NBA 2K16 - Review

Author: Mike Mitchell
Date: 2020-07-30 19:52:56
Translated from English by IGN France.

Defenses are winning championships, and NBA 2K16's AI improvement in that area is doing wonders this year. As a result, the offensive tactics I used to use in NBA 2K15 no longer work. So, I was forced to think like a trainer and had to constantly adapt to the challenges offered. Which player will I bring onto the pitch? What tactical changes do I need to make? When will I use the downtime? A whole other dimension! To sum up, NBA 2K16 offers a great representation of today's basketball. For fans, this is a dream come true whether you play online or not.

Don't think the previous titles weren't visually successful, but let's be clear, NBA 2K16 really looks better than the other games. Player models have been improved, muscle and skin renderings are more detailed, and all together allow us to enjoy an absolutely stunning title. Faces, hairstyles, different builds and stature are more real than life. In short, there is an extremely varied and wide range of players. In general, the graphic rendering was very appreciated by the community this year, as well as the new opening sequences to present the teams before the start of matches.

Behind the scenes, Kennie Smith joins Ernie Johnson and Shaq for pre-game, half-time and post-game shows. All of this is really entertaining and the pace of the discussions benefits from a successful chemistry. Greg Anthony replaces Steve Kerr as sports commentator. The interactions between the commentators are fun, but there are more weird reactions than in the previous installments of the license, although this is not frequent. Player interviews are making a comeback as well, but unfortunately many are old footage previously used in other parts. Nevertheless, some unpublished and really successful interviews counterbalance all this.

Improve your game

The best reason to play NBA 2K16 this year is because of its improved gameplay in quite a few aspects, which makes the gaming experience even more real than life. In previous rounds, I have always found it easy to score points by making my way through the AI-managed defense, going around in circles and forcing it to make mistakes. This is no longer the case this year. Zigzagging all over the place while waiting for the mistake will often only lead to loss of ball and frustration. Additionally, attempting to push back the defensive line will eventually cause you to miss your shots, or they will simply be blocked. You will understand, the only way to score points is to use real strategies!

Above all, do not hesitate to improvise because the AI of the opposing coach will eventually understand your way of playing and will always try new strategies to try to stop you. An example during a game: the defenders are constantly moving backwards, which allows me to take shots in suspension, but after several successful attempts, they started to circulate all around the racket to stop me. This constant game of cat and mouse kept me alert throughout the game and forced me to renew myself with every action.

The controls have been adjusted and lightened, adding new buttons dedicated to new types of passes. The controls seem more responsive when trying to roll back a defender, since you no longer have to wait for the animation to complete to perform the next move. On the other hand, I quickly realized that even perfect shots did not necessarily find the way to the basket. you have to be precise and have the right conditions to shoot. Yet another new detail that makes the whole thing even more realistic.

Whose career?

There are an astonishing number of ways to play NBA 2K16. All the game modes I've been waiting for are back, a few with some interesting innovations from elsewhere. The new “Play Now Online” mode makes head-to-head matches a little more interesting since it includes the “Promotion” and “Relegation System” functions. Both MyGM and MyLeague modes now contain new management functions, which allow you to go further and completely rebuild your team with a bewildering array of options. This same team editor can also be used in the "My Team" mode, the collectible card game, which offers more challenges and more ways to earn virtual money.

But the most notable and popular mode is “My Career,” which has been revamped in a whole different way. Spike Lee wrote and directed this mode as a documentary film. Once you create your character, you step into the shoes of a high school basketball prodigy from Harlem whose dream is to make it into the NBA. The high school games were a bit boring, no commentary and no real challenge, since in my case, my character was the leader of his team and was the greatest player on the field. Despite this, getting recruited by famous universities is an extremely successful and really enjoyable journey.

The story itself is mediocre and the dialogues too banal, even if the whole is still well played by the actors. A few interesting and emotional moments caught my attention, but this mode, made like a movie, is ultimately unconvincing for a game supposed to be about our favorite players. The most memorable example I can cite was when my friends and family were giving me advice on whether to stay in college: basically all the characters were telling me "only you can make a decision." And a second later, I found myself directly in the NBA, without having made any choice.

Even with not really paying attention to the lack of choice, the story quickly became inconsistent during my first season. The characters in the cutscenes were trying to make me think I was a single player, but my overall rating was only 55. Hard to believe them… AI upgrades are also present in career mode. As a result, winning a match is not nearly as easy as it was in previous years. So I really felt like I was pulling the team down… but still, I signed advertising contracts with shoe brands, like I really was a star.


The "Living the Dream" mode concludes after your first season, which contains only eight playable matches. After that, the mode really kicks you into the seasons with 82 games per year and offers new ways to improve your player in their spare time. That's why I can recommend NBA 2K16 to you, even if the career mode is not a real success. In the end, all this is just an appetizer to make things look pretty, what matters is that the gameplay has been perfected and is particularly impactful and interesting on the field.

It is important to note that NBA 2K16 continues to bet on its online servers since micro-transactions are present in most game modes. But for the first time in several years, I had relatively few problems with connections since the start of the servers. The "2K Sports Store", where you can spend your virtual currency to purchase items, did not always perform well and the "ProAm" mode, a "5v5 MyPark" with NBA rules, was completely inaccessible for a while. . That aside, the online experience is generally reliable in all other modes.