The folks at 2K Sports have rolled out a steady diet of information and trailers for NBA 2K14. The media has been impressive, but seeing jazzy trailers is one thing; actual gameplay is what will really excite hardcore gamers.
With Friday's Twitch.tv broadcast of a full game of NBA 2K14, there is substantial evidence that NBA 2K fans have something to look forward to in the way of gameplay.
Community and social media managers Ronnie Singh (aka Ronnie2K) and Chris Manning (LD2K) went head to head in a live stream and showed off many of the new additions to gameplay.
Here is a look at the video. It originally broadcast on Twitch, but this upload comes via NBA 2K Community Team-Up member, David "IpodKing" Carter, on YouTube. It is over 30 minutes, so if you're looking for the highlights, takeaways and notable occurrences, I've listed them below the video.
You'll likely figure this out, but just to be thorough, Ronnie is controlling the New York Knicks and Chris is playing with his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.
Even if you don't watch the entire video, you should at least catch the last few seconds. It turned out to be a thriller that went down to the final shot.
Less Street-Like Presentation
The presentation is very similar to NBA 2K13, minus the Saints Row-ish menus Jay Z's influence brought to the game. While that wasn't a major issue last year, it did take away some of the simulation basketball feel from the visual package.
NBA 2K14 looks more like a TV-style NBA broadcast in respect to overlays, etc.
Players Have Updated Hairstyles
We only got an opportunity to see two teams play, but immediately you had to notice that Iman Shumpert's high-top fade was in the game this year.
That was refreshing, but I'm still waiting to see if the amount of hairstyles available for your MyCareer player will expand. We'll have to wait for more information on that mode in the coming weeks.
Defense Is Back
After approximately 40 bazillion hours of gameplay with NBA 2K13, one of the few gripes I had was that defense was a little too difficult. Guys would go on hot streaks that drove me crazy...especially when it wasn't me that was on fire.
From the looks of the gameplay in the live stream, the miss-and-make balance was superb. Even the greatest players miss open shots sometimes. It seems that is reflected in NBA 2K14.
New Animations and Improved Physics
I saved the best for last intentionally. The game features over 3,500 new animations and some of them were apparent in this game. Most notably, the bumping and physical action near the basket was ultra-realistic.
Up and under moves caused awesome-looking collisions and seemed to bring fouls into play at a higher clip. That was something that needed a bit of tweaking in the past.
Now a dominant big man should be able to get another big man in foul trouble, which was difficult to do in previous version. In addition to the new collision detection near the basket, there were a host of small, but significant actions from contact on the court.
These little nudges and redirections may seem trivial, but they matter in a basketball game.
As usual, 2K has finely constructed the pieces of the puzzle leading up to release. The gameplay is always a centerpiece; thus far the picture is looking pretty.
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