NBA 2K 13
It’s interesting that my character began with two left feet and was all
thumbs, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t select those options during the
player creation process. Maybe there’s a slider for that somewhere. Oh
At the beginning of NBA 2K 13’s career mode, you’re not going to set the
world on fire. As a rookie you’ll get a miniscule amount of game time,
and your team mates will simply not pass you the ball. Oh, and people on
Twitter will abuse you, thanks to the new ‘social media’ mode. But as
you earn precious skill points and raise your team chemistry, things
will improve. You’ll find yourself entrusted with the ball. You’ll start
on the court rather than warming the bench. Your number of fans might
increase, to the point where you can challenge Lord Justin Bieber
himself at the top of the social media pile. After much perseverance and
dedication, magical things start to happen… such as the Cleveland
Cavaliers not sucking anymore.
If authenticity was a fluid with measurable viscosity, then NBA 2K 13
would drip with it. It looks, feels and sounds like an actual game of
basketball. The player models themselves are far from visually perfect,
and animations have the odd stutter, but the way they move and collide
is spot-on. During a game, mascots jump around like idiots or fire
T-shirts into the crowd with launchers. Cheerleaders prance around, and
cleaners buff the playing surface.
Just like a real broadcast, you’re
treated to half-time reports, advertisements, even helicopter fly-overs
of the city you’re playing in. The audio side of things is equally
impressive. There are all the things you would expect, such as crowds
chanting ’D-Fense!’ and the iconic organ music that plays while the shot
clock is counting down. There is also a ton of commentary, so much so
that you’ll play for hours without hearing it repeat.
Your first look at the game’s
main screen is as disheartening as it is misleading. On that one screen
be presented with a mere three options: Character creation, a quick
match option, and career. Pressing the circle button brings up a rather
clunky and unintuitive menu, but by trawling through this, you’ll
uncover an absolute goldmine of content. There are multiplayer options,
association mode, (which puts you in the role of general manager,)
options to play 2 on 2 on a blacktop court, and much more. And the great
thing is that just about every mode of play is customisable.
mode, you can play every single game of the year, or just fast-forward
to the key encounters. In association mode, you can gets hands-on with
the draft and player trading, or just focus on simulating matches. For
the die-hards, there are endless reams of statistics to pore over, or
rather design your own pair of shoes. If the game is too hard in any one
area, FIFA-like sliders let you increase the margin of error for
important tasks such as shooting, blocking or stealing. Don’t like the
idea of building a player from scratch? That’s fine, you can jump into
the well-animated shorts of Kobe Bryant or Andrew Bogut instead, and
play career mode with an existing pro.
There’s a fairly steep learning curve here if you haven’t played a
recent NBA 2K title. Most of the key actions involve precise timing, and
blazing away without thinking will only get you punished on the rebound.
You’ll get the most out of it if you take the time to learn the advanced
controls. Once mastered, using the right stick to shoot and dribble
feels far more intuitive than pressing a button.
The customisable options, the glut of game modes, and the realistic
sights and sounds, all make this a title to get excited about. Without a
doubt, one of the best sports games of the year.
I’m coming for you, virtual Bieber. The top spot is mine!