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OS Scores Explained NBA 2K14 Overview (PS4)
Pros
Beautiful graphics; The classic 2K gameplay; Conversation enging
Cons
VC usage its kind of ridiculous; Customization; Lack of options overall, like skipping MyCAREER cutscenes.
Bottom Line
Thanks to superb gameplay and the best graphics currently released on next-gen, NBA 2K14 is a must-buy game for any sports gamer.
8.5
out of 10
NBA 2K14 REVIEW

NBA 2K14 Review (PS4)


Next-gen basketball is here, to (mostly) good results.

It’s tough to have any expectations coming into this new generation of consoles. Seven years ago we all had high expectations, and for sports gamers, it turned out to be arguably the biggest let down in the history of sports gaming. But this time it truly is different.

NBA 2K14, with its flaws, is ushering in a new generation of sports games.

But even more importantly, a sports game – yes, a sports game – is ushering the entire generation with graphics that can truly be considered next-gen. But a game isn’t defined by only what you see, as NBA 2K14 is also quick to let you know.


Gameplay is still very high end on next-gen consoles.

Gameplay

On the surface level, NBA 2K14 plays a lot like it did on PS3 and Xbox 360, so if you’ve played the series in the past few years you should be golden in terms of figuring your way around the court.

That’s not to say it’s identical. The new EcoMotion engine gives the game a more free-flow feel than it has had in the past, and makes the on-court action more realistic than ever before.

Momentum can be felt as you barrel your player into the paint, making it more of a commitment to drive the lane. It opens up your mind to develop a real strategy on how to beat your opponent, and depending on who and where you play, that strategy will need to be different and constantly changing.

Everything has become contested it seems, and gives you the feeling the same shot doesn’t happen twice. Pulling up for a quick jumper will have different animations and follow throughs depending on the defense and the release point of the jumper. Also, passing at the peak of the shot isn’t as lethal as it once was. If you get crazy with the ball, you’re going to turn it over and frustration will ensue.

Just remember, this is NBA 2K not NBA Jam. Even using the god-like LeBron “too much” will result in him losing control. I had a few flashbacks of Game 6 last season with LeBron’s back-to-back turnovers late in the game. I wasn’t the happiest gamer, but the fact that the game reminded me of a real-life situation in a past game says plenty of good about this game.


Some legacy bugs are back in the game.

I mentioned some minor bugs and glitches in my extended impressions two days ago but I’ll touch up on them again here, just for a moment.

The 2K bugs have returned, unfortunately. Morphing and clipping happens enough to make it noticeable, especially when you’re working some on-ball defense. AI teammates will stand in the wrong place at the wrong time, including out of bounds (this is my biggest gripe so far and is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible).

It should also be noted that 2K is already working on the game’s second patch (the first was a day-one release). Whether or not the issues should have been ready to go out of the box, well that’s a different argument.


You'll sit around for a few minutes waiting for your name to be called in MyCareer.

MyCAREER

MyCAREER is the new My Player, but with an added twist. Not only do you have everything you loved from the original My Player mode, you now have a full-fledged story to go along with it. 2K took this game mode and created a simulation of not just playing in the NBA, but living the NBA.

Cutscenes have been added, and in my opinion are the sole purpose that the mode feels like a storybook mode now. They keep you intrigued, guessing and excited. The best part of all, you forget the cutscenes are even there until one pops up. And when one does, you’ll put your controller down and lean back with a smirk as you watch your life in the NBA unfold.

The cutscenes may be a bit much for some people, and unfortunately 2K has omitted the ability to skip through them -- so if you want to pick up and play basketball this mode might leave you frustrated at times as you wait for cutscenes to finish.

Jackson Ellis is a name that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Ellis is your rival, someone you butt heads with starting at the Rookie Showcase. Your hatred of him will blossom much quick than you believe. I outplayed him in the showcase, but he was still drafted higher than me which made my personal temper flare a small bit. You will also have special goals when you meet him in a game. I lost a bet in our first NBA matchup: whoever scores less points has to give props to the winner on Twitter. Yeah, that was embarrassing.

From a gameplay standpoint, MyCAREER feels very much the same as My Player on the PS3 and 360. But with the god-like graphics of next-gen gaming (can we call it current gen yet?), it almost feels like you’re really playing a game of basketball. This mode is truly where the character models shine. Your mind will play a few tricks on you.


MyGM is a good mode, but does it truly replace association mode?

MyGM

I’ve kept my hype tempered for My GM ever since 2K published its Developer Diary. In that diary, the closing paragraph said things like “we quickly realized that it’s going to take a number of years to fully realize everything we want to do in this mode” and “this is the start of something big.”

Ever since I read that full diary, I knew I couldn’t get my hopes up. I’m glad I didn’t.

