NBA 2K17 in the test - dunke nice for your purchase!
2K17 offers a big career mode, dozens of single and multiplayer modes, a managerial career, all necessary and unnecessary setting options, all teams and players of the current season as well as NBA legends; In addition, there is a presentation and reporting about the events that are in no way inferior to the real TV reports on the other side of the pond.
Sounds perfect, but an unpleasant aftertaste that runs like a red thread through many parts of the game cannot be dismissed out of hand.
A Hollywood star as best buddy
After the Spike Lee story of the 16 offshoot, which is bursting with clichés, this time the plot relates more to the sport than to the protagonist or the protagonist: No ghetto romance, instead, hard work counts on the way to becoming an NBA legend, which this time with his own character and his buddy Justice denies.
The latter is embodied in reality by Michael B. Jordan , who appeared on the big screen as Apollo's son in Creed - Rocky's Legacy. The story is entertaining, but over time you will wish you could skip the many time-consuming cutscenes.
But the main point of criticism of the career mode lies neither here nor in the long-term annoying loading times: The aftertaste mentioned at the beginning in the form of the virtual in-game currency VC plays an important role. This manifests itself in the low starting level of the character (55) and in the difficult way to raise the attributes, which have recently been restricted depending on the role of the player, to a competitive level.
The first NBA games in your career are annoying when you play against Curry, James & Co with a player that is too weak, so that you want nothing more than sufficient VC, thanks to which you can dunking, rebound, dribble and can expand or purchase other skills.
The high price of the NBA career
You also collect VC through successes, good campaigns in the league matches, various training mini-games as well as PR and marketing appointments, but sometimes it progresses so painfully slowly that the training sessions in the hall and in the fitness room almost feel like grinding in an MMO . How fitting that with a few euros you can quickly save hours of (training) playing time - from a tempting 1.99 you can take part; the more you leaf out for your VC, the bigger the discounts.
But how does that fit with the story, which is about hard work and training ? Why is the menu for leveling up the attributes like a (less user-friendly) online shop with a shopping cart? Why is the selection field always on »Buy VS« after entering this menu, which leads directly to the real money shop?
You can comfort yourself with the fact that you have to invest a lot of time to build up your character (and to dress up) without using real money, but then you have really learned the game in all its ingenious depth. By the way, buyers of the more expensive Legend Edition with Kobe Bryant or other special editions start with a decent VC bonus. That also leaves a stale aftertaste.
Round as ever
Online you often meet players with a lot of time or a loose wallet. Normal mortals (70) are usually inferior in MyPark matches; That one or the other overpowering opponent has not only bought stats is obvious due to the most varied of weird outfits.
But as much as you may feel like in a capitalist madhouse in your own park and often have to wait for a game or teammate, it's still fun to hang around there, watch games, play along and (slowly) develop your character.
The 2017 version offers almost all the features and game modes of the predecessor , but what else is really new or improved? The already outstanding graphics were subtly but visibly refined to faithfully modeled on basketball stars and their animations.
The game mechanics and displays are also more like improvements in detail, especially the controls feel a touch more precise and controllable. Elaborate plays and tactical instructions still require a lot of practice - this very helpful tutorial is hidden behind the menu item »2KU«. The content update as well as the all-round fine-tuning justify the new purchase for ambitious fans, but those who already own the predecessor as a normal Otto player have to be prepared for manageable and sometimes barely noticeable innovations and improvements.
PC still second class platform?
The slow progress in the career and the too important role of the in-game currency cast a shadow on the overall package, but this year again, 2K delivers a successful series offshoot with moderate innovations. The fact that the console versions are the lead platform here was shown in the predecessor by graphics and connection problems, cheaters and lost scores due to patches.
This year the PC version works much better, at least on our test systems. Those who meet the steep hardware requirements can look forward to stable and smooth basketball matches , whether offline or online. The fact that the optional keyboard control only has an alibi function and NBA 2K17 requires a gamepad is difficult to blame in a complex sports simulation.
And so the bottom line is that with the PC version of NBA 2K17 we have the curious case that for us it is more of a step backwards than the previous season, but still gets a higher rating because of the better porting. Either way: Anyone who loves basketball or complex sports simulations and values current licenses cannot avoid NBA 2K17.