On opening night of the 2013-14 NBA season, the newest teaser for the upcoming next-generation version of NBA 2K14 was shown during the NBA on TNT broadcast. Despite having seen three trailers, attending a media event and actually playing three short quarters of the game, it looks better every time I see it.
The last time a game had this much of a visual impact on me was the release of Fight Night Round 3 back in 2006. That game helped usher in the current generation of gaming consoles. There were other nice-looking games in 2006, but none represented next-level graphics in gaming quite like FNR3.
The same can be said for NBA 2K14 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I've seen snippets and trailers for quite a few next-gen games, but none of them has the pop that NBA 2K14 has.
It is possible that because it is a sports game, and the characters in the game are real people, the frame of reference makes it easier to marvel at the recreations. Still, you don't have to be a sports fan to recognize how great this game looks.
If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at this video.
Some new players were shown in this snippet. The Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo make an appearance. Dwight Howard can be seen yelling and slamming a dunk through. Reigning NBA Slam Dunk champion Terrence Ross is also up to his aerial brilliance in the trailer.
Almost everything included in the video looks great. The only thing I'd point out that isn't necessarily on par with the rest of the excellence shown in the trailer is the Dirk Nowitzki render. It isn't as if you'll have a hard time knowing that it's Dirk on the screen, but his hair color seems to be a bit off.
Still, I think I can speak for most reasonable gamers when I say that if that's the biggest flaw in regards to player renders, I'll just pretend Nowitzki used an ill-advised rinse in the virtual world.
To make a big deal about such a minute detail is completely disrespecting the awesome effort involved in creating such a beautiful-looking game. It's like having a small scratch on a Rolls-Royce.
The owner wishes the little blemish didn't exist, but you can bet he or she is still going to drive the car. Likewise, in the case of the NBA 2K14, the game will get heavy rotation in any case.
There are just 16 days left until the arrival of next-gen gaming.
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