there is no question that NBA 2K23 The most inspired work in the series, or any other in all sports video gaming. The real question is how much most players will ever see the staggering depth of it.
It took me only 20 minutes to amaze – none of them were spent in the game. I only delved into MyNBA Eras, which is the new historical mode/franchise simulator hybrid that allows players to rewrite history in ways I didn’t expect. I only wanted to see what happened when I put the Kings in Kansas City (they left for Sacramento in 1985). Obviously, I knew you could prevent the franchisee from relocating; 2K Sports took care to mention that crowd-pleasing fact in a series of previews earlier this summer.
I didn’t expect that to be everything that happened in off-season league meetings – mostly because I haven’t played MyNBA since the mode change two years ago. I overrode the 45-second shot clock and ownership veto of a seven-team tournament to determine draft order (none of which were actually proposed in real life) and watched them every year since then. History rewriting can be as deep as taking the 1984 MVP from Larry Bird and giving it to Moses Malone.
This is in addition to all the standard things I could do as a Kings general manager, but chose to automate just to see how the non-Sacramento Kings looked in 1986. Somehow I ended up with NBA Hall-of-Famers John Stockton and Patrick Ewing – that’s what a draft tournament can do for you! — facing Ralph Sampson and Michael Jordan Houston Rockets on opening day.
Even Jordan’s boyhood idol — NC State legend David Thompson — was still in the league, with Golden State, which was rated 83. MyNBA Eras lets you start a franchise from the present day (2002-23 season) or from three historical points (2002-03). , 1991–92, or 1983–84). Thompson missed most of the 1983–84 season as he recovered from drug addiction, and he was away from professional basketball by the age of 29. In the MyNBA era, that tragedy never happens.
The 1996 NBA Finals is part of the Jordan Challenge, and in the 40-year history spanning the MyNBA Eras, you can stop Gary Peyton’s Seattle SuperSonics from going to Oklahoma City. Image: Visual Concept / 2K Sports
It’s a level of historical revision I’d expect to find in a PC management simulation, not a console game, and certainly not one that packs in the Jordan Challenge’s museum showpiece and a full-fledged WNBA career mode, now in its third year for both individual players and clubs. Since the Jordan Challenge last came out in 2010, the NBA 2K series has been what I call a “desert island” game—as in, with that and a console (and power), you’ll be riding to isolation for a year. can do. NBA 2K23 is a mission-to-mars game. and return.
And yet, all that value — what you get in the base game — feels threatened by the huge audience for MyCareer and MyTeam, and the game’s own relentless call to spend extra money in both of those modes. Do not get me wrong; I play them with millions of other people, and especially enjoy the immersive lifestyle elements of MyCareer. I have spent one shameful The amount of money on the progress and costumes of the characters I created. Both MyCareer and MyTeam offer quick highs compared to the old school slow burn of career modes, given their more compact playing experiences and instant rewards. And although I’ve so far managed to resist Song of the Sirens to top up my virtual currency, per review 2K Sports offered me the $99.99 Michael Jordan version, which starts players with 100,000 VC.
City, which is the hub world where your MyCareer player lives and plays street hoops, appears to be a sign that Visual Concepts knows how much of its population can’t see the rest of the game without holding a few hands. Players are told about the Jordan Challenge (and can even launch it from MyCareer), for example, and if you can complete 40 of the mode’s 45 objectives. If so, the in-world rewards are plentiful.
A rebuilt City in MyCareer has admitted that many players will not go looking for the Jordan Challenge until they head to it. Image: Visual Concept / 2K Sports
For those who want bite-sized sampling of the immersion inside MyNBA Eras, the Jordan Challenge is a great fit. The showcase, which we’ve already previewed in great detail, is a period-perfect rendition of 15 games in his career, complete with a broadcast TV look and feel that includes old-school Kairons, CRT and scan-line filters, and more. even included. Comment from one of the de facto announcers who followed most of Jordan’s career, NBC’s Mike Fratello. You’ll also get all these features for your game in MyNBA Eras. What you won’t find are breathtaking — I mean, virtuoso — cutscene reproductions of Jordan’s biggest highlights when you three-star a game.
But you’ll get a sense of the gameplay tuning that the visual concepts applied to each of the four eras, almost as if the studio was making four different games. Case in point: Playing the 1989 Bad Boys Detroit Pistons with Jordan, I got a move to baseline on a drive against my defender I could end up in my sleep with my MyCareer player, let alone someone in His Airness like. But 6-10 Rick Mahhorn stepped up and dressed me completely with a tangle of arms and legs I hadn’t seen before. In those days the NBA was pretty much a physical league, and NBA 2K23 Really I felt the bullseye that was on Jordan’s back – which made me appreciate all his feats, physicality notwithstanding, even more.
