One of the things I’ve always stressed in sports video games is the importance of a respective game being true to its sport from how the game plays to the presentation in the game. We’ve seen what I consider a large improvement in game presentation and presentation packages over the last three to four cycles of games, but no game has really tried and consistently improved their presentation package quite like NBA 2K has.
Once again, NBA 2K18 has delivered. Everything from the pre, halftime and postgame shows with Shaq, Kenny and Ernie to courtside interviews with David Aldridge fits in here. Yes, we’ve seen this from NBA 2K in previous versions, but the improvement that the team has put in graphically and with the scripting is noticeable. In games where the home team goes on a run or might need a defensive stop and the momentum is high (think playoffs or key games), the screen shakes feverishly. This subtle but awesome touch shows the level of detail that the development team over at 2K really put into the game this year. There are different pregame introductions ranging from the game clip and soundtrack montages that we saw last year to lineup introductions and the singing of the national anthem. Of course audio detail has improved this year as well.
In the various modes of the game, the presentation adds little touches; MyCareer, in tandem with the story, has scenarios where you can get interviewed by the aforementioned David Aldridge if you have a good first half in a game. Playing well and having a standout game will earn you a postgame interview with either Shaq or Kenny. The pregame shootaround, where you’re a participant along with your teammates, is new to the game and is a neat addition.
All in all, NBA 2K18 has deservedly won Best Presentation for 2017. It’ll be interesting to see what 2K and all the other AAA sports titles bring us in 2018 in terms of presentation.