NBA 2k14 Review


UPDATE: 2K Sports has reached out to Gamesided to clarify the server issues, and the inability to access a game save file if you fail to connect to the 2K servers, or if your internet should go down. Hopefully, this clarifies any issues you may have had with your save files in NBA 2k14.

From 2K Sports:

"Single player modes – MyGM/MyCAREER can be played both online as well as offline.  Simply unplug your Ethernet cable and start a NEW GM/Career, and off it goes (proof that you can play offline).  When you are online at the time of starting the mode, you are creating an ‘online’ MyGM/MyCAREER file.  That file requires you to be online to load it during subsequent game sessions.  If the user finds themselves without connectivity for a period of time, they are still free to play offline game mode saves.  This is actually how 360/PS3 work as well – I hope you can make this edit and clarify to your readers."

With this information coming into play, and now that we know the game can in fact be played offline, provided you start the mode while offline, we are upping our overall score for the game.

ORIGINAL: It’s no secret that 2K Sports’ basketball juggernaut NBA 2K is at, or at least near, the top of the class of sports gaming. The game has improved by leaps and bounds year after year, and even knocked its primary competitor out of the market for a few years.

Now, the game has jumped to the next generation of consoles with NBA 2k14. And while it was no doubt expected to be a top launch title on the PS4 and Xbox One, does NBA 2K14 deserve the highest of accolades?

The visuals and gameplay sell itself. NBA 2k14 truly looks and feels – for the most part –like a next gen game in ways that other sports game launch titles do not. Players look as authentic as ever, players don’t seem to be gliding on the court as often as on the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of the games and the arenas look and feel like their real-life counterparts.

Like NBA 2k14, Gerald Henderson has his eyes on the prize

On the court gameplay is another area in which the next-gen version of 2k14 is much better than its current-gen counterpart. The passes are crisper, the AI is smarter, the shots look better and it’s responsive to anything you try to do.

A big reason why NBA 2k14 feels like a next-gen game is the improvement – or overhaul – to two key game modes. Gone is the Association Mode, and in its spot comes MyGM where you take your created MyPlayer, and become the GM of an NBA team.

And it’s not just simply a case of if you’re good, great; if not, you’re fired. It’s much more detailed than that. You have to answer to players, coaches, the owner and fans. It’s about completing goals, and being successful on the court. It’s much more of an RPG-style mode than before.

MyPlayer has now become MyCareer, a storymode driven version of MyPlayer. You take a player from the rookie showcase to being a benchwarming prospect to the Hall of Fame while dealing with the vigorous lifestyle of being a star athlete. It’s a mode that has its slight problems, but it’s fun, nevertheless.

The presentation is as good as it ever was with Kevin Harlan, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr providing the best commentary in a sports game to date. It’s an often overlooked part of a sports game, but good commentary can go a long way in making a good game, great.

While there is plenty to rave about in NBA 2k14, there is still some bad that keeps this game from being a perfect sports title.

NBA 2k14 comes up just a bit short of being exceptional, just like Danny Granger’s free throw,

The first is a big case of misleading, and false, information on the part of 2K Sports. On the back of the case where the game’s details are shown, it clearly says online play is optional. Unfortunately, that appears to mean that playing against other players on the internet is optional. What it doesn’t mean is that the game can be played offline.

That’s right. In order to access any of the single-player game modes in NBA 2k14, at least in our experiences on the Playstation 4, you must be connected to the 2K servers with your console. That’s a requirement that wasn’t mentioned once by 2K Sports prior to release, and basically renders the disc useless. Not a good look 2K. Not a good look at all.

On the court, though not as prevalent, there are still cases of gliding on the court where the players don’t look like they are running. Also, players still magnetically attract to the ball after it hits the rim which makes rebounds look ridiculous on occasion.

What’s up with Chris Paul’s shorts?

As far as what’s in, or not in, the game that stops this from being as great as it could be is the limited amount of online game modes. Mainly, no online association.

Now, it’s no secret that the online association in the last generation was a broken mess. Players were often unable to get through one year due to the mess that was the mode’s offseason.

The game reintroduces online leagues which still allows players to play each other in a player-vs-player season format. That’s all well and good, but if you only have a few people wanting to be a part of it, you’re going to be left with a small league where you play each other over and over. There are many who may want to start a league, but only have four/five people willing to participate. With no option to have AI teams, it makes online leagues a bit dull.

Lastly, the buried menu system makes it almost impossible to locate the options you want. Want to try out the new MMO “The Park” that’s included in the next-gen version of the game? Well, you’re going to have to find it first. HINT: It’s in the MyCareer menu.

NBA 2k14 is a fantastic launch title for the next generation of game consoles, and it’s a huge step in the direction towards making this the best sports game on the market. Unfortunately, right now, that isn’t the case.

There is so much good with this game that encountering the bad really stands out, and can take away quite a bit from the experience. There is plenty of work to be done as we get started on the latest generation of gaming, but for now, this is as good as it gets for sports-genre launch titles.