NBA 2K23 Review - Screenshot 1 of 5

NBA 2K23 is a must big. Look, we know this isn’t necessarily what you’re expecting to read: You thought we were going to tell you that it’s another copy-paste basketball simulator from 2K Sports, but it’s more than just a list exchange. The game has some legacy issues when it comes to capped progression and microtransactions, but you can easily put 500 hours into this release and still find plenty to do. It’s just that that great!

So where to start? Well, it looks like anywhere on the pitch. Arguably the biggest adjustment this year is the addition of adrenaline boosters under the stamina bar. Although there is quite a bit of complexity involved, these mostly feature intense movements such as leaping for rebounds or advanced dribbling moves. The idea is that you only get three of these per possession, meaning you can’t spam your opponent. Balances the game.

While we think the system is a smart addition overall, we argue that it just might be too balanced. It doesn’t make sense for the league’s superstars to be lumped in with a bunch of low bench players, but we assume that game fairness trumps authenticity and that the best players still have clear attribute advantages. Perhaps there are more tweaks 2K Sports could consider for next year, but the overall concept is sound.

NBA 2K23 Review - 5/5 Screenshots

In addition to increasing adrenaline, the developer is also busy adding a lot of animations. There are so many things here that we would use up our entire word count to list them all, but the things to focus on are the new contacts and more creative layups. If you want, you can also hang from the hoop and even swing your body to bend over your posterized opponents! There’s an obvious learning curve to many of these moves, but that ultimately means you’ve got a lot going for you.

Speaking of which, we’re also exploring some general AI tweaks. Teams are generally more dynamic and will adapt to what is happening on the pitch; they’ll double down on players giving them a hard time, or change their entire approach if they’re chasing the game. All of this creates a more authentic experience that forces you to pay more attention to your play style: how are you going to win the game?

This kind of diversity also extends to the unique, industry-leading Franchise mode called MyNBA Eras. While you can still take control of the current team and lead it to the promised land, you also have the option to start your game based on three famous eras in NBA history: the Magic vs. Bird era, the Jordan era, and the Kobe era. Effectively, this is going back in time, recreating the CBA as it existed at that time.

NBA 2K23 Review - 5/5 Screenshots

So instead of choosing a team and creating your own future, you can change the past. And it goes insanely deep: you can choose to veto certain important moments in NBA history, like rule changes or relocations. This means you can effectively play God throughout the league, tailoring the history of the league to your personal taste. Now the best Franchise mode on the market has been raised to an unprecedented level.

And that’s even without considering the various aspects that make this mode unique: teams will play differently in the 1980s than they did in the 2000s, with completely different playbooks and strategies. Additionally, 2K Sports has created unique visual filters with era-specific replay packs and overlays to reflect each era. While you can turn some of these off if you like, it’s a great innovation that reflects the care and attention put into the package as a whole.

All these features also apply to Jordan Challenge, a single-player mode based on the same mode NBA 2K11 Here are 15 of the Chicago Bulls point guard’s most memorable moments. All of them feature unique commentary and interview footage, as well as some pretty tough competitive conditions that will really help you appreciate His Airness’ most impressive NBA accomplishments. Completing this mod to 100 percent will likely run you a good 10 hours alone.

NBA 2K23 Review - 5/5 Screenshots

And we have so much without it by noting MyCareer or City, an advanced sandbox mode that sees you create yourself Install MyPlayer and propel them to NBA stardom. So the bad first: overconfidence Virtual Currency remains, and putting together a competent opponent is still a daunting task. You can’t exactly pay to win because you have to play and perform to unlock Badges and increase your max rating, but upgrades are very expensive, you will have to pay real money.

The storyline feels like a step backwards in many ways this year, though we appreciate 2K Sports’ attempts to simplify certain aspects – even reducing the overall size of the online open world to reduce unnecessary walk times. In short—for no prize—you’ll be pitted against an impressively annoying opponent named Shep Owens, who is somehow a City favorite and has to prove the fans wrong.

You will do this by playing basketball matches and conquering different districts. Where the campaign explores aspects of Fashion, Business and Music, alongside J. Cole and various other household names. The biggest problem is that sometimes you just want to play basketball, and while we appreciate the overall ambition, handing out flyers for a vegan hot dog stand owner isn’t much fun. Well, that’s something that happens pretty early on in the plot – we told you this game was ridiculously massive, right?

NBA 2K23 Review - 5/5 Screenshots

The city’s other big attraction is competing with friends and strangers alike, and while additions like the Theater make it a bit easier to fit in than waiting for the courts to be empty, it just doesn’t feel as fast and accessible. it should be. In addition, the network code makes the game more flexible and less sensitive in general – we are far from professional gamers, but in single player everything seems more flexible to us.

On that note, this year there’s even more single-player content to explore in the Ultimate Team-like MyTeam mode, with the addition of the high-octane Clutch Time. Other than that, the mode is pretty much unchanged from last year, but the addition of Contracts cancellation and co-op is nice, and we still think it’s one of the more generous team building modes. MLB Show 22. Sure, you might have to spend real money on overpriced card packs to compete at the pro levels, but realistically, if you just want to put together a reasonable list, Lock Codes and standard Seasonal Progress will get you what you need.

The result

It can be easy to accuse sports games of offering the same experience year after year, but you can’t say the same about NBA 2K23. The game still has issues with an over-emphasis on microtransactions in MyCareer and, to a lesser extent, MyTeam, but the new MyNBA Eras mode is a revelation – and the Jordan Challenge campaign is a lot of fun too. On the court, 2K Sports has made some nice balancing tweaks and also improved the overall AI to make matches more dynamic and competitive, and when you combine all that with all new animations, you end up with a basketball simulator. slam dunk

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