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OS Scores Explained NBA 2K17 Overview (PS4)
Pros
Gameplay is just incredibly good, MyGM is the best you'll find, presentation the best in sports gaming as it stands right now.
Cons
MyCAREER is a total drain and is way too connected to the rest of the experience, a few wonky A.I. moments.
Bottom Line
All in all a must-own for any basketball fan. NBA 2K17 offers a near complete package of basketball goodness to enjoy.
9
out of 10
NBA 2K17 REVIEW

NBA 2K17 Review (PS4)

For the past several years, all other sports games have been judged by NBA 2K's standards. It is no surprise NBA 2K is the reigning multiple time Sports Game of the Year Award winner here at Operation Sports as well.

Simply put, NBA 2K has been a bit of a big deal around these parts for a few years.

Enter NBA 2K17. This year's game features important tweaks to the gameplay, a new MyCareer experience, new additions to MyGM, and a whole host of other new features that all add up to a compelling package oozing basketball authenticity.

There's a lot to love about NBA 2K17 -- but the game is still not quite perfect, with a few notable issues continuing to hold the experience back.


Gameplay

The gameplay in NBA 2K17 continues to be the series' strong suit. No matter if you are playing on the blacktop in a one-on-one game or in an arena with 18,000 fans in a NBA Finals game, NBA 2K17 gets basketball right.

When it comes to floor spacing, both your teammates and opponents will do a reasonable job spacing the floor. There will be possessions players stack on top of one another, but it is not wholly unrealistic that it happens sometimes and not all the time.

Dribbling and passing, two of the bedrocks of the game, have gotten changes to varying degrees of success.

When it comes to dribbling, you can now chain together moves and not get stuck in animations as frequently as you did in the past. Take note that you will almost certainly get stuck in a few animations still -- as I did to lose a game at the buzzer not long after picking 2K17 up.

One of my main beefs with the gameplay, but also one of its potential core strengths, is how in-depth the control scheme is. NBA 2K17 is not unlike a fighting game in the amount of button combos that exist to do different things. For more skilled players on the sticks, this is a godsend and allows for the ability to control players with a level of depth that is mind boggling.

For the rest of the audience (most of them), it makes the game daunting and, dare I say it, unapproachable for beginners. NBA 2K17 tries to hold your hand a bit with the controls, but I can't help but feel a more fully fleshed out intermediate area would be a good thing to look at for future games.

Passing is better handled this year. The better passers seem to be easier to identify while you play the game, and the ability to control a bounce pass vs. skip pass vs. regular pass is obviously a welcome layer of control that's been refined once again. There are plenty of options and visual cues to help you along, though the passing system still suffers from some weird moments such as the skip pass being incredibly risky with little reward.

Shooting similarly has gotten some tweaks. If you shoot and the shot meter is green, that means you make the shot unlike in previous years (minus patches late in the year that ended up tweaking this to make it true). This is helpful and much less confusing than having feedback that's hard to follow.

AI teammates tend to do a good job of moving around the court and doing basketball things they should be doing. It is hard to judge NBA 2K17 on some levels here because for a game to be realistic your AI teammates need to be doing some dumb things at times, especially the lower-rated players, as well as doing a lot of really smart things.

Rebounding and ball physics are also more of a thing. Tipped balls, balls careening away from a pack of players gathered under the rim, and so on are more common and result in new and interesting possibilities on the court. That bit of randomness helps the game feel more lifelike.

Overall there are quibbles you can throw out with the AI, like excessive and poorly planned double teams if a player gets hot, or players not filling lanes on a fast break properly, but the AI is a net positive.

In the end, I can't help but come away from the gameplay with the feeling NBA 2K17 has done a whole lot right and very little wrong.

MyCareer

NBA 2K17 has an impressive variety of modes, from MyGM to Season to MyCareer to MyTeam to even a Playoffs mode. There's an experience here for everyone to enjoy, though some modes do a better job than others.

MyCareer is probably the weakest mode of the bunch. On one hand, the continued use of narrative in a sports game story mode is still something other games haven't taken full advantage of to this point.

On the other hand, MyCareer seems like a mode that's completely insecure with itself. You are forced to watch lengthy cutscenes, whether you like it or not, with no real end direction clearly apparent at the beginning. Worse yet, the mode mires you in tedium at many turns.

Why you have to spam buttons to get quick replies via texts is something I won't ever understand. Ditto for being forced to go to practice versus simulating through the more tedious aspects of the mode.

