By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief
Publisher: 2K Sports
ESRB – E
Reviewed on PS3, available on Xbox 360 and PC
NBA 2K14 is as much a celebration of basketball culture as simulation of the NBA itself. 2K sports has done an excellent job of recreating one of the most popular sports in the US. It really is fitting that the cover athlete is Lebron James. This game has an air of greatness that you can only really doubt if you aren’t paying attention.
Players are treated to a wide variety of game modes, each of them highlighting a different facet of the NBA experience. This includes modes like “Lebron James: Path to Greatness” that puts players into his shoes in pivotal moments of his career.
If your family is chomping at the bit for the NBA season to start, then this should provide a taste to get you through. This could be the most perfect basketball game ever made.
Family Gaming Assessment:
If you are comfortable with your child watching an NBA or NCAA basketball game on television, then this game should be no problem.
Several of the games modes do, however, require online play. Most online games carry the same warnings. The game developers have little to no control over game experiences that involve other players. The online gaming environment can be toxic so be aware of this is if you plan to let your child play this, or any, game online.
This game is remarkably difficult. The most notable difficulty spike is caused by a complete lack of a tutorial mode. There is a practice option, but the game does not provide instructions, you are just given a half court to use without any distractions. There is information available online, but it does not match the teaching power of tutorial modes like the one found in Madden games.
The game’s AI (artificial intelligence) forces players to think like professional basketball players. You can’t just run wildly down the court and lob up shots. You need to pay attention to where your teammates are, pass to the open man when possible, and take open shots. If you ignore those basic principles then it really doesn’t matter what you do.
Kids who are intent on playing their own way and aren’t adept at changing their strategies to meet the demands of the game they are playing will have a lot of trouble with the game and could grow frustrated.
The game does feature cooperative play. This can be a challenge, but since it is a team sport it does allow a skilled parent to help carry their child along and still have a fun gaming experience. (Let’s just hope you can both agree on a team to play!)
This is a must own for families that are fans of the NBA. It boils down the essence of the NBA experience and gives everyone a chance to shine like Lebron. This can be an empowering experience for young players and help them get excited to learn the game themselves.
Who knows… maybe they will grow up to be part of the next generation of NBA All-Stars?