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NBA 2K20 Initial Impressions

NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 Initial Impressions

2K Day is seemingly a national holiday. Each year, anticipation builds for the next release and players scour YouTube and Twitter for any scrap of information they can get their hands on. We got our first taste of NBA 2K20 with the demo that was released back in August. Players were able to experience the all-new MyPlayer Builder and experiment with what kind of build they would take into MyCareer. They were also able to play around with 2KU, which remains one of the best sports tutorials in the genre. With players anxious to see what else is in store for NBA 2K20, here are my initial impressions of the full game.

  • Player motion has taken a big step forward. Players no longer look like they are on skates. There are still some hitches here and there but overall it looks improved.
  • Dribbling is, different. Not in a bad way, either. It’s much more contextual and will take some time to get used to. It’ll be interesting to see what the iso community comes up with, but so far the crazy momentum dribbling has been tamed.
  • The new dribble styles do a good job differentiating players. LeBron is different than De’Aaron Fox who is different from James Harden. There are multiple generic styles like quick and fundamental and some dribble styles specific to a player.
  • Stamina has been reworked so that players can’t just hold down the sprint/turbo button all the time. It’s been buffed since the demo so that players don’t tire as quickly, but it’s still something that needs to be watched as you play — for good reason, and hopefully 2K holds strong here.
  • There is a tangible difference between playing as a good team, like the Warriors or Rockets, and playing as a bad team like the Knicks. The new dribble styles and badges really separate the great players from the average player.
  • The AI has received a bump. Playing the Warriors on pro difficulty in NBA 2K19 was still fairly easy. In NBA 2K20, the CPU is more aggressive and fits the style of the team it is controlling better. It seems as if tendencies are being relied upon more this year. Curry shoots moving 3s behind screens while Harden will cut to the basket off ball or do his iso step back.
  • Defense seems harder if your player isn’t rated highly enough. When playing as a poor defender, I would routinely get smoked like a brisket against good offensive players. Conversely, a great defender can wreak havoc against even the best offensive players. Lockdowns should still be very valuable.
  • The new circle around the ball handler that shows direction and if the ball is vulnerable is useful, but takes some getting used to. It does take a bit of immersion away to stare at a player’s feet when playing defense and trying to figure out which way the opponent is going, but it does help prevent blow-by animations.
  • Speaking of blow-by animations, they are still in, but to a lesser degree than the demo. It’s also dependent on what the matchup is. De’Aaron Fox could blow by certain poor defenders consistently, but when matched up with a defensive star like Patrick Beverly the blow-by animations were far less frequent.
  • Space is harder to come by if you’re not using off-ball cutting and running plays. The defense is much better at closing out on shooters. You can still green a contested jump shot but just know that defenders get there quickly.
  • Jump shots are slow without the quick draw badge. I understand the rationale behind making quick shots something that only the best shooters should have, but it is jarring in how different it is with certain players.
  • The WNBA is fun and different. Since the ladies are shorter in general, it means that there is much more open space on the floor. I just wish they got more than Play Now and Season. I really hope they get into MyCareer and MyLeague next year.
  • One more note on the WNBA: I sort of dislike that their games are relegated to 2K19’s G-League announce team. This would’ve been prime territory for a Doris Burke-led booth.

Miscellaneous

  • There are still way too many missed layups. They did not get the love that contact dunks got. MyPlayers will want to have consistent finisher badge upped.
  • Rebounding remains a legacy issue. The ball will still hit the ground more often than it should, especially if a guard is going after the board.
  • Presentation is once again top notch. Easily the best commentary in sports games. New splash screens are really well done.
  • Female referee is in. Not sure if she was there last year but it was definitely something I picked up on immediately in 2K20.
  • The color palette pops more this year. Very vibrant and the skin textures are also more realistic.
  • Seems like last year’s City and Earned jerseys are not available. This is most likely because many teams are getting new ones.
  • You can finally choose what color your individual accessories are for each uniform. This is something I have been wanting for years.

