NBA 2K16 - Review

Author: Francesco "Checco" Destri
Date: 2020-07-30 19:53:01
I'd be really curious to attend a Visual Concepts brainstorming session on the eve of developing a new NBA 2K. By now the 2K basketball series is so strong, solid and complete (in addition to being unrivaled, given the continuous debates of EA Sports' NBA Live) that it requires a huge effort to introduce, year after year, some news and continuous improvements. With NBA 2K16, here reviewed in the PlayStation 4 version, the Californian team has surpassed itself in terms of content and we can hardly see an NBA 2K17 so full of things to do, statistics, schemes, numbers, players and teams from all over the world.

Those who approach the series for the first time and start from this new chapter really risk being overwhelmed by a mass of material that will make any other sports title ever made pale, but even if you have followed the series for several years, you will hardly not remain impressed by what Visual Concepts put in place. Not that NBA 2K16 is a perfect game (I'll also list the flaws below), but if you are a minimum of basketball fans this is a daydream and any sport (or almost) should have a video game of this magnitude.

As a demonstration of 2K Games' commitment to always offering something new, we find the classic My Career section characterized by a long part called Living a dream, which in about six hours sees us as a young promising basketball player that from the high school circuit goes to the college circuit and finally to the NBA. To direct this long and not always exciting video game feature is Spike Lee, but not surprisingly, given the director's latest rehearsals on the big screen, Vivendo un sogno is not much.

In fact, stereotypes abound and the cut-scenes are not always inspired, so much so that they look more like a TV series with a lot of soap-opera implications. Certainly commendable attempt to entrust such an important section of the game to such an important director, but the result leaves a little dumbfounded. Apart from two or three choices that are up to the player, Living a dream is a completely guided experience and at times even a little tiring, with in addition an evident disconnect between the games played and the phases narrated also visually, with the cut -scenes that appear much less accurate and "worked" than what the graphics engine shows during the matches.

Luckily this section is also one of the few unconvincing aspects of an otherwise excellent game. Just think of the news made in all the other modes, which as usual are many, especially if we go to see what has been done for Pro-Am (similar as a concept to the FIFA Pro Club) and for the My Team mode. The first, which allows you to compete online in a team with other real players, boasts an editor in which the risk is to get lost. The elements to be customized are in fact a flood and fortunately the interface is simple and linear, so much so that Visual Concepts has made the editor available also for the My GM mode, which is always richer in managerial aspects, and My Team, albeit with some limitations that seem justified to us, however.

Then counting the presence of My Park and My League, the amount of content has truly prodigious, also considering the painstaking care with which Visual Concepts has approached even the smallest element and with which it has made it less "attractive ”The microtransactions, which although not missing appear less intrusive than last year. Of course, in order not to have to pay real money and thus have the best stickers in My Team, you have to invest a lot of time gaining the necessary credits in the other modes, but if you already know the trend of the series we are convinced that you will not miss the time.

The most interesting news, however, are those in the game and although at first glance the changes compared to NBA 2K15 may not seem many, in reality the adjustments "under the hood" are numerous as well as important. Small premise. From this year NBA 2K, precisely for these novelties, has become an even more simulation series than it was in the past and unfortunately a real tutorial is missing, to say the least essential for newbies and for those who have little confidence with the model ultra realistic Visual Concepts.

In short, do not be surprised if even at the lowest level of difficulty you will combine little or nothing in the first matches, even if playing online the new matchmaking has proved very effective in pairing us with players at our level, thus avoiding even more humiliating defeats. However, the fact remains that entering "cold" on the pitch is a somewhat traumatic experience and, despite having played a lot in the last three episodes of the series, I also struggled in the first hours of the game to assimilate the novelties in the controls.