In My GM you control everything throughout the organization. You set prices, sign players, upgrade facilities, etc. You do it all, even have the coach come ask you to set the rotation (Seems a bit overkill, but it’s still a video game!).

But those options aren’t what makes this mode exciting; it’s the conversation engine.

When you interact with players, owners, coaches, scouts, you will have to watch what you say to keep up your relationship with them. You don’t want to make your owner mad, or you won’t be allowed to have as much freedom within the team.

Also, you need to make choices that will have both positive and negative effects on the people you care about. Ricky Rubio and JJ Barea with both injured in my Minnesota campaign, so I needed to do something to add a reliable ball handler at point. Next thing I knew, Kevin Love showed up in my office telling me not to bring in anybody new, or it would screw up team chemistry. I bit the bullet and took losses instead of a new guard to appease Love. I don’t want him bolting for Los Angeles, though I know a producer would love it.

My GM is exactly what 2K says it is. A foundation of something big. Right now the mode isn’t anything to die for, but you get the sense of what it can be. Either way, this mode is worth your time considering it’s the only option for a multi-season Association.


Our experiences with online haven't been great, your mileage will vary.

Online

Oh boy.

The 2K servers are at it again, or it might be Sony and its PlayStation 4. When I’m not consistently connected to a very high-speed Internet (which has been my life the last few days), I can’t play much of anything in 2K. I can’t access MyCAREER or My GM because the 2K servers time out. That leaves you with nothing but Quick Game against the CPU, which has also been reported to not work well offline.

One feature that I was never able to access was The Park. The Park allows you to take your My Player to a giant playground with up to another 99 My Players. Here, you get to have pick-up games by choosing “who’s got next?” I’m not sure how much time I will spend here, because I’m curious to see if there is going to be any lasting appeal. It’s in wait-and-see mode.

Customization

I applaud 2K for building from the ground up with NBA 2K14. It was, and is, a smart move. But they left a lot of content from the PS3/360 version out of the new console’s versions.

There’s a lack of nearly everything, from hairstyles to tattoos to faces. Even smaller items such as the ability to change contracts has been removed, or at least not added in. It’s the small things like this that really confused me. I don’t understand why these things couldn’t be added in right away. It took them a few years to finally get the customization down perfect, but once they did it was awesome. Whenever you wanted to do something, you could do it.

Now, you’ll just hit a dead end a be like “whoa.”


NBA 2K14 is a great game on next-gen consoles.

Final Thoughts

NBA 2K14 is really missing something when it comes to customization. With a lack of that, the game modes take a big hit as well. 2K has always known for its fantastic Association Mode, and while MyGM is good, it doesn't adequately replace that mode just yet. It’s disappointing more so than gut-wrenching.

However, there are two things that make NBA 2K14 a great game: gameplay and graphics.

These graphics really add to the realism of NBA 2K14. It helps that the main gameplay features real people rather than fictional characters; it gives you a sense of watching TV. But seeing the players move so lifelike, and knowing it’s because of you is a feeling you should all experience. This game is beautiful.

The gameplay, despite those darned glitches, is what we’ve come to expect out of 2K: nothing but the best. These guys know exactly what they’re doing, and have set that foundation they talked about. This game is far from perfect, but it’s also the first next-gen iteration. This is a must-buy game for any sports gamer, and a must-buy for any true gamer.

Anyone who appreciates video games will appreciate NBA 2K14, even if they base it solely on those graphics.

Graphics: This is the best looking video game I have ever seen. Presentation is solid as well.

Audio: The commentary is what you expect from 2K.

Controls: Thanks to the EcoMotion, there’s a small learning curve for longtime 2Kers. If you’ve never played before, this game has a decent learning curve that really does take a little practice.

Online: I’ll wake up when the servers do the same.

SCORE: 8.5 (Great)

Scoring Note: An 8.5 (or great), is a score which signifies a game as largely a must-buy despite a few minor flaws. While the game isn't an all-time classic, the good far outweighs the bad. We debated a 9.0 for this game, but ultimately the lack of customization, the legacy gameplay issues, and the game modes all kept this game from being an all-timer. However, the foundation has been laid for greatness.


NBA 2K14 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 PTB503 @ 11/24/13 11:30 AM
Best looking console game is what I assume you mean.
 
# 2 iceberg760 @ 11/24/13 12:15 PM
Yes, game looks great...game play is tight....enjoying my 1st few days on the xbox one
 
# 3 ultralow36 @ 11/24/13 02:03 PM
you can play mycareer and mygm offline just fine....
 
# 4 bumpyface @ 11/24/13 02:44 PM
Hit online on the spot. I hate playing against the A.I and if this game didn't play as well as it did I would probably not play it at all offline. I will say that the few games I was able to play online were pretty much lag free. They almost felt like offline games. Get working on those servers 2k.
 
