While other video game franchises huff away putting together epic videos that showcase just why their games are the best (and are worth $70 of your money), the guys at 2K Sports have been working away quietly on NBA 2K14, the next installment of their seminal basketball simulator. While you couldn’t fault them for resting on their laurels and putting out a version of 2K13 with a roster update, they’re not. They’ve revamped the game, and added a ton of new content.
Perhaps the most visible addition is even more teams. 2K has always been great about putting legendary teams into the game, with the additions of entries like the 1973 New York Knicks, 1996 Chicago Bulls and the original 1992 USA Dream Team. This time, they’re going overseas, pulling together licenses for some of Europe’s biggest franchises from Real Madrid Baloncesto and Panathinaikos, to Alba Berlin and Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Also returned is the MyCrew multiplayer option that lets you play games with friends online as a crew and a new, unique game mode called “Path to Greatness,” probably some variation on the MyCareer game mode that’s been so popular in the past. Fans who pre-order will get bonuses to the content as well.
The bottom line is that NBA 2K is by far the best basketball game money can buy. EA Sports fell off, forgetting to even publish NBA Live games since 2010, and though they’re trying to make a return with NBA Live 14, 2K has become the video game of choice for basketball fans trying to make it big on the digital blacktop. Most of all, 2K’s multiplayer features are what we’re used to, and if we’re looking to put up big numbers against our friends online, it’s going to be 2K we’re all playing.
While we’re big on the potential for NBA Live 14 to be great, 2K14 is the reigning champ, and it’s on EA Sports to dethrone 2K, who has done a fantastic job of tapping into what we love about the game.
For example, last year NBA 2K was “executive produced” by Jay-Z, who picked the soundtrack, and helped make the presentation just right. This time, the 2K team has made LeBron James its executive producer, and he’s picked the soundtrack from his own favourite jams and… well, he’s put his own face on the cover. Twice. We can’t exactly blame him, but it is what it is. The soundtrack looks as eclectic and cultured as LeBron wants us to think he is, ranging from Nas to Coldplay to Phil Collins. It’s cool, but we’ll have to see how hearing “In The Air Tonight” while getting ready for the big game feels.
2K14 dropped on PS3 and 360 yesterday. Xbox One and PS4 version will follow later this year.