NBA 2K17 - Review

Author: Chase Becotte
Date: 2020-07-30 16:19:32
Test translated by IGN France.

This year, NBA 2K17 is once again leaping higher than everyone else and reaching heights that few sports simulations can claim to have even come close. And even when it is a little too permissive or sufficient in certain areas, it offers you a whole bunch of varied possibilities and enjoyable gameplay, distilling intense and singular moments of pure basketball, very difficult to match.

As a die-hard NBA fan, I've always had a special affection for the NBA 2K series. This is a game that celebrates athletes, makes me feel the frenzy a player can experience after slamming a memorable dunk, and allows me to customize my player to the smallest detail. If I was sometimes disturbed by a floating pass and confused by the rendering of players like Kevin Durant or Andrew Wiggins who seemed much too thin to me, score a distant 3-point basket at the controls of Steph Curry and see the crowd of the Oracle Arena in delirium quickly made me forget these little inconveniences.

This same observation also applies to the different facets of NBA 2K17. I don't particularly like the repetitive aspect of progress in MyCareer mode, but the amount of options available to me in Manager mode clearly increases its interest tenfold. On the court, new changes have been made, and these allow you to improve the accuracy of your shots in suspension by moving the right stick down (you can also just press the fire button if this new approach does not suit you). Likewise, you can now use the right stick to steal the ball from your opponent in various ways, or simply continue to use the button provided for this purpose. Once again, it's all about possibilities, and NBA 2K17 is extremely rich in this area.

Dribbling that rocks

The recent induction of Allen Iverson into the Basketball Hall of Fame is timely for NBA 2K17, as the game seems to make a point of honor to make the sequence of dribbles and rotations that have made the fame of this athlete much more fluid . In previous installments of the 2K series, I often felt like I was "triggering" an animation and not having full control over it. This year the situation is very different, since it is now much easier to "tie" together different dribbles in order to create devastating sequences which leave the defenders in place. This feeling of fluidity also concerns the shots, since for the first time in the history of the series, I really had the feeling of being able to interrupt a dribble in order to offer myself a favorable shooting angle when I found myself in the zone. separating the racket from the three point line.

The pace of play and the occupation of space are essential characteristics in any good NBA game that respects itself. The addition of this zone therefore gives you more opportunities to score, more creative passes, more fouls, as well as a tougher fight in defense. From time to time, making an improbable pass can be very frustrating, since unlike a quickly transmitted ball, it destroys your chances of creating a saving gap allowing your teammate to take the shot in the best conditions. . This is also valid for some players controlled by the AI who do not position themselves correctly during a counterattack.

On one level, however, the fact that the passes aren't always perfectly adjusted provides a respite for the defense. Triggers like JJ Redick and Damian Lillard are proving particularly monstrous this season, and the AI is proving to be pretty smart when it comes to backing up and crossing the line, to avoid a 3-point shot. does not turn into a vulgar long-range 2-point shot. On top of that, offensive rebounds can turn into deflections when the player is unable to secure the rebound, and I have seen some game situations where DeAndre Jordan was sticking the ball out for JJ Redick who didn't. more than to adjust a 3-point shot without any opposition.

I also have to broach the subject of the shooting mechanics which have been greatly modified this year. Now getting a green gauge or perfect timing when you fire your shot automatically results in a basket. In the past, getting a green gauge didn't have to be a successful shot, and it could be really frustrating. So thanks for making it 2K clearer.

Having such a level of control on the court is fun, except when that control inexplicably disappears. I can't control the strength of my pass; I have no control over the time taken by my players to get back before the start of a game phase; and I can't do anything to get closer to the ball carrier when the opposing pivot pushes me back under the circle during a defensive phase. When such things happen, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, and the conclusion of such actions sometimes seems unfair to you.

The action on the court is enhanced by a variety of commentaries which undoubtedly represent the very best in the world of sports simulations. David Aldridge now interviews the athletes on the field, while Greg Anthony and Kevin Harlan are joined by a team of variable geometry consultants (including Chris Webber, Clark Kellogg, Doris Burke, Brent Barry and Steve Smith). Unfortunately, this cast provided is not exempt from all reproaches. It sometimes feels like Chris Webber is gobbling up his mic, and Steve Smith's interventions are pretty boring. Fortunately, Doris Burke and Brent Barry raise the bar and shine in their respective roles.

The audio part is however a little less to its advantage when it comes to the atmosphere of the rooms. This year, special care has been given to the respective atmospheres of the different arenas, but adding certain sounds that are specific to them does not solve everything. The circle and the buzzers sound different depending on the room, but the general atmosphere remains hopelessly weak. To put it simply, the crowd never gets excited or angry enough following the actions.

Micro-management 2K17

The MyCareer mode turns out to be lighter and much less linear this year, which represents a real breath of fresh air after the scenario for the less interventionist laid by Spike Lee for NBA 2K16. However, it's when MyCareer mode leaves basketball that it disappoints me the most. This mode relies, as always, on the acquisition of skill points allowing you to improve your player's statistics. Unfortunately, mandatory training and sponsorship events are appallingly commonplace - and not being able to skip the cutscenes makes these repetitive tasks even more boring. If I had had the opportunity to just play games and focus on getting along with my teammates on the pitch, I would have enjoyed this game mode even more.

If I take the trouble to clarify, it's because I have the same affection for the central gameplay of 2K and its MyCareer mode. This year, my AI-driven teammates have proven to be much more helpful than in the past, and it's always fun to see that the chemistry that works between Justice Young (my teammate and best friend in the talented story mode) by Michael B. Jordan) and my player performs equally well on and off the field.

Even more complete than MyCareer mode, Manager mode and its almost limitless possibilities have seen me turn into a real basketball nerd. You can now expand the NBA league to 36 teams if you wish, and this allows you to build your own hall and build your team at the same time. This mode goes even further, since it allows you to secure your draft and manage your alternative transfer solutions in detail, while incorporating a multitude of specific details that made the happiness of the general manager who slept in me.

The transfer and exchange engine at work in 2K17 turns out to be as effective as usual. While some players like Rudy Gobert are not being recognized for their fair value, most of the big names in the league like Lebron James and first-choice rookies like Ben Simmons are trading at a high price. When you start a game in Manager mode, you don't have to take the season along the way, and it's entirely possible to go back and redistribute the draft cards by letting Ben Simmons go and doing from Brandon Ingram or Dragan Bender your top picks. When the official NBA season kicks off, you can take it along the way, which roughly means if the Atlanta Hawks stick to a 10-game winning streak, you'll start your game in Manager mode with the same win / loss ratio (10 -0). The customization possibilities offered by Manager mode are sometimes so vast that they become almost dizzying.

And quite frankly, it's fabulous that an NBA basketball game coming out in 2016 lets you switch your picks in the draft - thank you to the Nets and Celtics.

Finally, the online stream of NBA 2k17 is stable. My Terrain mode sometimes suffers from a slight input lag and the MyTeam mode auction room tends to row at peak times, but compared to previous games in the NBA 2K franchise (some modes of which were found to be still bugged weeks after their release), this is a successful start. In addition, even if the online functionalities are rather limited, the MyLeague mode has been improved and is now eyeing the side of online franchises at work on games like MLB The Show and Madden NFL (without however being as exhaustive as these latter).