NBA 2K18 does not officially drop until September 19th. However, for those who pre-ordered, you once again receive an”Early Tip-Off” feature. The release of NBA 2K18 has been highly anticipated for months. Kyrie Irving gracing the cover in his new Celtics threads is not the only thing new about this year’s edition. 2K has promised that the latest installment in the ever-growing franchise will be the most realistic version yet. Here is what we here at Fadeaway World have to say.
Right off the bat, the first thing you will notice is the improved realism of the game. Perhaps the most notable addition is the changes to the defensive system. One of the most important parts of basketball in real life is communication on the defensive end of the court. 2K absolutely nailed it this year. Non-user controlled players will call for the ball, call for help, as well as shift and overload when necessary. Another great improvement to the defensive engine is that when you set a screen, the CPU defender will not automatically switch onto the passer causing the player who rolled off the screen to be wide open. The refined defensive system is an extremely welcome change. You may find yourself working harder for your buckets this year.
Another huge difference is the shot contest system. Finally, we will not have players making impossible contested shots. Although there are some players that you just cannot stop on the offensive end, it is much more challenging to make a contested shot. Users will now have to play smarter on the offensive end of the court. Along with the shot contest system comes the new shot feedback pop-up, which appears after every shot. This pop-up will let you know how good your shot release was, and the type of defensive coverage on the user-controlled player. Also, CPU players and user-controlled players can now take full advantage of defensive mismatches. In 2K17, if Kyle Lowry was guarding Hassan Whiteside, Lowry may have denied the shot, however, in this year’s game, Whiteside will take full advantage of the defensive mismatch.
System Proficiency is a new feature in this year’s game. Although it will be the most helpful in MyTeam mode, it can also be of use to players playing in regular Play Now or Online Play modes. There are eight systems: Balanced, Pace and Space, Seven Seconds, Post Centric, Grit and Grind, Perimeter Centric, Triangle and finally, Defense. In short, these eight systems mimic the real life offensive, as well as defensive systems NBA coaches implement in their real life gameplans. Each coach in the game is given a prefered system.
Taking full advantage of the coaches system will help maximize your overall game experience. For example, Steve Kerr’s preferred system is balanced. This means, that if a user loaded up their lineup with centers and power forwards, their overall System Proficiency would have a lower rating star rating than if this lineup was used in David Joerger’s prefered post centric system. Playing players out of their normal positions may also cause the rating of a team’s System Proficiency to drop. The addition of this feature is yet another example of 2K bringing another real life element of the game of basketball into the video game world.
MyCareer: Short and sweet get’s right to the point
This year's MyCareer feels like the right balance of storyline and actual gameplay. In years past, the MyCareer storyline has been dominated by cutscenes and actual real-life decisions rather than actual basketball gameplay. Yes, getting to select an NCAA College was a great addition while it lasted, however, having to play through High School and then College for what felt like ages became tiring after a while. Although you still cannot skip the cutscenes, NBA 2K18 has a great balance of storyline drama and actual gameplay. Instead of 8 games combined between High School and College, this year you only have to play three blacktop games and two NBA workout scrimmages. We also could do with a little less of DJ’s childhood friend B, but hey, we’ll let it slide.
As for the storyline, it is quite unique. As previously noted, this year there is no High School and College. 2K18’s Run The Neighbourhood/Road to 99 story is centered around your MyPlayer who is a former basketball stud looking for one last shot. After going undrafted, you try to get noticed by playing a series of 3-on-3 games at the one and only Jordan Brand Proving Grounds. We will not give too much away, but your performances in these games help decide your NBA fate. If you indeed get an invite to an NBA workout, the stakes only increase from there. Do not blow your opportunity against a team’s bench unit, or even their starters. Show up and show out. Of course, it would not be your typical NBA 2K MyCareer without an outlandish sidekick on your team. What makes 2K18’s story so unique is that it begs the question of: “Could a streetballer actually get noticed and make it to the NBA?”
Whether you play in Toronto or Los Angeles, the team’s practice facility is conveniently located within walking distance. This is all part of the new “The Neighbourhood” feature. Essentially, “The Neighbourhood” is a free roam city. You can do much more besides play basketball in “The Neighbourhood.” However, depending on your online membership plan, you may find yourself having to pay an additional fee just to access the online version of this years MyCareer mode. 2K18’s offline version is far less spectacular and action-packed.
2K18 may boast one of the franchise's best soundtrack’s. Basketball is for everyone and so too is the 2K18 Soundtrack. There are artists such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Nas, all the way to Rag’n’ Bone Man and X Ambassadors. Popular tracks such as “ I Do What I Want” by Lil Uzi Vert as well as, “Pour Some Surgar on Me” are also included in the track list. Also, the NBA’s own Damian Lillard is featured on the soundtrack with his song titled, “Hush.” Rounding out the impressive soundtrack is the iconic Alan Parsons Project song, “Serious.” This is a soundtrack worth downloading and vibing to when you are away from the console.
MyGM: Best version yet?
MyGM finally receives a storyline. In this year’s addition, MyGM’s storyline is titled: “The Next Chapter.” The story itself follows the path of your MyPlayer trying to rebound after suffering a career ending injury six years ago. Your player is actually known as an NBA legend, mostly remembered for a huge 36 point game with Dallas back in 2011. Throughout the story, you may encounter things such as: Ownership changes, dealing with players missing practice, team relocation, owners pressuring you to make trades, as well as an owner hiring their own child as your Assistant GM.
Finally, MyGM receives some substance. Although there are many tedious text boxes you probably should read, the added storyline gives the mode some purpose. It is more than just building a winning team and keeping players happy as you go. Now, you will have to deal with revamped daily press conferences, social media rumors and much more. This year's installment of MyGM probably gives the most realistic feel to being in an NBA front office than ever before. Kudos to 2K to making such a simple game mode have a more in-depth feel. Especially for those who would rather create, build and run a team rather than be the star of one.
What are your thoughts on NBA 2K18? Let us know! Lastly, if you were worried about jersey advertisements, have no fear. They are barely even noticeable while you are playing. While early access users are already reaping the benefits of 2018’s installment of NBA 2K18, those that are holding out until the general release have much to look forward to. You are going to want to get a copy of the game before it is sold out.