NBA 2K15 doesn't release until October 7, but there are already several aspects of the game that have virtual ballers buzzing.
With this being the second installment on the new generation of consoles, and with NBA Live 15 looking to close the gap from a visual standpoint, NBA 2K15 is gearing up to bring the noise for fans.
As of right now, here's a short list of modes that have fans intrigued.
If you love franchise modes and also get excited about sandbox concepts in sports video games, you probably blew a blood vessel (in a good way) when you heard about MyLEAGUE.
Essentially what NBA 2K has done is opened up its franchise-mode concept for complete customization by gamers. What does that mean?
Here's a breakdown of some of the features, per Steve Noah of Operation Sports.
- Customized Rosters
- Season length (14/29/58/82 games)
- Play a single season or 80-year franchise
- Postseason series lengths
- Fantasy drafts
- Salary cap (decide whether to have a cap or if there will be a hard cap)
- Trade logic settings
- General settings, including team chemistry, lineup management and prospect scouting
- Difficulty settings
- Trade negotiations difficulty
- Contract negotiation difficulty
- CPU re-signing aggressiveness
- Morale difficulty and effects
- Chemistry difficulty and effects
- Trade frequency settings
- Blockbuster-trade frequency
- Injury effects (16 different body parts can be damaged. Reoccurring and career-ending injuries happen.
- Draft-class quality (full customizing and editing of draft classes)
- Full create-a-player option
- Player-progression rate
- In-season training effects
- Player non-financial ambitions factor
- Normalize play to simulate minutes
- Manage or play with all teams
What more could a franchise-mode geek ask for? Rarely does a developer say to their fans: "You asked for it, well here it is."
Customize player ambitions in NBA 2K15 MyLeague (via SimBaller, Erick Boenisch, Sr. Producer) pic.twitter.com/emM5t6iJ1b— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) August 12, 2014
With MyLEAGUE, that's exactly what 2K Sports has done, and I couldn't be happier.
The New Generation's Crew Mode Concept
Another mode NBA 2K fans have been pining for is the return of Crew. Last year, 2K Sports promised the mode was back, but what gamers got fell well beneath their expectations.
The lack of delivery on the product left a bad taste in several fans' mouths.
This year, 2K Sports looks to make good on its promise—even if it is a year late.
The announcement that Crew would be back—for real this time—on old generation systems made some folks smile. However, what about owners of new-generation systems?
Nothing has been officially announced, but it's hard to imagine that nothing along the same lines—and potentially more grand—would be added for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The Park from NBA 2K14 would seemingly be part of the package if the concept is to be expanded to new-gen, but we'll have to wait and see what comes down the pike.
Expect information on this the first week of September.
NBA 2K15 - "Your time has come" -- Kevin Durant on the cover. pic.twitter.com/5KOHTRsreC— NBA Legion (@MySportsLegion) May 6, 2014
Perhaps the mode with the most widespread appeal in NBA 2K is MyCareer. Any improvements to this mode could only strengthen NBA 2K's grip on the top spot in the world of virtual hoops.
Last year, a full and engrossing storyline was included to make your MyPlayer's journey more entertaining.
We've already seen several tweets that imply the mode will be expanded, and will include more real voices from NBA players.
That's partly to spruce of MyCareer, but also to add to the halftime—and hopefully pre and postgame presentation—in any game in the mode.
All of those things are awesome, but the way to really drive this concept to the next level is to allow the gamers to thrust themselves into the action a little more.
How can that happen? Take this only as educated speculation, but it wouldn't shock me if NBA 2K is set to be the first gaming franchise to take advantage of the PlayStation 4 and Kinect cameras.
If gamers can scan their faces for the creation of their MyPlayers, 2K would be allowing fans to connect with the on-screen character like no game before. Imagine what it would be like to see a photo-realistic version of yourself in NBA 2K.
What makes me think this is going to happen as soon as this year? Allow me to present three promising pieces of evidence.
Last year when I attended the official unveiling of NBA 2K14 on PS4 and Xbox One, 2K had everyone in attendance get a face scan. It was similar to the process NBA players went through to be so accurately represented in the game.
Here's my image:
This could be seen as a preview of the franchise's next move.
The second clue is the hashtag marketing phrase #YourTimeHasCome. That's obviously an ode to 2K gamers. It implies that long-time fans of the series could finally see themselves in the game without far-fetched recreations from a previously limited create-a-player tool.
In Noah's article, game producers Rob Jones and Erick Boenisch say: "In addition, we have added back in a robust create a player system. Details on this will come closer to launch."
What's more "robust" than doing face scans in your living room? Our time has come. Give us the camera action, please.
Lastly, there was the inclusion of several well-known NBA 2K YouTubers like IPodKingCarter and Sub The Gamer in the "Unstoppable" trailer.
All of this seems to support my hunch, but we won't know for sure until something is made official. I could be wrong as two left shoes. However, if I'm right, remember who told you it was coming.
Follow Brian Mazique aka FranchisePlay, the Sports Video Game Journalist on Twitter.