# 5 rlb1976 @ 11/24/13 03:43 PM
I'm a little disappointed this review didn't touch on the lack of 30 team control or trade logic in mygm. As a sim gamer I want the rosters to be as accurate as possible the first season especially so I always control all the teams. I've been waiting for this review to decide on whether to purchase 2K14 on current or next gen and it wasn't the help I was hoping it would be. I've heard the trade logic is pretty bad so it's looking like I gotta stick with current gen to get the experience I want.
 
# 6 Superbone @ 11/24/13 03:43 PM
I'm really surprised there was no mention of the online roster fiasco. This was a really bad design decision. You have to upload your rosters and then you have to download them before every game. No good. It's especially bad for a team like the Suns that have four wrong players on the team including a starter.
 
# 7 facu23 @ 11/24/13 05:18 PM
Nice game. Thelight need to improve.
PD: Why i when i try tomake a blog entry this mesage cames up "you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons"
 
# 8 c1979h @ 11/24/13 05:30 PM
compared to nba live, I think 8.5 was being respectful lol
 
# 9 DustinT @ 11/24/13 05:45 PM
The trade logic is My GM is pretty bad. They just need an option to turn it off, because it's a fantasy draft by the time the playoffs begin.
 
# 10 tariqosuave @ 11/24/13 05:52 PM
Online play? Servers are up I think
 
# 11 Jakeness23 @ 11/24/13 05:59 PM
I hate the controls. We need an alternative (I have one in my blog) and if they're going to commit to the right stick for dribbling, put them all on there... I'm still doing moves with the left stick that I don't mean to do and it will result in a cross then hesitation when all I wanted was a crossover, truly annoying. Oh and shooting hook shots behind the basket is automatic, that has to go.
 
# 12 Shimoda @ 11/24/13 08:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultralow36
you can play mycareer and mygm offline just fine....
But not with your custom roster...
 
# 13 emelki1968 @ 11/24/13 09:18 PM
Hi everybody? Has anybody encountered his problem: After trying to upload MyGM the screen freezes and you can't do anything, just turn off your PlayStation 4. Then, I tried to play again and I don't have any of the new features for MyGM. It is actually the same than last year. I though you can control a lot of aspect of your team. And There are not more cut scenes with my player. None!
 
# 14 bballshawn24 @ 11/24/13 10:37 PM
honestly its a 7.7. They need to patch some things
 
# 15 RayCool @ 11/24/13 10:45 PM
The Customization issues are totally accurate. I mean It's one thing to not include certain customization features, but for "me" my issue stems from what they've removed from the game after the release day patch.

Prior to the patch, when editing rosters you could adjust a player's "leg length" and "torso length" separately, which allowed for realistic signature player body types. It was possible to replicate players like: Kevin Durant, Larry Sanders, and Dwight Howard with their long legs and small torso.

Post patch combined the two features into "body length", which doesn't allow you to make the legs/torso as long or short as desired. Why add such a great customization feature that helps to replicate real player body types and replace it with a second rate variation?

Please fix this 2K...
 
# 16 Dr. Banner @ 11/25/13 08:39 AM
Great game....but same terrible 2k servers and VC almost ruins it.
 
# 17 CoachDavid @ 11/25/13 09:22 AM
I have been playing on the Xbox one and love this game. The ecomotion fixes a lot of the kick balls and loss dribbles on the 360 version. The updated attribute system in my career is also a nice change. Also the ability to use points prior to the rookie showcase. The arm and torso length has finally allow me to make a rhondo or McGee.
I can't get the full play art to show unless I go in the game options every game and set them. Fouls are still managed in a broken way by the CPU.
On the bright side, kinect voice control finally works and it works well. No more timeouts call by the annoucers and my commands don't require me to yell. Now they need to add calling out picks and defensive rotations.
Also need a third person camera with no stylish panning.
This game is a classic. I have played online and its pretty good but that may be an Xbox thing.
 
# 18 franzis @ 11/25/13 09:35 AM
I expected some references to VC in any terms. Instead it isn't even mentioned.
 
# 19 rlb1976 @ 11/25/13 10:51 AM
Can anyone confirm how bad the trade logic is in my gm? My purchase of current or next gen depends on it. If trades are all over the place I won't be able to stand it.

They need a commissioner mode. Where you can focus on your team or teams, but oversee everything else and veto stupid trades and make the trades/roster moves that happen in real life.
 
# 20 Superbone @ 11/25/13 12:43 PM
Is anybody making a basket on an "and one"? The last game I played, every time, out of at least 10 times when I get fouled on a shot attempt, the ball rolls off the rim.
 

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