2018 edition of NBA doesn't fail to impress. Here's why
NBA 2k18 doesn't fail to impress, though some niggling choices and issues might dampen the experience
NBA 2K games has always defined what a basketball game needs to be and the 2018 edition of the game is no different. This time around you have a bigger roster to play with, including legendary players from history. Reliving the glorious players of NBA past is a lot of fun and we can envision months spent playing this with friends and family.
The AI is not too bad either -- the game feels authentic in its representation and it is difficult to give your opponents the slip.
The graphics have also been pumped up, which has made the game look better, especially on the next gen consoles and PC. Even the commentary has improved, not to mention better TV segments. Just make sure you don't stare too long into the dead eyes of Shaquille O'Neal -- it could steal your soul.
The game, however, does have some issues. Let's start with the face scanning feature, where you can create a character in your likeness using pictures from your cellphone. The character can be used in both the career mode and the MyGM mode.
While it all sounds great in theory, the capturing of your likeness is anything, but easy. The Android app, which we used was very fidgety and if you don't capture the correct pictures in the first round, it is actually better to drop the model than recapturing it.
That second round captures never seem to work because it is hard to reproduce the angle and exact position you used the first time. The app took approximately 10 tries before we got it working. This included an error, where it got stuck at 47 per cent while creating my player. We had to restart the game and recapture everything to get it working again.
The final results of all that pain are not bad -- your face model does seem a little less polished than the official players, but it does go a long way to immerse you in the game.
Also, you are more likely to spend money in microtransactions, which is the other bad thing about this game. Though microtransactions are useful, if you don't want to go through the grind of building up your player, you might find this akin to extortion.
Yes, you read that right -- just like a MMORPG you have to grind by working out, learning and improving skills. This is more frustrating because the progress meter moves at a snail's pace. While we are all for microtransactions, its level of progress here seems deliberately slowed down, to make you spend money in their neighbourhood.
The 'neighbourhood' is a small area of a couple of blocks where you can get new gear, challenge other players, workout, build skills and go through all the sponsors of NBA 2k18. It's a more complicated version of a menu, where you have to physically walk your person to the next menu item. Want a haircut? Walk around the block. Want some clothes? Walk to a sponsored store where you have to spend dough to buy stuff. So, basically, it's like MMORPG, but not as much fun.
Playing with other players is also behind a paywall on the PS4, so you have to have a PlayStation Plus membership.
Issues aside, NBA 2k18 is a gem of a game. Just for the updated roster, graphics and gameplay this game is still golden.
Developer: Visual Concepts
Platform: PC, PS3, X360, PS4, XBOX
Price: PC, PS3 & X360: R2,499; PS4 & XBO: R3,499