Overall, my initial impressions of NBA 2K20 are very positive. It remains to be seen how the servers hold up under a heavy load and if all of the extra assets for events cause lag. There also remains the specter of microtransactions throughout the game. From an initial gameplay perspective, however, NBA 2K20 plays a great game of basketball. Even if it’s somewhat different than you remember, I think you need to give it a chance before wishing for more turbo or a return to the old in some respects.

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  1. Sounds good. I'm ready to get my hands on this thing. I have Gears 5 on deck and ready to jump off at 9PM EST, and I have this ready for me in the AM. It's gonna be a fun gaming weekend.
    michaelhawj
    dang, many missed layup and Rebounding are remain legacy issue : that's suck*

    Must be something they can’t fix with this build
    Heck it goes back to last build, so must be coding
    WCBasketball
    Must be something they can’t fix with this build
    Heck it goes back to last build, so must be coding

    i thought Scott Gallagher and Mike Wang suppose to know about those issues but i guess not
    I'm still noticing a lot of sliding though.  Although not as bad as previous years, players still slide into position to receive passes without moving their feet.  This is especially noticeable when inbounding after a made basket or when passing to a wing player.   Players also still slide around on defense. 
    This had been a legacy issue for years & it's disappointing to see it still hasn't been fixed.  I was hoping this would be the year it would be with 2K touting improved foot planting...
    Interesting that they allow ace on offense and defense now. Also noticed these new settings with double teams and series/freelance playcalling. It's these little Nuggets that let us know that it's simply not 2k19.5. Lots of Nuggets to uncover prior to midnight est release.. Can't wait! **Bart Scott voice **lol
    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk
    amedawg00
    Interesting that they allow ace on offense and defense now. Also noticed these new settings with double teams and series/freelance playcalling. It's these little Nuggets that let us know that it's simply not 2k19.5. Lots of Nuggets to uncover prior to midnight est release.. Can't wait! **Bart Scott voice **lol
    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

    Double team is huge
    to me... is basically a copy and past work, with some little changes somewhere
    onestly thinking of what they have gained over the years, I would have expected many more news, but at least visually (menus, mycareer, gym, parks, gambling, sliders, accessories, grinding, vc system etc) is absolutely identical to 19
    This is a 2k19 update
    penny80
    to me... is basically a copy and past work, with some little changes somewhere
    onestly thinking of what they have gained over the years, I would have expected many more news, but at least visually (menus, mycareer, gym, parks, gambling, sliders, accessories, grinding, vc system etc) is absolutely identical to 19
    This is a 2k19 update

    come on don't trolling.. My Career has all new storylines cutscenes, there are few new things in Neighborhood.. My GM 2.0 has alot new things
    penny80
    to me... is basically a copy and past work, with some little changes somewhere
    onestly thinking of what they have gained over the years, I would have expected many more news, but at least visually (menus, mycareer, gym, parks, gambling, sliders, accessories, grinding, vc system etc) is absolutely identical to 19
    This is a 2k19 update

    If you think so keep playing 19
    That's your opinion you haven't even played the game.
    Your loss
    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
    michaelhawj
    come on don't trolling.. My Career has all new storylines cutscenes, there are few new things in Neighborhood.. My GM 2.0 has alot new things

    Suppose some of us would prefer not to have career cut scenes ... or story lines for that matter.
    Some of us just want to play basketball. Don't care about clothes, shoes, virtual lives, etc.
    23
    If you think so keep playing 19
    That's your opinion you haven't even played the game.
    Your loss
    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

    how good is NBA 2k20 so far if you played alot games today ?
    JHodges57
    Suppose some of us would prefer not to have career cut scenes ... or story lines for that matter.

    some people prefer to watch storylines cutscenes. i am not into my career very much. i prefer play My GM/League to play because i want play basketball games for more fun.
    michaelhawj
    some people prefer to watch storylines cutscenes. i am not into my career very much. i prefer play My GM/League to play because i want play basketball games for more fun.

