Edition: NBA 2K18 Legend Edition
Console: Xbox One
With fans salivating over new features such as MyCareer's 'Neighborhood' and 'Road to 99' features, anticipation for the annual release was at an all-time high. Fans of the series will ultimately want to know if it is worth purchasing, with EA Sports' rival game NBA Live 18 making huge strides. So, does NBA 2K18 live up to the hype, or was the fanfare misguided?
What the game gets right
Let me start by saying my experience so far with the game has been absolutely phenomenal. The game brings you closer to the NBA than ever before, and the new features create a highly immersive experience. Like all sports simulation games, the NBA series has been criticized for being repetitive and stale, with some players feeling like there aren't enough annual changes to justify buying the game perennially. This is an issue 2K Sports neutralized this year.
After playing through the game, the extremely popular MyCareer mode has improved in leaps and bounds over the installments from years prior. New features such as the open-world 'Neighborhood' and the 'Road to 99' challenge provide new objectives for players. Combine this with the personality of the MyPlayer, which seems much different from years past, and the game feels completely new, like it should. The MyCareer storyline, which I won't spoil, is also refreshing and provides a nice change to the typical pathway to the NBA.
The 'Play Now' mode never gets the recognition it deserves, yet this looks set to change with NBA 2K18. After the MyCareer crash (elaborated upon below), I decided to play with some of the All-Time teams in the 'Play Now' mode.
The new All-Time teams are an incredibly fun, brand-new feature added to the NBA 2K series, and they allow the fans to fulfill all of their team fantasies and combinations. With the All-Time teams, you can send an alley-oop pass from Stephen Curry and watch Wilt Chamberlain slam it to an emphatic crowd reaction. You can even see how defensive superstars such as Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green would match up with Michael Jordan. The All-Time teams feature is arguably the most underrated part of the game so far, and the endless match-up combinations ensure hours of entertainment.
What the game gets wrong
Very little. While the new shot meter and other changes can be frustrating for seasoned players, they don't take long to get used to. Glitches and other issues looked to be a thing of the past, and the game was near-flawless. That was until the MyCareer crash. Players, including myself, experienced game crashes which caused us to lose our MyCareer data. 2K Sports is working very hard to fix this and will reimburse players for any losses they experienced as a result of the crashes.
I am currently in the process of trying to get my MyCareer data back, and after submitting a ticket with 2K Sports, the support team has been very helpful. Other than the crashes, you would have to search far and wide for an issue with the game, and even then you'd struggle. Believe me, I tried. I have been a huge fan of the series for several years and have been frustrated by glitches and server issues, but this game has fixed all of that so far, aside from the MyCareer crash.
As aforementioned, I've been a huge follower of the series and have always looked forward to when the next installment releases. This game, however, has left me wondering how 2K Sports will top it with NBA 2K19 next year. The game provides endless hours of fun and is certainly a purchase you won't think twice about. If you're on the fence about buying this game - buy it. Any NBA fan will love the experience, and the game is certainly a contender for Sports Video Game of the Year.
9.5/10 (it would be a 10, but the MyCareer crash let the overall experience down)
What do you think of NBA 2K18 so far? Comment below!