NBA 2K14 Review: Key Improvements to Latest Release by 2K Sports

Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIOctober 7, 2013

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  TV personality Nick Cannon (L) and professional basketball player Harrison Barnes attend the NBA 2K14 premiere party at Greystone Manor on September 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for 2K)
Charley Gallay/Getty Images

On Oct. 1, 2013, 2K Sports released NBA 2K14, the latest edition of its ever-popular basketball series. Since that day, millions of video game players have been diving into the depths of the new NBA game.

The question is, what are the key improvements that every video game player needs to explore in NBA 2K14?

When it comes to video games, companies are under pressure to create a constantly improving franchise. In 2K Sports' situation, it's in an especially difficult area due to the fact that it covers athletics.

Fortunately, NBA 2K14 lives up to the hype. Here are the additions that make it great.


Euroleague Basketball

2K Sports has done an excellent job of going deeper into the interests of basketball fans across the globe. From the addition of legends such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson to the inclusion of the original Dream Team, available players and teams seem to expand with every passing year.

In NBA 2K14, Euroleague basketball teams are the newest addition.

For those unfamiliar, the game features 14 teams from the Euroleague. Those teams are Alba Berlin, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, EA7 Emporio Armani Milano, Montepaschi Siena, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Anadolus Efes Istanbul, Olympiacos Piraeus, Panathinaikos Athens, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Zalgiris Kaunas, Unicaja Malaga and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria.

Each of those teams has or had a presence of current or NBA players, or former college basketball stars.

This addition likely appeals more to the international fanbase than that in the U.S., but that doesn't make it any less intriguing. Euroleague basketball is systematic and has produced some of the biggest stars in the NBA today.

A short list includes two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and three-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili.

These games present a different style due to the rules and general approach of Euroleague teams. For NBA 2K14 players who like to avoid isolation play, the European style may actually be better, as ball movement and three-point shooting play critical roles.

I'm not sure how many people are like me, routinely dumping it down low to my big men and working it around the perimeter in 2K games, but if you are, you'll love this addition.


Improved Gameplay

The key to NBA 2K14's development has been the alterations made to the gameplay. The three most noticeable improvements can be found in the way players dribble, shoot and pass the basketball in the latest 2K release.

The video above illustrates those developments. They also show how critical the improvements are to the way NBA 2K14 flows.

The franchise has always had strong gameplay, specifically during its past two releases, but it has made significant upgrades to the little things. The way a player goes from the bounce to the jump shot is smoother, the movement as they dribble is more realistic and the flashy passes are precise in movement.

All in all, NBA 2K14 has created a game that moves as well as one could ask for a sport that's in constant motion. Players now make seamless dives while coming off of high screens and have become genuinely impressive specimens within the game.

2K14 truly has done wonders to improve upon its weaknesses from last year.


Signature Skills

In NBA 2K13, one of the most popular aspects was the creation of "signature skills." Everything from being able to set effective picks to using ankle-breaking dribble moves to throwing down posterizing dunks was included.

Now, 2K14 has expanded the wildly popular skills and added a series of new traits.

The new additions include, pick-and-roll maestro, flashy passer, pick dodger, tenacious rebounder, screen outlet, one-man fast break and LeBron Coast-to-Coast. As the labels would suggest, there's a skill for everything from being able to avoid a screen to being especially competent driving off of the pick-and-roll.

That's what you call focusing in on the little things.

These traits may seem small, but they play a major role in separating a ferocious rebounder such as Kenneth Faried from a player who uses his size and positioning to crash the boards like Pau Gasol. Both will post strong numbers, but there's a different approach that needed to be illustrated.

Now, you can see it by purchasing NBA 2K14 to reap the benefits of these incredible additions.