    I know but it should be an option. The PC version last year did have offline mode so we could just play games without all the extra junk.
    I have read the hype 2k has been feeding us about the new game, but honestly, I see nothing new, or at least anything that makes me want to buy.
    penny80
    to me... is basically a copy and past work, with some little changes somewhere
    onestly thinking of what they have gained over the years, I would have expected many more news, but at least visually (menus, mycareer, gym, parks, gambling, sliders, accessories, grinding, vc system etc) is absolutely identical to 19
    This is a 2k19 update

    Stick with 19 then if it's the same to you? Also see you in the impressions thread when you get it.
    I never trolling in my entire life, on forum or in real life
    As every year (i'm a 2k user by more than 10 years) i buy the game in pre order.
    Also this year i will delete the past version of the game, but i can always have my opinion on the type of work that 2k have done
    In my opinion for the moment from what i can see, (menu, mycareer, graphics, gym, parks, storyline short, stupid nickname, sliders, camera, settings, replay, half time report, pregame show, vc system, grinding, gambling etc) is basically a copy and paste work with some little improvement somewhere
    I'm really happy if can you explain me in what i"m wrong
    I will play 2k20 cause is better of 2k19, but this is not the reason for let me telling that 2k have done a great work this year
    NO!
    II like the game, I throw my soul every year, it is one of the best sports simulator around, but despite this disappointed by the news. Perhaps it is I who have high expectations every year and then I am disappointed
    Still random G-League players progress +7 and the 99 shot under basket tendency is back.
    Why 2k
    Inviato dal mio ANE-LX1 utilizzando Tapatalk
    ch46647
    What is the 99 shot under tendency glitch?
    Tendency to shot from under the basket seems to me
    Inviato dal mio ANE-LX1 utilizzando Tapatalk
    swac07
    Bro the movement is gonna take some getting used to lol
    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

    Oh man, you're so right, so much momentum now you can actually just kind of like go out of bounds if you try to just cheese it right.
    I really like it and people I hope people are you still using the icon for passing because you really need it now only for passing but also when you're rebounding to box out you really need that this Time.
    I'm playing on the default view and quick play so haven't tried other camera angles.
    The WNBA is absolutely beautiful, the only difference is there picks are kind of weak but that's the way it is in the WNBA they don't set tough picks.
    I believe with a different camera view I think it will be amazing right now at the default safe kind of clogged up that's why you need be icon buttons to really get under the basket for rebounds.
    Really impressed the rebounding the animations really make it feel like a different game.
    The tip when you block a shot you can actually tip it to other people, Anthony Davis and LeBron or little bit over-the-top but that can be toned down.
    Really love the rim when throwing it down beautiful movement.
    They really change his game from last year, at first the feels a little slower but faster I cannot explain it you got to be lightning-fast because the CPU is aggressive and they will pull up for J right in front of your face.
    If you slack off a bit on defense or anything and this is on default I guess that's Pro they're taking you to school.
    Haven't touched online yet, but so far really impressed one game of WNBA and one game in the NBA.
    I think there's four people online it's going to be a shock the momentum it really carries you over so you can't just cheese I really like that.
    23
    If you think so keep playing 19
    That's your opinion you haven't even played the game.
    Your loss
    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