In reality, MyCareer is a mode at odds with the rest of the game. The rest of NBA 2K17 gives you a plethora of options to customize and enjoy your experience while MyCareer is a mode that forces you down a narrow path, whether you like it or not. On top of that, since you "have to" play this mode to get badges and get some of the needed perks to survive if you want to play the online aspects of this mode, it means you're stuck playing it.

MyGM

MyGM on the other hand, is the best sports gaming franchise mode experience you are going to find. From managing owner, press, and player expectations to managing your roster to the new expansion and rule change possibilities, MyGM offers a true NBA experience in every way.

Managing your roster and keeping players happy with their roles while simultaneously not making your other players (or owner) mad at you is a challenge that isn't unlike what a real GM has to go through. The ability to quickly zoom through games via SimCast is still there and the "kitchen sink" option of normalizing your played stats to real-to-life 12-minute quarter stats should be a standard in all of sports gaming.

When it comes to options, MyGM just gives you so many, puts you in a world that feels alive, and then gives you more options. MyGM is a real achievement.

Other Modes

There are a variety of other modes included in the game that deserve mention. From the ability to jump into the real NBA season and play it out this year to being able to set up a multiple-year association with a completely customized experience to the ability to just play through the playoffs if you so desire.

MyTeam is also back with important changes. While the online modes are still hit or miss to an extent (as is typical with a 2K game at launch), the things I've been experimenting with in MyTeam have shown there is a good variety of ways to play and improve your team.

We'll have a lot more on MyTeam and the rest of the online experience in NBA 2K in future articles.

Presentation

2K promised more varied body types this year as one of the core visual improvements in this year's game. While some players definitely look better than they did, the game does have a bit longer to go before players look varied and unique.

With that said, the rest of the package is excellent. From graphical overlays to the best-in-class commentary to the studio show, NBA 2K17 does just about everything well when it comes to presentation.

There was a lot of work put into making each arena feel and sound different as well. I'm not sure the game quite reached that goal, but NBA 2K has the right idea at the very least with each arena now beginning to feel different. Now they just have to work on getting the crowds to sound better overall and actually double down on making arenas feel unique.

Final Thoughts

NBA 2K17 does way more right than it does wrong. The gameplay is smooth, the presentation package is top-notch, and the modes are (mostly) the best of their kind in sports gaming.

There are some notable negatives to the game this year. First, MyCareer is a real weak point to me. The gameplay is great but not perfect as you will run into some weird moments on the court. You'll also probably find yourself frustrated if you are a newer gamer who isn't prepared to deal with the game's daunting control scheme.

Those quibbles aside, NBA 2K17 offers one of the most complete experiences in sports gaming. The gameplay is top notch, you have different and high-quality modes to experience that gameplay in, and the presentation package just screams NBA basketball.

It has become easy to say, but NBA 2K17 is an early favorite for sports game of the year and is a must buy for basketball fans of all types.

Score: 9.0 (All-Time Classic)


Member Comments
# 1 michaelhawj @ 09/20/16 05:09 PM
great review.. i give this is 10/10..

Gameplay, animations, presentation, commentary and My GM are Top Notch !!!!

Cons : My Career has some negative is ai cpu teammate sometimes playing so dumb and my own player require VC points to improve my player rating, animations and other stuffs because i don't like to waste money on VC points for improve my player rating and animations
 
# 2 JKSportsGamer1984 @ 09/20/16 05:11 PM
Completely agree with this review. If 2K fixes the issue with players sliding into position when receiving passes (especially on inbound passes) & corrects some of the player body type blunders (some players arms are too skinny), I would probably give this game close to a 10. Gameplay is really good this year. This game is incredibly deep. There are a lot of subtle improvements that you notice the more you play. There are a few legacy issues still remaining (selective ball tangibility, clipping, some unbreakable 2 man animations, etc..) They also have to fix the isse with players not subbing in after timeouts. With a patch or two, this game can be a classic.
 
# 3 MoneyOvaHuds @ 09/20/16 05:18 PM
Best 2k ever made
 
# 4 CM Hooe @ 09/20/16 05:20 PM
Quote:
For the rest of the audience (most of them), it makes the game daunting and, dare I say it, unapproachable for beginners.
As someone who readily admits he is not the most knowledgable about basketball on the court, this is disheartening to read.

I enjoyed the review otherwise, however. It looks like NBA 2K is still a fantastic game for those who already understand the game.
 
