2K Sports held its annual launch event for the NBA 2K franchise Wednesday night, and suffice it to say basketball's most successful sports video game should be in for another stellar iteration.
Cover athlete Giannis Antetokounmpo was in attendance, as were a number of other high-profile media members and players across the league. People got a first-hand look at NBA 2K19, which will release Sept. 7 for those who pre-ordered the 20th Anniversary edition featuring LeBron James on the cover.
Here's a look at the latest gameplay and preview trailers and what to expect when the game hits stores.
NBA 2K19 can be pre-ordered online at major retailers, on the Xbox Live or Playstation Network stores and on the NBA 2K website. Players who pre-order the game will get it Sept. 7. The game will be released worldwide Sept. 11.
Features and Game Modes
Nearly every game mode you're familiar with is back for 2K19, so here's a brief synopsis:
MyGM returns with a storyline that is related to but not entirely the same as last year's iteration.
Much like last year, there is a major storyline component that, yes, features rival Andrew Sanderson—the meddling son who went behind all our backs to make terrible trades at the deadline.
This year's story picks up where you left off, but you're now given the offer to take control of an expansion team. You get to pick the city and branding of the team, where you'll handle most of the storyline work.
"It's a different feel this year," senior producer Erick Boenisch told Matt Bertz of Game Informer. "I don't think it's truncated in any way. It's a lot more front-loaded. You're going to experience a lot more sequential scenes end-on-end. You're going to be reading for 10 minutes straight a couple times while the main storylines go through. There is gameplay as well, but when you're building a team and you don't even have players yet, you're kind of limited in what you can do.”
Historical Draft Classes
While most will want import custom-made draft classes featuring the top college players in the nation, 2K is giving players an alternative this season. It has gone back and recreated every draft class from 1976-2017 and made them available to import.
One of the most lauded features from NBA 2K18 returns, with the designs on making it more user-friendly. Players develop faster early on to encourage progress within the game, and the once-sparse neighborhood is now more compact.
"Everything is more centralized," Senior producer Ben Bishop told Bertz. "We're trying to get you from place to place more quickly. It's more user-friendly. You can change clothes right in the menu. You don't have to go all the way back to your MyCourt and then back out. Practice is another good example. If you play a game, you can go straight to practice from the post-game locker rooms. You don't have to go to the neighborhood."