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NBA 2K19 First Impressions

Thanks to our good friends at Xbox Canada, we were able to take a look at NBA 2K19 on the Xbox One X, and although it had been a few years since we had played a basketball video game – outside of arcade releases – and were pleasantly surprised with how far the genre has come. But is NBA 2K19 worth your time? Let’s dive in!

Sports game franchises often have their ups and downs, and lack of good competition over the years from EA Sports might have caused 2K to become a bit complacent with their launches. As EA has been stepping up their game as of late, 2K added the extra modes and options necessary to bring their NBA title to the next level. This year, it’s all about skill, and while the learning curve to play NBA 2K19 is a bit steeper than with pervious iterations, the accurate on-court depiction of the sports is second to none.

And ultimately, most sports fans are looking for the ultra realistic experience, to make them feel like they are on the court, playing along side their favourite NBA stars. And the presentation is fantastic. Playing as the Toronto Raptors – as I would being a fan of the Toronto sports teams – the atmosphere 2K created was truly amazing. Playing a Lowry and co was great, and although it took be a dozen games to get the control and mechanics under my belt, I always felt like I was learning, and was never overly frustrated.

And with so many modes to jump into, NBA 2K19 has something for almost everyone. Long gone are the days of a season or playoff mode; now there is street hoops, management simulation modes, creating your own team using packs of basketball cards, and much more. Each mode brings a unique difference to the table, so there is literally something for everyone. The constant? The presentation across the board. This is really where 2K stepped up their game for 2019.

Part of a more well rounded, accurate presentation of basketball is enhancing both the offensive and defensive side of the game. On defense, the improvements are much more noticeable, giving players more control over how they choose to defend the court. Different players are better at different things – obviously – but with more options for everyone, a more accurate representation of defensive basketball is on display. One of the better offensive additions to the game is the new Takeover mode, which allows players to build up adrenaline after successfully completing certain plays. Like in real basketball, feeding off your own personal performance is now a possibility in NBA 2K19, and for the most part it works.

The downside to this mode is that you need to complete tasks your player is best known for, so hitting consecutive buckets as playmaking passer will have less of an affect than setting up your teammates. In my own personal experience, adrenalin is adrenalin, no matter how it comes.

The other mode I’ve really been enjoying was creating my own My Player and taking him through 2K’s story mode. While this doesn’t last particularly long, it is a great way to introduce your custom character and learn about leveling him up, and so on, outside of that mode.

There is a ton to digest in NBA 2K19, but what I can say with confidence is that it almost all works. With a fantastic presentation that carries across game modes, coupled with outstanding new animations and mechanics for offense and defense, 2K has once again created the definitive basketball experience for the 2018-2019 NBA season. Don’t miss out!


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Article By

Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel   


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