NBA 2K is back for 2018, and of course there are a few improvements on the original. Wouter Van Vugt, 2K games head of international communications, has everything he thinks we need to know.

How much work has been put into improving the player visuals for 2K18?

As with every iteration of NBA 2K, we take realism very seriously. Not only do we have the possibility to do full body scans for the first time this year, meaning that players look like their real life counterpart even more, we’ve also worked with Nike to fully scan the new outfits, making NBA 2K18 the most realistic version of the series yet.

What kind of involvement does that mean for the players as far as scanning/etc is concerned?

Nowadays we have a mobile scanning and motion capture set-up, meaning we can go around the different NBA teams and scan their players relatively quickly. Our main mo-cap studio is in North California and throughout the year we’re scanning players who are in the area there.

Can you talk about what improvements have been made on the MyPlayer and MyCareer systems?

We’d need a few more pages to explain all the new features for MyPlayer and MyCareer, and we have some surprises up our sleeve. One of the bigger changes is what we call “The Road to 99”, which entails that you can now upgrade your player and earn VC in every game mode you play with your MyPlayer, including online modes such as Pro Am and MyPark.

How do ensure that the series remains accessible for newcomers?

Last year we’ve introduced 2KU, where newcomers can learn about the basics of basketball. This mode makes a welcome return in NBA 2K18. You’ll also find that in the menus, there are a lot more explanations around more in-depth basketball tactics and plays.

Why was it important to revamp the body type system?

It’s all about realism. Having realistic body types doesn’t just allow us to make players look more realistic, but react more realistically as well.

What changes can we expect from multiplayer?

Amongst other things, the “Road to 99” will change things up drastically, as players can now build their character up in every mode, including online modes.

Pre-order NBA 2K18 at JB Hi-Fi