When it comes to basketball games, particularly those on an 8th generation console like the PlayStation 4, people have high expectations. NBA 2K15’s predecessor, boggled down with some online issues, seems to have drawn intense scrutiny upon this offering, with nearly everyone going over it with a fine-tooth comb. Of course, if you just step back and approach the game as if you weren’t even a sports fan, what’s there is amazing. The presentation is absolutely stunning for one, with it being difficult to discern whether or not you’re playing a game or watching one unfold in real life. Yes, it really is that convincing sometimes, especially if you’re open to the immersive experience it offers.
NBA 2K15 isn’t a completely original offering, it being part of a clearly defined series which is seeking to cash in on procedural annual development and refinement. Likewise, with each new outing the franchise grows ever stronger, adding new bits to improve upon specific aspects of the gameplay or graphics. Hands down, the character animations are nearly perfect, with the developers even taking the time to program in certain individual nuances of specific players. For the serious NBA fan, this is all incredibly awesome, of course.
Certainly the gameplay is smooth and fluid, with all the little refinements you’d expect to find, but it’s hard to peel one’s attention away from the presentation. The commentaries really add quite a lot of depth to the experience and pull attention away from loading issues while also creating natural “breathers” to let you and your team cool off. Just watching a controlled character take off down the court and set up a post and then pass the ball is a treat. Again, the character animations are more or less seamless, with corresponding players moving as if they were real and not digital models on a disc. The level of detail that developer Visual Concepts was able to bake into the cake here is truly astounding, kudos.
Those who already delved deep into NBA 2K14 aren’t going to notice a whole lot of hefty improvements of course, but that’s to be expected. The jump may be less severe in this instance, but rest assured, there have been SOME improvements. For instance, many have been eagerly touting the MyLEAGUE feature, which is a really solid career-ish mode for players who prefer seasonal play. Aside from the fact that they added in conversational bits and, yes, even press conferences, some might still find it comparable to 14’s MyGM mode. Additionally, if you’ve ever wanted to stick your own visage into the game, you’ll be happy to note the PS4’s facial scanning technology makes it possible to do exactly that within a matter of seconds.
Trying to pick out the best basketball game is always tough, especially with so much competition out there, but on the PS4, NBA 2K15 shines pretty brightly. For starters, anyone who digs extremely realistic action is going to definitely love this game.
Rating – 8.5
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