing, as I really didn’t like a lot of the slow dunk animations in 2K12. Now they animate more like NBA 2K8, if you can recall that game.

Collision system: Extremely improved over 2K12, with tons of animations when driving to the basket with full or slight body contact. Imagine the system in NBA 2K2 but with much more variety and outcomes. Is it better than the system with two player animations in 2K11? Hmm tough one – sometimes I had the feeling that once you’re in a dunk animation, at a certain point, there is no way the opponent will change the shot. I saw one instance where LeBron took off and the defensive player was just pushed to the side by the animation. I really can’t say if the system was real time physics based, because I saw some contact animations twice – but overall massive improvement. Right now I would say 2K11 still got the edge on this one but we´ll see just how varied it is when we get to play more.

Right Stick Dribble System: Well I don’t want to write much about this because I really didn’t like it. Not because it was badly implemented – but because I´m not a fan of the right stick dribble at all. I kind of knew that before. I’m sure you will like it.

Ok lets get to my one major complaint: Jump Shots. If you have no problem with them in 2K12 you´re fine. But I had. Big time. And it’s not fixed. What I am talking about is the disconnection I feel with the releases of the jump shots in 2K12 and now seen in 2K13. The release window is so small that there is none of that “jumping up and releasing the ball at the highest point of your jump” – it is like there is a quick animation playing out for the jump shot and I have no control over the release whatsoever. It’s hard to explain, I just don’t feel like I’m the one shooting the J. It’s best explained if you go to NBA 2K8 and take a shot with e.g. Carmelo Anthony or in 2K7 with Kobe. Smooth animation – high release point which is triggered not by an animation but by the release of the button. I was sad that it was not addressed. Also in 2K12 your player has a totally different jumper behind the three point line than usual, which is still in there, sadly.

Similarities to 2K12: 2K13 feels like 2K12 in a lot of ways. The movement is a bit smoother (especially on defense), the rim physics haven’t change a bit (which was a disappointment to me), passing wasn’t vastly different (to me..), jump shots (as mentioned), floor spacing, pre-game presentation and even the camera angle on tip-off. All areas looked like 2K12 to me.

Random stuff:

  • When the shot clock is running down and there is less than a second to play your player will automatically throw up a quick shot with one arm. Mine went in with Ray Allen.
  • Off the ball fouls and over the backs are now more visible through collision animations.
  • Dunks in traffic tend to not go in (when a foul is involved). Saw a couple of instances where the dunker would just throw it at the rim.
  • Manual bounce pass – gotta love it.
  • Ball feels a bit more loose this year.
  • Dribble too much with the right stick and you will lose the ball.
  • Post game seemed to be expended on as well.
  • When you shoot a contested jump shot, your player will kick out his leg – nice addition.
  • On replays your player is colored whereas all the other players are black and white – looked weird.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. It’s a pretty polished game with the issues from 2K12 mainly addressed. I’ll give high points for the defensive movement and collision system.


NBA 2K13 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 infam0us @ 08/15/12 03:30 PM
You know the next NBA 2k is around the corner when we something from DaWolf.

Quote:
When the shot clock is running down and there is less than a second to play your player will automatically throw up a quick shot with one arm. Mine went in with Ray Allen.
I'm all for quick release shots but automatically? Gonna have to experience it first hand but I don't know about this.
 
# 2 Goffs @ 08/15/12 03:35 PM
No vids though...looks like they have the game locked down
 
# 3 coolcras7 @ 08/15/12 03:37 PM
LD2K I would love to know what build of the game was presented at Gamescom
 
# 4 JSensui @ 08/15/12 03:38 PM
Quote:
On replays your player is colored whereas all the other players are black and white looked weird.
That's silly. Why do that? Hopefully that can be turned off.

Quote:
When the shot clock is running down and there is less than a second to play your player will automatically throw up a quick shot with one arm. Mine went in with Ray Allen.
Dunno if I like that.

It's interesting. The build dawolf played seems to be more along the lines of a "polished 2k12", rather than a particularly big leap for the 2k series.
 