    Man, this guy couldn't be so wrong this is probably one of the best upgrades in years.
    Might take last year the game was kind of a stinker, to be honest, that's my opinion but this year feels like a completely different game.
    It's still NBA 2K but lots of super good changes in it that is super refreshing.
    Of course, there's going to be tons of bugs and glitches but overall kudos to 2K actually made great strides this year with animations and overall movement yes it's a big change but it's welcomed.
    I'm loving the game,  but they did it again ...every time they update player movement they remove walking the ball up the court and this year is no different.  
    Just spent about an hour looking through the rosters. Lots and lots of careless mistakes, especially in regards to signature animations.
    Several rookies have shot forms of specific players they can be compared to even if the player’s shots don’t even look similar. For example, Cam Reddish has all of Paul George’s shooting animations. Darius Garland has Lillard’s. Dylan Windler has Klay Thompson’s, etc.
    Other rookies have signatures that don’t match their play style or ability. For example, Ty Jerome has like, 7 different dunk packages including baseline reverses. In real life, Ty can literally only do rim grazers and he’s never dunked in a game.
    On top of that, you just have a lot of lazy signature choices. Tons of players just have Free Throw 1 selected even though it doesn’t match their real life form, etc.
    Definitely disappointed with the work 2K does on roster detail. Luckily we have a great community here that does their work for them for free.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Movement is a bit weird to me. Online is still not there, definitely better than 19, but needs work. Gotta a play a bit more, but not much improvement from 19.
    Retropyro
    Only complaint so far is the change to calling for a pick.
    It's the same thing
    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
    youngfaze01
    Movement is a bit weird to me. Online is still not there, definitely better than 19, but needs work. Gotta a play a bit more, but not much improvement from 19.
    lay off the Sprint button
    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
    23
    It's the same thing
    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

    It’s different when you want to call a specific player to set a screen though. They added a new positional playcall button to actually select a specific player. I’m not even sure if you can set a screen like this anymore.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    El_Tercero
    It’s different when you want to call a specific player to set a screen though. They added a new positional playcall button to actually select a specific player. I’m not even sure if you can set a screen like this anymore.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    You can, it's just and extra press now. Press LB, then press RB and then hold the players button down that you want to set the pick. No idea why they changed it.
    napoli
    Still random G-League players progress +7 and the 99 shot under basket tendency is back.
    Why 2k

    Hopefully they can clean up those MyLeague bugs. They listed a fix in a 2K19 patch for the Shot Under Basket Tendency issue, but it was never actually fixed.
    I imagine the WNBA deal was a recently done deal, so the fact that it's only Play Now or Season with the G League commentary is probably only the first building block for the WNBA inclusion in 2K. And even then, Season and WNBA-specific commentary are two things 2K already has over when Live had them (which only had Play Now, no specific commentary, and not even being able to edit rotations)
    They really got rid of 'sim out of game with vc...'
    I stand corrected, it's in the game. Popped up when I was up 30 once I was in the starting lineup. Never showed up prior to my being a starter.
    Ok i play the game finally, 3 hours
    it's the best 2k ever, I have to correct myself, but the problem is still there: LACK of non shooting fouls
    Unless the problem of fouls, it would be FABULOUS
    :y220b:
    ataman5
    Anyone gets heck load of stutter? I'm on PS4 Pro, there is huge stutter going on, all my games are on play now offline. :(

    I haven't had any issues with that on my Pro. Has your game fully downloaded? Hope it improves for you!
    penny80
    Ok i play the game finally, 3 hours
    it's the best 2k ever, I have to correct myself, but the problem is still there: FOULS
    Unless the problem of fouls, it would be FABULOUS
    :y220b:
    Called it lol
    Sent from my SM-G960U1 using Tapatalk
    rudyjuly2
    I haven't had any issues with that on my Pro. Has your game fully downloaded? Hope it improves for you!

    Thanks rudy, i hope so too.
    The game is fully downloaded, it is bad for me atm. :(
    It is SUPER hard to make a truly satisfying big. I was on with my crew last night and we spent an hour trying to build a big strong big who had even a decent midrange shot... no luck. Closest we could get was a split playmaking/rebounding pie build with strength and agility physical chart, but he was still REALLY rough. It gets me a bit irritated... it seems like guards are able to make a guy much more easily, just ignoring categories that aren't terribly important to them. For bigs, there are too many categories:(
    I tried a 7 foot finisher/rebounder, and ended up having to play Kemba Walker in the Career? He beat me bad; I never stopped him, and actually never even had an offensive possession... he just went past me every time.
    Lordash31
    It is SUPER hard to make a truly satisfying big. I was on with my crew last night and we spent an hour trying to build a big strong big who had even a decent midrange shot... no luck. Closest we could get was a split playmaking/rebounding pie build with strength and agility physical chart, but he was still REALLY rough. It gets me a bit irritated... it seems like guards are able to make a guy much more easily, just ignoring categories that aren't terribly important to them. For bigs, there are too many categories:(
    I tried a 7 foot finisher/rebounder, and ended up having to play Kemba Walker in the Career? He beat me bad; I never stopped him, and actually never even had an offensive possession... he just went past me every time.