# 5 speedtrucker @ 09/20/16 05:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
As someone who readily admits he is not the most knowledgable about basketball on the court, this is disheartening to read.



I enjoyed the review otherwise, however. It looks like NBA 2K is still a fantastic game for those who already understand the game.


Not so much understanding the game as it is just being a stickmaster.

I understand the game extremely well but on the sticks I am very simple because I just can't chain the harder moves together.

If you play FIFA, it's like knowing how to do the easy step overs and fake kicks but those that master the concept can pull off amazing Dekes, stopovers, rabonas etc.
 
# 6 CM Hooe @ 09/20/16 05:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedtrucker
Not so much understanding the game as it is just being a stickmaster.

I understand the game extremely well but on the sticks I am very simple because I just can't chain the harder moves together.

If you play FIFA, it's like knowing how to do the easy step overs and fake kicks but those that master the concept can pull off amazing Dekes, stopovers, rabonas etc.
That's part of what I meant to say (admittedly I phrased my thoughts poorly there).

I can learn a pick-and-roll, a 2-3 zone, or other high-level concepts and plays pretty easily. I also have a pretty good understanding of how the NBA works with respect to contracts, the draft, and the salary cap.

However, I have no idea about how and when I might want to use any of the given dribble / size-up / post moves in the various ball-handler gameplay contexts. There are so many options available, I have no idea what advantages / disadvantages each move provides, when to use one over the other.

This doesn't even get to actually performing the moves like you alluded to; I'm probably similar to you that I can hold my own on the sticks in most games and I'm a competent gamer, but I'm absolutely not going to the Evo Championship Series anytime soon or anything like that, lol.

I would be quite ready to plunk down $60 for this game - which is by all accounts great - if there were some sort of interactive tutorial which not only explained how to perform certain actions on the court but explain to me why I might do any one of them. Alternatively, an "auto-moves" option like what Madden NFL 17 provides to inexperienced players on Rookie and Pro difficulties is something I might find useful as well. As is, the learning curve is just too steep, and I know I won't be able enjoy this game and my buying it would be a waste of time. And it makes me sad, because the game does look very good.
 
# 7 BA2929 @ 09/20/16 06:10 PM
Quote:
MyGM on the other hand, is the best sports gaming franchise mode experience you are going to find.
I'm wondering what makes MyGM better than MyLeague?

I haven't really ventured into MyGM since about 2k12 or so and have put extensive hours into MyLeague in the past few seasons.

What would I get in MyGM that would be better than MyLeague?

(I'm legit asking here, not calling anyone out for their opinion. I just had no idea MyGM was so tremendous and feel like I've been missing out after this review lol)

Solid review, by the way. Sums up how I feel about it so far.
 
# 8 tril @ 09/20/16 06:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CM Hooe
As someone who readily admits he is not the most knowledgable about basketball on the court, this is disheartening to read.

I enjoyed the review otherwise, however. It looks like NBA 2K is still a fantastic game for those who already understand the game.
dont let this hold you back.
Ive been playing 2k basketball for 10+ years and I have yet to master all the complex moves, I only know a handful of moves.
playing fundamentally sound, basic basketball in 2k is rewarding enough. mastering the sticks/moves is an added plus but unnecessary. just like real like basketball. everyone has their strengths, and this carries over into 2k.

Ive only played a few games.
game play is solid, but may be a tad too fast for my liking (will have to adjust game speed)
players skate/slide to get into position, more so than years past- this needs to be patched

I like the skinny arms and different body types folks are complaining about.

lip sync is off with the studio announcers and sideline announcers. its really a glaring issue. in other words its just lips moving while the dialogue plays along. years past this seemed more in sync (PC VERSION)

I like the in game play calling system and adjustments, but dont like how the subs are handled.

rebounding and post games are a plus also.
new shooting is a definite plus. I use the shot stick and I do feel the difference. once you get in rhythm with a player, you really get in rhythm. I may have to up the difficulty with this.

I havent played any other modes just play now.

so far its about 8.5-9 for me. Im my gm/my league guy. so I look forward to starting up this mode
 
# 9 x_irish6 @ 09/20/16 06:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BA2929
I'm wondering what makes MyGM better than MyLeague?

I haven't really ventured into MyGM since about 2k12 or so and have put extensive hours into MyLeague in the past few seasons.

What would I get in MyGM that would be better than MyLeague?

