When recent details about the next-generation version of NBA 2K14 came out, I couldn’t contain my excitement. It was as if the video gaming gods heard my prayer for an ideal sports game that I’ve been yearning for a long time. I’ve been playing NBA Live since the 2000 edition and it’s strange because I don’t really follow NBA in real life. I may not follow the NBA but I am fond of basketball in general. I love watching the games on television or live whenever I can. I just wanted to clear that up since some people are confused and/or shocked to know that I like sports games (I also like boxing and MMA).
I’ve emphasized in my past articles how adding a narrative to racing and sports games can be beneficial. I noted that it provides context to your goals as opposed to simply chasing high scores and rankings. It also motivates players by adding characters to care and hate about. We’ve seen this in EA Sports’ game Fight Night: Champion and in racing games like Need for Speed.
Well, NBA 2K14 for next-generation wants to achieve something like this but with your own character. You can customize your player in a physical and internal level as you watch them develop from a rookie to an all-star. Will you be an arrogant player who loves to take dunks, or will you be a humble three-point shooter? The choice is up to you. Read on for more…
So, there are a lot of new things in the next-generation version of NBA 2K14. A couple of notable features include the addition of MyGM mode and a revamped myCareer experience. This is an excerpt from a Polygon article to describe myGM:
“NBA 2K14 players can also expect a “complete reimagining” of previous franchise modes called MyGM, Boenisch said during a presentation at the event. Like past titles, this mode will incorporate role-playing elements. After crafting a new basketball player, which becomes the GM, players can level up attributes and special skills. Players will also negotiate new contracts and build relationships through the game’s new conversation engine.”
I’m a bit confused here, so you will create a basketball player who will also be the GM? If someone knows the answer to this question, then please do share! Anyway this seems like an enhanced version of MyAssociation, the management single player mode in 2K games. It’s also cool how they are adding a conversation engine. It’s funny how it made me think of Mass Effect’s conversation wheel.
Although the whole idea of managing an NBA team isn’t a new concept, it’s nice to see that it’s not going to be just staring at the numbers and stats on a menu by making it more entertaining with interactive cut scenes and including a plot element. You used to just play through seasons and the only cut scenes you would see are the ones before, during, and after a game. So, this is quite a welcome change and addition to the 2K series.
Perhaps, the coolest part about the next-generation version of NBA 2K14 is the new MyCareer mode. The developer boasts that they added over 40 hours of gameplay. Polygon also reported that they watched a handful of cut scenes showing a rookie climb their way up in the league. You can also have a rival as you progress through your story line. This reminds me of how the story mode in WWE games and in Fight Night: Champion works. I only wished that the latter would let me make my own boxer instead of using a pre-set protagonist.
In the current generation version of 2K14, you don’t really have much to work with in terms of cut scenes and there isn’t any drama involved aside from some featured tweets. It was also noted that they improved the dialogue system. I really hope that this time you can change the voice of your character, because the default voice really seems misplaced and stereotypical if you know what I mean.
I think that it would also be cool if they did what Fight Night did and have special objectives. For example, your rival beat you up but you have a game the next day. You still have to win the game while suffering a penalty to your skills. It’ll add spice and challenge to the game even if it might be annoying at times.
I think I’m almost regretting buying a PC version of the game since it’s pretty much a carbon copy of 2K13. It looks like they added a ton of new things in addition to making it look stunning. From what I heard, the next-gen version isn’t just some port since it was built on a different engine. Why did they even release a current-generation version considering all these things?
It’s nice to see how sports games expand their reach to different audiences by adding elements from other genres. I don’t play FIFA or Madden, but maybe if they added a story to it. Here’s to hoping that the upcoming UFC game has a cool career mode too.
Next-generation sports games, here I come!