We’re about four weeks removed from NBA 2K18 being released, and some are still asking if the game is worth the time. It’s safe to say that that quick answer would be yes. The following breakdown of NBA 2K18 will let you know why I feel that way, and also link you back to the previous in-depth impressions I’ve given over the last month.
The main sell this year for NBA 2K18 was the introduction of The Neighborhood and the Road to 99. By marrying Pro-Am, The Park and MyCareer together in one place, the 2K18 team has possibly brought us a medium that allows for full sociability of the 2K community while allowing players to play these three modes as they please.
- The three modes (Pro-Am, Park, MyCareer) all seamlessly flow together. You can train, practice and deck your player out in gear around the Neighborhood while also heading over to the Park for pick-up games, the Pro-Am gyms to run some pick-up or team Pro-Am, and can start a MyCareer season game all from within the same mode.
- One of the most coveted features from the 2K community has been added this year, allowing players to max out their player through all modes in the Neighborhood.
- New mini-games available around the Neighborhood allow a bit of a break from just playing basketball.
- T-Shirt creator is a fun new way to customize your player, while also allowing you to make some custom gear that can be voted on and purchased by other players in the 2K community.
- The Road to 99 isn’t easy; longevity of the Neighborhood looks to be sustainable due to the grind needed to get to a 99 overall.
While offering most of the same that we saw last year while still having the same depth of customization and rule changes (with some additions) for the upcoming season, MyLeague is still the most complete and deepest franchise mode to grace a sports gaming title to date. The “Start Today” option was an ingenious one that was added last year, and to date is not available but will become an option once the NBA season starts. MyGM saw a bit of an upgrade this year, with an all-new story implemented into the mode.
- Take over as a GM of your favorite NBA team and contend, repeat, improve or rebuild towards having a championship roster and dynasty.
- Make choices that could change the landscape of your team.
- Lots of dialogue and cutscenes
MyTEAM has improved yet again this year, and its depth alone is one obvious reason why. Fellow OS writer Brian O’Neill has written a fantastic introductory piece on MyTEAM and will be covering the mode with more depth as the year goes on.
As I wrote about in an earlier piece, NBA 2K18 is the best playing game in the franchise’s history. The 2K team worked hard this year to give their fans a fantastic game of basketball, and I can still say that they’ve almost fully succeeded on this task.
- The 2K18 Motion Engine works extremely well; there are very few flaws with the system.
- Defense is more complicated this year, but is also more rewarding.
- ACE System and improved AI plays a better game of basketball on the court.
- System Proficiency is a nice new addition that adds another layer of strategy in certain game modes.
Can’t Always Be Perfect…
Despite the massive amount of good that can be found in NBA 2K18, there are a few things that have been holding the game back from truly shining as the gem that it should be recognized as. These issues aren’t small unfortunately, and are really casting a bad shadow on the game; some online reviewers even gave the game lower than average ratings due to one or some of these issues.
- MyPlayer/MyCareer Bug: A nasty issue that seemed to affect Xbox users more than PS4 users, players were losing their MyCareer saves, VC, or both. While the team over at 2K has been working hard to fix the problem and get players back to where they were before their saves vanished, there are still some players waiting for a resolution to this problem.
- VC: I was starting to feel a little less…upset about VC and how microtransactions worked in NBA 2K18 until they dropped a couple patches. You might or might not notice, but we’re not getting rewarded as much with points we can accrue, specifically in Pro-Am, the Park and MyCareer games. These points translate not only towards your badges, but towards VC you can earn; this, in turn, has lowered the amount of VC you’ll earn. It’s a frustrating thing to see as you’ve really got to grind out this year playing NBA 2K18. There’s nothing wrong at all with grinding to earn various things, but when you’re not being compensated reasonably for repeatedly doing the same things during your grind, it becomes frustrating as heck.
Looking on what has been in nearly a month of NBA 2K18, the game is still undoubtedly a fantastic entry in the series — with its few flaws holding it back. I can say, without hesitation, that NBA 2K18 is worth every penny. You’ll enjoy playing with friends, and have a bevy of options if you’re playing solo to keep you entertained for the next long while. If you were on the fence when it comes to making the purchase, you’ve got every reason to go out and pick up NBA 2K18.