Hands-on with NBA 2K12
In addition to the visual presentation upgrades, there was also a noticeable improvement in the commentary. Hundreds of new lines of commentary have been added, in addition to bringing former NBA player Steve Kerr into the fold. The commentary team now talks about things that happened last season in the NBA and not just basketball-related. In one sequence there was a discussion about LeBron James and his purchase of the Liverpool football club.
Graphically, the game has improved. The faces of players are more recognizable and every single one of the player’s tattoos are authentic and accurate. (How long do you think 2K spent on the Denver Nuggets’ players?). Coaches have also been revamped to look more authentic.
The gameplay mechanics remain largely unchanged but there have been some tweaks made in order to simplify the controls. Posting up in the paint is now triggered by pressing the Y button (or triangle on PS3), and calling plays can now be done with the press of a button.
The depth of the game has also been increased as players can now assign specific plays to each individual player on the roster and create their own personal playbook.
Players will also notice a different “weight” associated with each NBA player. To explain this simply, it will be easier to make cuts and crossovers with Rajon Rondo as opposed to Dwight Howard. This is a welcome addition that adds a certain level of realism to the game. Also, passing has been tweaked so that if you do not execute a smart pass, it will almost definitely be intercepted and start a fast-break for the opponent.The real fun part for me was to have a chance to play the NBA’s Greatest mode. Playing as Bill Russell and the 1960’s era Celtics was absolutely incredible. The presentation was very simple, in black and white, with the sound coming in a little grainy, in essence it was how someone would have watched the game in the 1960’s. In addition to that, the game’s rules and regulations were accurate with no three-point line and different rules regarding the shot clock. The announcers were just as vibrant and accurate as they were for a current generation NBA game, rattling off stats and color commentary regarding not only your team’s superstar, but the other players as well. The players look, feel, playing style and mechanics were also incredibly accurate (I couldn’t really score with Bill Russell unless I was under the basket). During my demo I noted that NBA’s Greatest could have been a game unto itself.
All-in-all, NBA 2K12 is shaping up to be a slam-dunk and one of the best titles this year.
NBA 2K12 hits stores October 4.