Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Game Review: 'NBA 2K24'

This year's NBA 2K game gives Kobe Bryant the Michael Jordan and LeBron James treatment, with his visage plastered on the cover and a game mode dedicated to his greatest triumphs.

"NBA 2K24" strives to live up to the Black Mamba ethos, pouring effort into the minutiae with full awareness that the work will pay off on the macro scale.

Among the additions, the most exciting to me was the introduction of crossplay into current-gen systems. The expanded player audience and precision balance across the consoles vastly expands the pool of competition in the revered online mode.

Gameplay is geared to more realistic animations with tech dubbed ProPLAY. Players move with lifelike, motion capture-enhanced flow, and scrambles for loose balls look more fluid rather than stilted, pre-determined animations.

The stalwart MyCAREER and MyTEAM dovetail into a singular experience that reflects both your created player and the franchise you try to micromanage via card collection into a dynasty. There is solid support for the WNBA in The W mode, which is also blended into the throughline. The surface is a beachfront basketball paradise laden with challenges that help you bump up your experience and VC.

The Kobe Bryant-dedicated mode, Mamba Moments, takes you through his career highlights, challenging you to match his clutch performances.

I appreciated the way each team included alternate uniforms from memorable eras, as well as all-time great teams and a squad from the franchise's most impactful season. I always like delving into quick play games to get a feel for court redesigns, the looks of new uniforms -- I'm psyched for the soon-to-drop City Edition threads for the new season -- and the relationships between the new players. It was a thrill to see Bradley Beal charging down the wing on a fast break alongside Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

While the latest version of NBA 2K may lack any massively game-changing moments, it's a must pickup for Kobe Bryant fans, and an invigorating appetizer for the upcoming season. This one does Mamba proud.

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