    I think this is accurate for most bigs though.
    I don't play online, so I don't know what is expected or what was done in the past.
    If you want a mobile big, Id try building him as a tall sf. basketball is pretty much position-less now, so maybe you all should approach it that way.
    tril
    I think this is accurate for most bigs though.
    I don't play online, so I don't know what is expected or what was done in the past.
    If you want a mobile big, Id try building him as a tall sf. basketball is pretty much position-less now, so maybe you all should approach it that way.

    I looked at some 6'10 PF, and I don't mind that, but was a bit nervous that I'd get crushed inside by anyone seven foot or over. Maybe not, though?
    Damn guards always have it good.
    Note: Haven’t played 2K19 or 2K20; still on 2K18. I’ve watched youtube videos and read feedback on here.
    Let me give you my impressions from the outside looking in:
    Positives:
    Excellent graphical upgrades. I love how they have more uniforms in the jersey select screen, in addition to selecting accessory colors globally. Added more legends and classical teams. Stamina means something.
    Negatives:
    No All-Star Team-Up game mode. 99 Under The Basket Tendency still exists. Can’t add/remove headbands: in 2k18, you at least have the choice in MyLeague. 30-Team Control isn’t what it was, and I see some of you guys complaining.
    Summary:
    Can’t really comment on gameplay, but since I am so content with 2K18, I am looking more towards the window dressing. I am more of an offline player besides All Star Team Up.
    Final Verdict:
    Wait and see. Maybe a patch can fix some of these glitches and I’ll hop on the bandwagon.
    First Impression: From a MyPlayer/Park perspective this game is TRASH right now.
    The movement is super clunky, players are sluggish and gameplay is slow as ever. Everybody is forced to start off with a jump shot slower than Marcus Camby. Stamina drains way too quickly even when being light on RT or R2. Badge progression is awful. The grind this year for badges is worse than the grind last year to 99. The respec feature was a straight up scam. You get blue screened on PS4 for checking VIP stats or joining friends from time to time. Neighborhood traffic is super low this year just like it was in 2k19. Nowhere near full.
    I have very bad stuttering with my PS4 Pro and digitally downloaded version and my eyes hurt as hell atm. I hope i don't go blind here; but i'm going to tell you one thing.
    NBA 2K20 is the best ever built basketball game of the Universe. I don't remember the last time i had this much enjoyment out of a gameplay of any basketball games i've played since 80's.
    Amazing job done on the gameplay part. I just wish and hope this stuttering would go away soon.
    For my initial at least a day impression very well done 2K Devs very well done. Thank you!
    One of the first things I noticed just now a few games into MyCareer is just how good the lighting is in all facets. On court, on player models and in the crowd. There are lighting effects in the mid tier of crowds where in previous years everything has been blacked out from maybe the 7th row and back. Really impressed with that.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    penny80
    to me... is basically a copy and past work, with some little changes somewhere
    onestly thinking of what they have gained over the years, I would have expected many more news, but at least visually (menus, mycareer, gym, parks, gambling, sliders, accessories, grinding, vc system etc) is absolutely identical to 19
    This is a 2k19 update

