Game review: Why NBA 2k16 is a must have for basketball fans

More than just a basketball videogame, the NBA 2k16 is a great sports simulation

Let's face it, we are a country that loves our cricket. Sure, football comes a close second, but basketball probably doesn’t figure on the top five of most sport enthusiasts. So, NBA 2K16 is a game most would not find a compelling buy. But, trust us when we say you want this game. Its pace and impeccable craftsmanship will have you coming back for more and create a genuine interest in basketball.

Graphically, NBA 2K16 is almost there but not quite yet. Don’t get us wrong, it looks amazing on the PC. Tattoos, skin textures, sweat — it’s all there. In fact, it looks so good that more than once, people around thought I was watching a real game, rather than playing one.

However, there are times where player movements aren’t as smooth as they would be in real life. And, it happens often enough to break the illusion. Sudden movements are especially jerky. Graphical artefacts can also be noticed in close-ups where the area around the player’s mouth and eyes always seem to be floating, most apparent during mid game interviews. However, none of these affect gameplay.

The game has several modes to play, you can live vicariously through a future NBA legend in the Spike Lee directed Livin’ Da Dream story mode, or you could play as a manager in the GM mode, where you can handle the background day-to-day workings of an NBA team. Or, just play black top mode (outdoor basketball courts) or exhibition matches featuring your favourite teams. The pace of the game is close to an actual game and that means the player can control how fast or how slow a game moves. You can change plays and substitute players.

The story mode lets you create a character and then play with him through a directed story line. While nicely done, it follows a single track and no matter how you fare in the games, you will go on to play college basketball and then go on to be a legend. A regular game lets you control the entire team but in the story mode you only control one player. It can get a little frustrating at times, but it fits the mode perfectly and, in the end, it does get fun as you get to upgrade your player with signature moves and better stats.

The GM mode features more interesting gameplay. It lets you ignore the actual game and focus on the background, handling players, press, team owners, coaches and scouts. Of course, if you want to micro manage, you can still play the games. The simulation is interesting and it is difficult, at times, to keep everyone’s morale high.

As is with most videogames, all is not perfect, for first time players there aren’t any good tutorial modes where you can learn every aspect of the game instead there are videos and the practice play mode doesn’t have easily accessible instructions to complete a play. Since the controls are easy, basic gameplay can be learnt over 4-5 matches, winning strategies take more time. As far as a sports game goes, NBA 2K16 is easily one of the best. Even if you have a fleeting interest in basketball you need to have this in your library.

NBA 2K16

Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports
Platform: PC, PS3, X360, PS4, XOne
Price: Rs 999 for PC; Rs 2,499 for PS3/X360; Rs 2,999 for PS4/XONE
Rating: 3.5/5

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