NBA 2K18 Review


By Jordan Eghdamzamiri

    This is believed to be a make or break year for the premiere NBA video game franchise.  Some in the NBA 2K community feel that this is the game that will revitalize the franchise to its height, and their opponents believe that the game is rapidly declining.  2K needs a revolutionary game to elevate the franchise to greater heights, and I can’t say that it is living up to those heights, but NBA 2K18 is also not a game that is not going to kill the franchise.
    The NBA 2K18 in-game experience includes some slight and drastic deviations from previous 2K titles.
    The biggest visual adjustment made to the gameplay was the change in the shot meter’s location. Instead of the meter being placed below the player, the meter is now on the left side of the user’s head.  This tweak is a positive change, as it allows for the user to see their controlled player’s shot release, as well as to quickly notice if a defender is closing out a jumpshot.
    Next, 2K made an alteration in animations that have mixed reactions throughout the community.
    Most notoriously, 2K took an aspect from NBA 2K16, and reinstituted “bump steals,” which occur when a player dribbles the ball onto their defender, causing them to lose the ball due to dribbling in traffic. This modification can be considered a blessing and a curse, as it is positive that players can no longer dribble with multiple defenders covering them, but the negative side comes in with these bump steals occurring at questionable moments, where there is no player directly in front of the ball, but it gets lost anyways.
    There have also been some glitches that have drove some 2K fans away from the game.
    Most notoriously, has been the insertion of the “seven fouls per quarter” rule, where players who fouled excessively would be removed from the game, and given a loss.   This was a great idea with poor execution, as the rule, instead of resetting between quarters, does not reset at all, meaning that players get kicked out of their game with committing seven fouls total, which has caused an uproar from the community, as it was added via patch.
    Most other gameplay aspects remained similar to the previous 2K title, NBA 2K17, but overall, the gameplay is very well-balanced, and not much to complain about, which gives NBA 2K18’s gameplay a rating of: 8/10.
Play Now:
    2K did not add much innovation when it comes to the Play Now mode, only adding an online Blacktop mode and some additional tiers to the Play Now Online mode.
    However, the real advancement was made in the rosters. 2K went above and beyond with historic teams, adding 17 new exciting teams, with players that die-hard 2K fans had begged for, such as the 2001-2002 Sacramento Kings, 2004-2005 San Antonio Spurs, 2010-2011 Chicago Bulls, 2011-2012 New York Knicks, 2013-14 Indiana Pacers, and even the historic 73-win 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors. But, 2K did not stop there.
    The rosters now contain “All-Time Teams,” for all 30 NBA franchises, which assembles a team of the franchises’ all-time greats, for all die-hard fans of their teams.
    These additions are revolutionary for all players who want to play quick matches.  Play Now’s completeness and roster additions alone give the mode a rating of: 10/10
My Career/Playgrounds:
    The MyPlayer modes in 2K have been a staple of ever since its introduction in NBA 2K10.  However, in recent years, that title has deteriorated, especially when it comes to MyCareer due to unwelcome cut scenes, non-captivating story lines, and obvious attempts to grab the money of their die-hard fans. Playgrounds is practically unplayable without spending additional money on Virtual Currency (VC) to upgrade your player’s unusable stats that are given to your 55 overall player, ten ratings below any player in the regular rosters.
The MyPlayer game modes are somewhat saved by the Playgrounds mode, the revamped MyPark mode.  The Playgrounds trailer hype has died down quite significantly since its release, but it still serves as a solid mode, just with some interconnectedness with MyCareer, which does seem to drag down its experience, due to MyCareer’s bad taste.
    However, the MyCareer mode has taken an even larger nosedive than the previous NBA 2K titles, and even the most popular mode among the community, Playgrounds, cannot save the MyPlayer modes, which means that MyCareer and Playgrounds earns a rating of: 6/10
My GM/My League:
    Be honest with yourself for a moment. No one plays this mode, but I need to review it anyways, so here it is.
    To keep it short and sweet, nothing interesting was changed in this mode and it is very similar to NBA 2K17’s installment of the MyGM and MyLeague modes, but in MyGM, they added in some more uninteresting cut scenes that, still, no one has a desire to watch.  Also, no new interesting things were included except some additional contract clauses that should have been in the game soon after they were added into real-life NBA contracts, but it is easy to tell why it was not prioritized by 2K, just read the second sentence of this section again.
    MyGM and MyLeague “earn” themselves a rating of: 7/10
My Team:
    MyTeam is a quite addicting game mode, where players must start with a team full of bronze, silver, and gold players, and gradually improve their teams through games, packs, and work on the auction house, where they will eventually take their teams online and face off against others’ squads.
    Beginning MyTeam may be a tricky task for inexperienced 2K players. There are many game modes, and different ways of improving your lineup, that one may not know where to begin. However, my recommendation is to begin by playing the Domination mode, which will provide you with team items such as basketballs and jerseys, as well as a player pack, which may be essential to either improving your lineup, or to sell for MyTeam Points (MT) on the auction house, which is unlocked once you complete the Silver Goals in MyTeam.
    This year, 2K did a wonderful job of creating lasting content for both online and offline players from release day.  With the addition of All-Time Domination, as well as the Season Challenges, players will be able to stack up MT and players useful to their teams, when they decide to take them online.
    There is also no shortage of content for users to play online, with the Supermax and Pack & Playoffs game modes.  Supermax is a game-changing mode that focuses on building a lineup based off of using players that most of the community does not tend to use as often.  Pack & Playoffs allows the user to play 5v5 against an opponent with a random selection of players given in packs, which means that a player may jump into online game without needing to build their squad.
    Overall, these changes to MyTeam are positive. However it is evident that 2K had not done a thorough job of testing certain features of MyTeam prior to its release, as there are some game-breaking glitches that are currently plaguing the mode.
    The glitch that has caused the most uproar from the community has been the failure to provide players who earn the reward historic jerseys from completing Historic Domination games.  Many occurrences of this have happened, leaving the player with a duplicate reward jersey that cannot be sold on the auction house, and to complete the daunting task of attaining a reply from 2K’s “active support,” which often take days, or even weeks to receive. This means that the players who spent vast amounts of time completing the 63 games to earn those reward jerseys are forced to wait for 2K support to answer their complaints, which seems lazy on the part of 2K.
    The other major glitch that has been massively frustrating for the MyTeam community has been the failure to give players their MT when selling cards.
    Users who have sold valuable players have often received minimal amounts of MT from their auction, which is certainly a bug that must be addressed, because a user’s MT is the most valuable component to building a strong lineup, and that being wrongly removed from players’ accounts.
    Despite the glitches, MyTeam is the mode to play for people who enjoy playing with exclusive NBA current and historic greats all together on the same team.
    MyTeam, despite its frustrating bugs, still is a superb game mode, as exemplified with its extensive day one content and the improvement in rewards from previous years, earning the mode a rating of: 9/10
NBA 2K18 is overall a solid mode that has some innovations that are well-received by the community, and some disappointments as well, but overall NBA 2K is a solid game that earns an overall rating of:  7.5/10