In the main (and current) game, there are modifications in shooting, defense and off-the-ball player behavior in which I can see the developers coming closer in their never-ending quest for authenticity. Still, I don’t think I’ve really “getted” them yet, so it’s hard to judge their effectiveness. From what I’ve heard on social media, and read from others, there’s broad consensus that shooting is more difficult this year, even as game players new to their release point give themselves a bigger window. Provides menu options.
It’s hard to explain, but in previous versions shooting with a shot meter (as opposed to just using a single player’s rating and a background dice roll) has seemed either too difficult or overpowered (especially in the hands of skilled online users). . It seems that 2K Sports wants people to focus more on watching their player’s animation as opposed to the meter, and release the shot stick or X/Square button when they see it on top of their jumper. There are four new options, ranging from Very Early to Very Late Release.
Changes in shooting and improvements in defense and player AI help in all modes of the game, so don’t overlook the WNBA’s career mode WW. Image: Visual Concept / 2K Sports
I still haven’t figured out which ones are actually for me. Some days I feel like I’m a beginner guy, then I’m getting my shot meter back into the late zone, so I swap to that. Then the shot feedback readout says I have a quick or slightly quick release on the midrange jumper that I should easily nail. I sometimes can’t tell if my rating is running out (my MyCareer player, where I’m having the most trouble, is 76 overall) or if I’m not focusing on my technique properly. In the absence of a more informed tutorial than the one I’ve provided so far, I can just go back to shooting percentage and skip the meter.
On the flip side, there’s the off-the-ball player behavior that got my built center three assists in my first game for the Charlotte Hornets — for context, I went half a season before getting so many in one game. NBA 2K22, Standing with my back to the basket, 15 feet away near the baseline, was a breath of fresh air, and when the shot hits Clock 5, have an AI teammate behind me for an easy back-the-back pass. Watch it flash. score. Unless I was calling for pick-and-roll last year, my teammates either followed designed play, or they waited for me to do something.
There’s a new “get open” pass that requires me to spend some more time in the game’s practice mode though learning how to wing-off. This looks like a “lead to basket pass”, introduced in nba 2K21, But the one I forget to use. The passes I’ve completed above were all initiated by the AI - which is great – but require the player to hold down B/circle in order for the “player to be open” to recognize the call to the AI player You have to wait (represented by a basketball icon below it), and then hit A/X at the right time. I’ve had a few situations where teammates didn’t take the get-open command. That’s probably because flicking the left stick at the person you want to open immediately before pressing the button can be counter-intuitive.
Lastly, the defense is largely helped by a new shadowing mechanism used for on-ball defense, although it can be difficult to grasp at first. By pressing the left stick button, it will adjust the defender to the area where he has the best coverage against the ballhandler. If an opponent moves in that direction (and the defender follows), they are going to be much less effective, either going to the basket or taking their shot. There’s a lot to understand at the moment, and it’s hard to understand how I can use shading to force turnover, as opposed to reacting to someone’s movement and attempting to steal the on-ball. . It feels like a more visual callout to last year’s system, in which correctly guessing a ball-handler’s move would put them at greater risk of stealing or taking their dribble. But combined with the reduction in power on the block and outright theft, NBA 2K23 One more appropriately emphasizes the fundamental on-the-ball defense over dramatic measures intended to prevent a score.
As always, MyTeam presents lots of prizes and an instant high. But it is not cheap by any means. Image: Visual Concept / 2K Sports
there’s a lot to evaluate nba 2K23, And much of that assessment is yet to come from its troubled community, various influencers, and people like me. but NBA 2K23The appeal and value of, once in a very long time, brings with it its raw and relentless call to spend money, and guilt and icky feelings. Like I said in August, if nothing else, no one can complain that Visual Concepts didn’t do anything for its franchise mod. So if micro-transactions really bother you that much, you can always go to MyNBA Eras and rewrite 40 years of history at no extra cost.
NBA 2K23 Launched on 9 September playstation 5 And xbox series x, Versions lacking several features were also launched in this review. Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, windows PC, and Xbox one, The game was reviewed on Xbox Series X using pre-release download codes provided by 2K Sports. Vox Media has an affiliated partnership. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commission for products purchased through affiliate links. you can find Additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here,