# 5 1WEiRDguy @ 08/15/12 03:38 PM
now this is the type of stuff i've been waiting to read...none of the "jayz called sir charles to get him in the game"...i didnt buy 2k12 so this seems to be a vast improvement from 2k11...great read
 
# 6 bigeastbumrush @ 08/15/12 03:41 PM
Whoa: Replays

DaWolf,
Does it looks like Double Dribble did where the dunker is in color and everything else is grayed out?

I do not like the sound of that.

Was it like that on every single replays or just intermittently?
 
# 7 Steve_OS @ 08/15/12 03:42 PM
Below are all comments from DaWolf

Quote:
Bounce passing is great - just how you imagine it to be. The hop step was powerful to get into the zone but with the new collission system it was not easy to get a clean shot off under the rim. Cant say about zones, no options for that available in the emo. Btw demo is 5 min long, one quarter, heat vs thunder. Spin dunk - I dont know. the animation where the player pushed the ball in front on the fast break and the ball an hit someone leg is still in.

Quote:
How is the new dribbling system?

I dont like it. but thats beause I dont like the right sick to be the dribble stick. Hated it in Live as well. So it was easy to use Im sure you guys will like it.
Quote:
Have you noticed speed beeing a factor? How where fastbreaks? Wich teams did you get to play?

I have to say that I didnt see a lot of differences in that area. But have to admit it wasnt an issue for me personally in 12. The main thing on fast breaks is now you can drive to the lane and you wont get that stupid blocking animation. You can really force your way inside with lebron.
Quote:
I will add - there is a learning curve for it. There is an adjustment period for a few FULL games. Took me about 2 full games until I started to really understand it.

I guess so. Maybe I will get used to it. But to me i loved isomotion - i just felt more natural to me.
Quote:
Can you try to overdribble with a big man and see if you can lose the ball without being stripped. Can you make impede when the ballhandler dribbles with his back to the basket from beyond the 3pt line? Does the CPU fall for fake passes? Is the fake pass still there? TIA

Fake pass is still in there but I didnt know how to do it as the B Button is know the hopstep button. You will losse the ball much quicker this time with the dribbling especially with less sklilled players.
Quote:


I really didnt see a situation like that. But I would guess its gone because of the new momentum on defense. You cant just come to a stand and go full speed again. The defensive much more physics based. Speed I dont know. I tried to analyse it but on fast breaks there was never a big men involved from the opposing team.
Quote:
Have you seen some improvement in graphics??player models, textures... thanks in advance!

Yes I think they worked on the player models. They look a bit more realistic / slimmer now. Coaches look better as well.
Quote:
DaWolf did you see any off ball physics? How is the spacing?

Off Ball fouls are now more visible through animations. They collie more realistic now. Spacing is similar to 2K12 with the difference that you see double teams now and than. But still no major improvement in that area.
Quote:
Thanks for your answer, here's my last one: Where u able to see some user vs. CPU gameplay?if so, have u seen weird or dumb movements on the CPU side??THX!

It was just me vs CpU. I would say no. Just the typical 2K "going up for a jump shot 1 feet from the basket" with Durant and a man in his face.
Quote:
Did you see any cases of clipping or players morphing through one another? Or the ball going through a players arm/body?

no but I didnt get into replay so maybe there was something of that. Overall player interactions are much improved.
Quote:
DaWolf:

How was floor spacing?

Improved, worse, no different than prior versions?


I would say slightly improved but nothing like live 10.
Quote:
was the cpu big man still takes charges in the paint that will result being a blocking foul?

didnt see that
Quote:
Sorry..should've asked in previous post.

Did you see any additional player reactions like after a foul call? Arguing, celebrating with teammates, jawing at the refs.

OT- this reminded me of NBA2K4 I think when you would pick up like your 5th or 6th foul and your teammates would have to hold you back from going after the ref Good times.


Yes actually they added some new ones here and there. For example I had an An-One with Lebron and his team mate was messing with him afterwars to celecrate.
Quote:
Is jumpshooting simplistic like 2k12 or do we have 2k11 style where releases need to be learned?

Its pretty much the same as in 2K12. Which was still better than 11 to me. 2 K Sports di something to the jumpers after 2K8 and I think they still struggle to get that feeling back.
 
# 8 youvalss @ 08/15/12 03:42 PM
Dream Team fans should be happy.

Don't know what to say. I remember 2K saying the game will feel really different than 2K12. But I guess one needs to play on his own to get the feel.
 
