Lockout or not, NBA fans can still watch their favorite team reach the Finals, as the latest installment of the popular 2K Basketball series hits shelves in early October. Yes, even Cleveland fans will have to opportunity to see their Cavaliers play in June.
NBA 2K11 was the most critically acclaimed basketball simulation ever, earning an 8.9 Metacritic score(one of the highest rated games of the year), and all signs show that the team at 2K Sports is taking this year’s game to a whole new level.
We’ve all come to expect enhanced graphics and roster updates in new sports titles, but the facet in which 2K has delivered over the past few years is the area that true fans really want; features and game modes.
NBA 2K11 introduced the Jordan Challenges, a game mode which allowed you to take the legendary Michael Jordan and recreate the ten most memorable games of his career. This mode had a large fan reaction and really catapulted 2K from an average sports game to one of the best of the year.
NBA 2K12 not only boasts a mode similar to this, but one that looks to be even more amazing.
This mode, dubbed NBA’s Greatest, will not only allow you to play as MJ, but Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Dr.J and more, as well. You will also be able to play as your favorite retro team and, when you play as a team from the 60’s or 70’s, the game will be telecasted in black and white.
Another popular mode in the 2K series is My Player. My Player allows you to create your own NBA player and attempt to turn him into a superstar. While the idea is great, the execution has always been a bit flawed. Whether it be in-game glitches, the absolute difficulty of trying to score with a low rated player, or the pure repetitiveness of the game-by-game season, there has always been problems with this mode. 2K12, however, promises to feature a deeper, more captivating My Player, and allow players to live out their NBA fantasies.
Featuring a surplus of customization options, you can create your own NBA alter-ego. From his shoes to the form of his mid-range jumper, you will have full control of your player.
Another big difference between this year’s mode and past modes is that, instead of going through the slow and repetitive Draft Combine, your player will only participate in one game, the Rookie Showcase, before the draft. According to your performance in that one game, three different teams will show interest in drafting you.
After the game, your three interested teams will conduct a pre-draft interview, asking questions specific to what that particular team needs. For example, the Miami Heat might be interested in you if you are a rebounding center, but they will probably not be looking for another scorer.
Once the draft begins, you will hear NBA Commissioner David Stern call your name, as one of the three teams you interviewed with will select you. This is a little disappointing, as there are no surprises, but it is sure to be an entertaining process, nonetheless.
After the draft, you will sign your rookie contract and officially be considered an NBA player. With the salary you earn from your contracts, you will be able to purchase a wide variety of things, from new dunks, to charity contributions. Everything you purchase will either improve your in-game performance or your off-court likability and league presence.
Perhaps the most anticipated change in this year’s mode is the option to play in your Next Key Game. What this means is that, instead of playing every moment in the 82-game season, you can simulate to your next big game. These moments can range from a game against one of your team’s rivals, to a playoff game.
Overall, NBA 2K12 looks to capitalize on the success of it’s predecessors with yet another great installment. The game will also feature three different covers; one with Michael Jordan, another with Larry Bird, and yet another with Magic Johnson. The covers will vary depending on which store you pick the game up from. Regardless of which cover you get, make sure you go pick one up when the game drops Oct. 4. It is sure to be in contention for Game of the Year, yet again.