NBA 2K23 review in progress

Just minutes into my first game in NBA 2K23, I noticed something I hadn’t seen in hundreds (if not thousands) of hours through NBA 2K. franchise: the ball bounced off both sides of the rim, came out, and both teams spent the next five seconds battling for a loose ball. In my second or third game, I received a foul for holding on to the rim too long – a mistake I made while playing with the new dunk controls. By themselves, these obviously don’t mean much; taken together, however, they begin to paint a picture of NBA 2K23focus on the details. There’s a love for the game of basketball that’s evident by these subtle flourishes, which makes it all the more lamentable as it’s mired with a lot of the usual issues that critics have been complaining about for many years now. Microtransactions are still waiting around every corner, and the AI, while admittedly improved, still doesn’t quite mimic the human elegance that’s so important to the look of a basketball game. As a result, my first impressions aren’t as enthusiastic as I would have liked – it’s a bit like 2K bouncing the ball off the back of the rim instead of scoring what should have been an easy basket.

My first dozen hours with NBA 2K23 (played on Xbox Series X) was largely spent exploring the on-court experience. And while it’s still early days, I feel like I can safely say that the fundamental gameplay of basketball is better than it’s ever been. Everything feels like it has an abundance of weight, from the players on the court to the ball bouncing off the ledge and wooden floor. As a result, I also found the spacing to be much better – there were fewer cases of animation warping, where players were sliding from place to place (although this still happens from time to time). time) and it no longer feels like players are able to instantly change direction. Everything just feels a bit slower than in the more hyperactive NBA 2K22, which mostly works with NBA 2K23 benefit to.

Speaking of slowing down, NBA 2K23 adds a new feature called adrenaline boost which aims to limit excessive dribbling and makes aggressive play a limited resource. Every time you do a fast cut or try to drive to the edge, you use one of that player’s three adrenaline boosts; when they are gone, your ball carrier immediately loses a lot of speed. I can understand the impact this will have on online play (which I haven’t tested yet) by reducing players who like to move frantically all over the field, but offline it feels unnecessarily gimmicky and not suitable for individual players. Why would a star point guard like Steph Curry have the same amount of adrenaline as a slower, heavier center like Nikola Jokic? Considering NBA 2K23 is loaded with nuanced features, the adrenaline boost sticks out like a sore thumb.

Why would a point guard like Steph Curry have the same boosts as a slower, heavier center like Nikola Jokic?

Contrast that with one of my favorites among these nuanced features: the new unique jump ratings. I’ve spent about an hour in practice mode taking jumpers around the pitch with various players, and the difference in release times between elite scorers like James Harden and big goofs like Steven Adams is visually noticeable and seems to have a marked impact on the court. Including more intangible ratings like “defensive immunity” helps players like Luka Doncic snipe without having a quick trigger. Hopefully this helps balance out the kinds of signature jumps I see in MyPlayer mode – these have always felt too uniform in the past.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s played NBA 2K over the past decade, but just about everything about MyPlayer comes at a cost. As always, virtual currency can be earned painfully slowly over time, so the quickest and easiest way to upgrade your custom player’s skills, appearance, and animations is to purchase them through microtransactions. At a glance, it looks like it would take well over $100 to max out my character’s stats – and that’s before I include things like new gear or animations, such as emotes that you can use in The City, NBA 2K23. open world hub for all things MyPlayer. To state the obvious, this gives the people who pay an inherent advantage; especially during the first few days and weeks after launch, it’s literally impossible for someone who doesn’t pay for stat boosts to maintain the level of play with someone who does, because they don’t not enough hours have passed to earn as much by playing. Later, it will just become impractical for anyone who doesn’t play for hours every day. Again, this is a daunting aspect of the NBA 2K online experience.

If the AI ​​continues to adapt like this, it will be a huge positive change for solo play.

I also noticed a handful of significant changes that I will need more time with before I can figure out how I feel about them. For example, Visual Concepts, the developers of NBA 2K23, promised big changes to the way the AI ​​adapts to the gaming environment – so far, I’ve found that to be at least partially true. CPU ball handlers definitely attack with a bit more strategy than before, and I’ve had a harder time stopping elite players (especially strong ball handlers) than I have in the past. I also found that after throwing the pick-and-roll on the AI ​​for a handful of consecutive possessions, they started using the assist defense to cover it. If these adaptations hold up to closer scrutiny, it would be a huge positive change for this series when it comes to single-player play.

Every IGN NBA 2K review of all time

At the same time, I noticed several legacy issues that still seem to be present. The AI ​​still struggles a lot with time management, often waiting until the last second before frantically launching a covered shot. I’m also very embarrassed every time a pass goes right past a defender without him making the slightest effort to stop the ball. Passing in general has needed an overhaul for a while now, and it hasn’t had one in NBA 2K23.

The overshoot has needed an overhaul for a while now, and it hasn’t had one.

One last thing I noted for more before the official review is the Jordan Challenge included in NBA 2K23. It’s one of the best basketball love letters I’ve ever seen. If you’re a basketball history geek like me, some of the niceties like the 1980s retro blur filter are nostalgic heaven. Reliving some of basketball’s most iconic battles, especially with this level of attention to sports storytelling, is sure to be one of the modes I spend the most time with this year.

NBA 2K23 – Jordan Challenge Screenshots

While I definitely need more time to do a proper review (check back after the weekend for the full review), I find myself enjoying most of the changes that have been made. I don’t think, however, that any level of on-court game improvement can make up for the depressing fact that NBA 2K23 is so deeply riddled with microtransactions that favor those willing to double or triple the money to get an advantage . So for now, as I said at the start, my early reactions are severely crippled by off-pitch aggravations.

About Ronda Reed

Check Also

Grand Rapids Gold names Andre Miller head coach

Babcock, Trepagnier and Fraschilla will complete the coaching staff DENVER, September 22, 2022 — It …