# 9 eaterofworlds888 @ 08/15/12 03:44 PM
Well, if the only complaint you had was the right stick dribbling I'm very happy, because I really like the idea I always hated shooting with the stick and always used the face buttons to shoot. The right stick was virtually useless for me up until now of course. Very pumped!
 
# 10 qnzballa5 @ 08/15/12 03:45 PM
. I saw one instance where LeBron took off and the defensive player was just pushed to the side by the animation.

So this means the power dunk animations is still in.. sad really.. great article wolf.. ALso sad to see about the jumpshot stuff that they still havent changed that.. Looks like this game in terms of gameplay is just a lil upgrade to 2k12...
 
# 11 DaWolf @ 08/15/12 03:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by qnzballa5
. I saw one instance where LeBron took off and the defensive player was just pushed to the side by the animation.

So this means the power dunk animations is still in.. sad really.. great article wolf.. ALso sad to see about the jumpshot stuff that they still havent changed that.. Looks like this game in terms of gameplay is just a lil upgrade to 2k12...
I wouldnt say that. Its much improved in the areas that have been an issue with the fans from 2K12. The collission system and the defensive movement really take it to the next level.
 
# 12 youvalss @ 08/15/12 03:49 PM
Nice avatar you got there. So no videos?
 
# 13 Vni @ 08/15/12 03:50 PM
What about layups & post game Dawolf? Any thought on theses topics?
 
# 14 DaWolf @ 08/15/12 03:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeastbumrush
Whoa: Replays

DaWolf,
Does it looks like Double Dribble did where the dunker is in color and everything else is grayed out?

I do not like the sound of that.

Was it like that on every single replays or just intermittently?
I think it was not in all of the replays. Just dunks I think... but looked kind of sily to me. maybe it had to do with the nike+ cooperation? you can see in these type of replays how high he was jumping on the dunk.
 
# 15 qnzballa5 @ 08/15/12 03:51 PM
When the shot clock is running down and there is less than a second to play your player will automatically throw up a quick shot with one arm. Mine went in with Ray Allen.

Sad to see they went the route of them telling us what to do when the shot clock is up.. Y cant we have control if we want to shoot it or not? Sometimes 2k goes overboard alot..

On replays your player is colored whereas all the other players are black and white looked weird.

Plz 2kstop doing things that is not broken.. I hope to God they fixed the in game menu instead of the camera option while we are playing the game...
 
# 16 barimanlhs @ 08/15/12 03:51 PM
Nice preview DaWolf!

Id like to get my hands on this or at least see it in motion. Im glad to hear that your only big complaint was the dribble stick, but only due to preference not that it was broken.

I kind of figured they would really make 2k13 a refined 2k12. im curious though, how was the rebounding? Was it similar to 2k11 or closer to 2k12 where it was sort of hit or miss? I ask because that was my biggest issue with 2k12...in 2k11 I was an animal on the boards, in the 2k12 I was just above average to good....I want to rebound like a mad man again!
 
# 17 Vni @ 08/15/12 03:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by infam0us
You know the next NBA 2k is around the corner when we something from DaWolf.


I'm all for quick release shots but automatically? Gonna have to experience it first hand but I don't know about this.
This is really wierd. So basically no posession will end up without a shot at the rim? That sounds silly.
 
# 18 kolanji @ 08/15/12 03:56 PM
felt a very good connection when reading previews from one of us here at OS.......it just has a comforting feeling knowing that they are looking at the game with eyes of most of us here and can identify the game with a perspective that we here would appreciate over a reporter from a game sight


much appreciated DaWolf
 
# 19 blues rocker @ 08/15/12 03:56 PM
Thanks, DaWolf - i appreciate your impressions every year.
 
# 20 qnzballa5 @ 08/15/12 03:57 PM
3 ?'s..

1. Was there alot of putbacks like 2k12 cuz 2k12 was to many especially wit the thunder..

2. Is the heatcheckup,in game menu back during games like 2k11 n every gm before.. 2k12 instead had the change camera option which was terrible.

3. Is the fatigue system better? in 2k12 u can play an entire quarter witout having to sub in your players. They need it like 2k10 where it forced us to sub our players in..
 

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