With NBA 2K20 hitting the floor this week, here are five reasons why we think it’s time for basketball fans to get excited.
The MyCareer mode has the biggest upgrade in NBA 2K20, and it’s crystal clear that 2K think it’s a big deal, drafting the acting talents of Idris Elba, Rosario Dawson, Silicon Valley’s Thomas Middleditch, Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and real-life superman LeBron James. The cast is almost as massive as the concept itself, in what’s sure to be the biggest step forward in career modes across any sports game franchise in years.
The trailer makes this look more like a feature film than it does a video game cutscene, and the development company clearly feel the same way. Director Sheldon Candis talks about the cast like they’re a team. Players get to follow the career of NBA future talent Che, as he finds his way from draft prospect to NBA superstar. The format is similar to previous years, however the level of focus, polish and attention to detail is the point of difference. There’s been a clear push for quality content, and they’ve set themselves up with every opportunity to succeed.
Speaking of succeeding, for the first time in the NBA 2K series, all 12 WNBA teams and 140-plus players make a long overdue appearance. It’s not just a tacked-on feature either, as 2K have built the WNBA feature with distinct gameplay animations and visuals exclusive to the women’s game. It really is a unique game mode in its own right, rather than an afterthought.
Player control goes to the next level with an upgraded motion engine for more precise balance and the inclusion of off-ball player movement. The control layout is the same as previous editions, although movements in the game felt much more deliberate in our demo playthroughs. Fans of the single player career modes will be excited by the return of one of the most requested features from the 2K Community, off-ball jukes. You’ll be able to add that additional level of control and flair to your off-ball play to create separation on attack or power up a crunchy screen on defence.
There are all-new Legendary teams, with over 100 to choose from, and including Legendary Decade All-Star teams. Championship teams (and teams of champions) from across time are available to do battle. Mind you, we’re unsure how anyone could go past the ’90s Legends team: Michael “Air” Jordan, Scottie “Robin” Pippen, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Karl “The Mailman” Malone and John “Stock” Stockton (they must’ve run out of credit at the nickname store by the time he showed up). It’s a formidable line-up and we didn’t even get to the players they’ve benched!
Speaking of formidable line-ups, once again the theme music to the latest 2K season is fronted by a huge list of stellar performers including Drake, Post Malone, Calvin Harris, Run the Jewels, and Motley Crüe. Even a little bit of Ariana Grande is thrown in for good measure. Rest assured there is something in here for everyone, with the promise of more impressive beats to come. 2K have already announced that they’ll be adding new tracks throughout the season, as well as promoting ten previously unsigned artists on the playlist.
NBA 2K20 launches on September 6 for PS4, Xbox One and Switch.