(I'm legit asking here, not calling anyone out for their opinion. I just had no idea MyGM was so tremendous and feel like I've been missing out after this review lol)

Solid review, by the way. Sums up how I feel about it so far.
It's not IMHO. Although it does let you deal with dynamics of owner etc, you don't have power to veto horrible league rule changes (e.g. golden point sudden death OT) like you can in MyLeague which is a killer for me.

Aside from issue with rule changes it comes down to whether you want to deal with the relationship & business side of being a GM rather than just the traditional franchise mode (with ability to edit & control) that we love.
 
# 10 eaterofworlds888 @ 09/20/16 07:05 PM
Honestly, I'm loving everything about this game. The only thing I could wish for for next year are more pre-built expansion teams. I'm using those because the presentation is so authentic with them. They're treated like all the other teams.
 
# 11 mcpats @ 09/20/16 07:45 PM
Great review. I agree wholeheartedly it's a fantastic game. I also agree that it's so disappointing how tedious MyCareer is. I spent 90 minutes on my first off day dealing with text messages, practices, and shoot arounds before I played a real game
 
# 12 GisherJohn24 @ 09/20/16 08:14 PM
I expected a little more detail for everything, and why no mention of the Dream team not being there at launch? That hurt like a stinger, but overall, agree with the review.
 
# 13 speedtrucker @ 09/20/16 08:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GisherJohn24
I expected a little more detail for everything, and why no mention of the Dream team not being there at launch? That hurt like a stinger, but overall, agree with the review.


Technically they were there for launch, some just didn't have them for preorder early access.
 
# 14 tonedef407 @ 09/20/16 08:37 PM
You couldn't have said it better. The learning curve on this game keeps going higher and higher. I saw someone over at IGN refer to it as the "Dark Souls of sports games". I completely appreciate the depth for the hardcore, but try to ease the uninitiated in a little easier. Heck, I've been playing since the Dreamcast days, and I'd still love a skills trainer of some kind.
 
# 15 Dantecamp21 @ 09/20/16 09:07 PM
Guys, I know the learning curve is a huge hurdle to overcome. Specially for the newcomers. But the onboarding suite available at the 2KU feature is quite simple amazing and for my surprise it went uniticed in this review. I've played every NBA 2K ever made and I've never been able to achieve the level of success I'm having right now. They have neat videos of EVERY single move available in the game with the controls on top of it. Very, very helpful. So much so that for the first time ever I felt confident creating a big man in MyCareer instead of a guard since now I know how to perform all of the moves in the post. I feel they should be praised for this. For those who missed the feature, I urge you to check it out. it will really improve your experience with the game.
 
# 16 ASUBoy93 @ 09/20/16 09:28 PM
I disagree on your take about MyCareer, I think it's a pretty fun mode but I will concede that it has it's issues like the texting.

Overall the game is superb and so is this review. Thumbs up.
 
# 17 topotamolderps @ 09/20/16 09:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by x_irish6
It's not IMHO. Although it does let you deal with dynamics of owner etc, you don't have power to veto horrible league rule changes (e.g. golden point sudden death OT) like you can in MyLeague which is a killer for me.

Aside from issue with rule changes it comes down to whether you want to deal with the relationship & business side of being a GM rather than just the
traditional franchise mode (with ability to edit & control) that we love.

That rule change mechanic is the dumbest idea I've seen. The type of rules they try to implement like the one you mentioned are terrible. I started a My GM and I think it was the commissioner who came to me asking me if I was ok with multiple rule changes that sounded ridiculous. I voted NO to all of them, but since I didn't know if that would be enough I just quit the game and started a my league instead...

I wish 2k gave us an option to disable this aberration so I could play My Gm instead of my league, but I doubt they do , since they like to have My Gm settings fixed
 
# 18 DocHolliday @ 09/20/16 10:04 PM
I agree with what was written in the review. However a lot of the actual problems in the game where totally glossed over.

No mention of UI
No mention of on fly TO problem
No mention of MyLeague POE issues
No mention of draft classes
No mentions of Sim stat
Etc


It's a good review, but honestly I expected a little more in depth from OS.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 19 juicey79 @ 09/20/16 10:43 PM
I don't get involved With the online or career modes but I like the game play and The updates to most of the legends
 
# 20 tb24ster @ 09/21/16 03:49 AM
They Brought Back the zombie crowds and the bad response to plays. please FIX THE CROWD ! and this will be a great game. I went on a 10-2 run and the crowd was silent, and the other team took a timeout and the crowd sounded like I was in a library. thats not basketball cmon 2k! The crowd should be hyped after big runs and at the end of quarters , and big dunks and big plays.
 

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