    There is a plethora of new things and undiscovered things
    There’s no way without trolling could you believe it’s copy and paste work. The game hasn’t even been in the streets 24 hours
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Not liking the controls this year. Unless I missing something.
    Call for a pick using Icons, use to be tap LB/L1 then hold player button. Now LB/L1 opens a play call window. The guide says press LB/L1 then RB/R1 then the player button. Doesn't work.
    Play calling. How do you call plays for a specific player? Or has that been removed.
    Honestly don't understand the changes or removals here. Feeling some buyers remorse.
    3304Life
    LB is still calling picks for me and the left diagonal is the play calling menu.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    So, my first few games, I had to do the LB then RB then hold player. That went away, suddenly I could just tap LB and select a player to run the screen. Then it suddenly changed again and I can't select a player at all.
    I do get a play call menu to open, but I use to be able to select a player and then call specific plays for just them.
    My son is part of the Youtube gen. We were watching clips of 2K19 and the first thing he asks was, "why are they sliding?".
    The fact that he noticed it - and this has been a legacy issue - reminded me of a post I read in regards to sliding nearly a decade ago. I can't unsee this now with every clip I watch of 2K20, especially on the defensive side.
    Sadly another year, another pass. And to think, 2K6 (can you remember how good 2K7 and 2K8 were. Quite possibly the peak of 2K basketball with 2K11 being the exception) was the reason I bought an Xbox360 and 2K14 a PS4.
    Looks like i'll need to wait for next gen...
    In no particular order, both positive and negatives...
    - Idk if it's just me but it seems player AND ball physics are much better now. More weight to the players and the ball, ball seems a little slower both passing and shooting and many more variations to the ball bouncing off the rim. So many times I thought the ball was going in and it leaks out or I thought no way it's going in on release and it bounces softly of the rim inside. Unpredictability is great.
    - Player collisions are much better. Almost no magnetic force field anymore when close to AI's pick, you can easily and quickly play tight and loose defense, not sticking, but not sliding either.
    - Block animations look amazing. It doesn't feel unnatural and superhuman, but you can really see good positioning and when a good shot blocker is coming.
    - Smooth shooting. Much easier, much quicker animations, especially coming off screens. Great flow from starting point to release
    - Still quite a bit of times when AI just barrels through my defender. It's especially annoying in the post when they just slide my defender out of the way and get an easy layup
    - Double teaming everywhere but hopefully that's getting fixed soon
    - Both UC and AI players too slow around the rim when just catching the ball off of a cut or in open floor. Maybe I need to speed the gameplay and lateral movement up but so many times when I pass to a cutter in HC or a wing player on a fast break and they have to stop to catch it and then make another move so instead of an easy layup they pull up for a jump shot and ofc get swatted.
    - Disappointed in lack of improvements to MyLeague. Still only 3 team trades, no ability to expand on the existing ones (remember the initial AD deal this summer and the monster it became later with like 8 teams), still only 6 slots in a single trade, AI is still ******** with trade offers, inability to trade injured players even though it happens all the time and annoying roster rules where you can't cut a player later to bring it down to 15.
    - Rebounding is amazing. That's all.
    - Steals and players fighting for them too. So much better.
    - Haven't played too far into the season yet so haven't seen how the offseason looks or is there any changes.
    - They need to do something about injuries and the affects it has. Player can't be out for a year with ruptured achilles and come back with the same overall, same explosiveness etc.
    - I hope they focus on team building in general for 2021. I offer CP3 for a trade and Celtics, GSW and Portland are sending offers for him.
    - Same thing with player rotations. Overall can't be the prevailing factor when deciding on a rotations. AI has 3 centers playing 20+ minutes while no backup PG on the floor the entire game.
    - Ref and media timeouts need to be implemented. Give us an option to quickly just skip through it but there's way too few stoppages in play and thus rotations get all messed up.
    AndreSwagassi86
    There is a plethora of new things and undiscovered things
    There’s no way without trolling could you believe it’s copy and paste work. The game hasn’t even been in the streets 24 hours
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I have already said later in this 3d that my initial imperssions are wrong
    Maybe or of course you don't see that :)

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