With another year under its belt, NBA 2K set out to continue to move the bar forward on what’s possible with current-gen gaming. With a brand new city to play around in, pro play technology potentially changing gameplay forever, and many other small improvements, let’s find out if there is enough in the package to prove NBA 2K24 is a worthy next installment in the series.
NBA 2K24 Review
Pro Play Technology
Now when you get on to the court in NBA 2K24, One of the developer’s crown jewels was the implementation of the Pro Play System. Which I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, improves the gameplay for the better. With the leaps sports gaming has taken, I’ve always wondered if we will ever get to a point where it legit feels like I’m controlling the player I’m using. This year, I feel 2K has been making huge steps towards that with the new consoles, and this year with Pro Play Technology being able to take actual footage and translate that into me pulling off those moves. It’s been stated before the release that this is the largest year-over-year Sig Animation Upgrade to date and you can tell. I’m excited about where they’re going to take this in the years to come.
Now Shooting, outside of The Rec and City, is way more forgiving when it comes to making your jump shots this year. An excellent addition to the game is the Shot Timing Visual Cue to green your shots now. So, instead of telling the game how fast or slow you want to release the button or stick to shoot, you can tell it what visual cue you want. This gives players more confidence playing with players they have never competed against.
Mid-range shots also seem to have been buffed a great deal as off-balance shots go in about as much as off-balance 3’s did last year (which thankfully got nerfed). Mid-Range Jumpers along with Floaters seem like they’re worth it to attempt compared to the past. Also, the sheer amount of visual customizability available to players can be fun to mess around with.
And lastly, fixing the contest system was something that’s been desperately needed for years. Gamers for a while now have simply relied on getting their hand up to defend and that was really all you need. However now, the game is more focused on your body actually being in the shooter’s space at the start of the jumper to really have an effect on their shooting percentages. You’re definitely going to be surprised at how often shooters are considered open by the game’s logic now.
Another adjustment, as far as gameplay is concerned, is getting used to the layup timing and it being enabled by default. NBA 2K24 makes it nearly impossible to miss the shots you are supposed to make which is good, but boy does it take some getting used to. I’ve gotten way better at it the more I have played, and even still it feels like an adventure sometimes because of how focused you need to be.
Now last year, it was definitely too easy to score in the paint, so thankfully I feel they have found a happy medium, making it feel deserved when you score and you get properly punished when you go up without a plan.
Now with the Pro Play technology, the dribbling system has seen a major upgrade as well, with more moves at our disposal than ever before. You’re able to break down defenders with the new breakdown dribbling and chain other moves together off of it seamlessly; it’s really nice to execute.
The Adrenaline Boost System has been updated as well, so ball handlers aren’t penalized as much for trying to perform basic moves and now get penalized for letting their defender get the best of them, causing their shooting percentages to drop if you attempt a shot.
On Ball Defense
Now Playing On Ball Defense this year has been extremely rewarding, as you can absolutely wall off a ball handler just by playing your angles and keeping them in front of you. Unless you are playing against a Giannis type, you can put your body on the ball handler and not let them free if they don’t try to counter what you’re doing. It also is more rewarding for the user with the right stick steal system, allowing you to go for steals with different hands and even play the passing lanes like that as well. However, beware as your effectiveness going for steals and blocks goes down dramatically the more you spam it with the loss of an adrenaline boost. So they’re promoting less spamming and being more smart when you attempt these maneuvers.
Now playing on Hall of Fame against the computer was a welcomed challenge. One of the first things I always test to see is how they are versus the pick and roll. This year I felt it was a nice give and take. Off-ball defenders would tag the roll man, the Hedge Defender would play the ball handler and the roll man excellently for one possession then get dunked on his head the next. Against the switch, Robert Williams would get really aggressive in his contest which threw me off guard, but maybe it was because he’s almost 7 feet. When playing on ball, they would concede well-executed dribble combos which were a welcomed sight. On Offense, once again 2K has done a really great job making the star player on the opponent’s team presence felt all game. When the game got tight towards the end, it was all Jayson Tatum….
Now I’m curious what others think, but boy are there a lot of fouls this year. 2K had enough of people being overly aggressive and will call you for a shooting foul with the quickness. Are you used to leaping from the paint and trying to block shooters’ jump shots? Driving in the Paint? You’re living in a new world now with NBA 2K24. The foul tendency is so sensitive it’s comical, but boy does it make you play more careful.
There are also little things I love, like how reactive players are to balls about to go out of bounds and the different animations we get for that. Additionally, even the replay mode has been reworked allowing players to create some amazing-looking replays and screenshots playing with the lighting and colors and such. I’m still getting used to having this many options, and it kind of forcing you to try and get your NBA Film on while in the suite.
Now as far as Game Modes, It’s tough when you are by far the best sports franchise mode running to innovate, so MyNBA pretty much is taking the slow and steady route to things. Adding a less complex MyNBA LITE mode and a LeBron era are about the biggest upgrades they have made. Again, the amount of depth their franchise mode offers blows every other sports franchise mode out of the water, so why mix up the bag too much?
I remember writing in our review last year with the Jordan Challenge that there should be a Kobe one next and we got it! Mamba Moments, like the Jordan Challenge before it, takes you through some of Kobe Bryant’s most iconic moments in the NBA. The presentation of each game really takes this mode up a notch like last year as they are able to focus on each specific game and take you back in time. Considering I was alive and watched this series myself, it was crazy to be teleported back here. It’s a cool mode that you can obtain items to use in other modes by completing it and reliving these moments will always be a treat especially if you are bored on a lazy night in the future.
My Career/The City
As far as The City goes, we are introduced to a beautiful beachy city that is full of stuff to run around and interact with. They did such a great job making sure there is something fun to always do roaming around the City. However, with that, the overall system in place for My Career again forces you to buy VC to have any type of fun online playing against people if you lack patience. And if you didn’t get a version that came with VC (which doesn’t get you as far as it used to) good luck resisting the urge not to open the wallet, with how long the grind would be otherwise. You even have the option of skipping levels this year by doing so. The core of the mode, forces you to buy VC to get better and I wish it was more evenly split, but I feel we’re just beating a dead horse year after year with that.
Lastly, MyTeam has made some changes and improvements to their mode as well, with gamers kind of forcing their hand on a few of them. Like the removal of the Auction House, allowing gamers to be able to outright buy cards that are in packs making it more fair for everybody. You’re also able to purchase My Team Points for the first time ever, which is another game changer, removing the need for players to purchase them from other “sources”.
NBA 2K24 Review Verdict
Now NBA 2K24 has made a bunch of improvements that have heightened my enjoyment of the game. Pro Play is a game changer for sports games period, and I’m excited for its future. In addition, the inclusion of Crossplay, although seems like a mandatory feature in every sports game nowadays, is cool to witness as the overall player base doubles for online players. A bunch of features I liked from last year were carried over as well adding to the replayability of the game. Topped off by balancing some of the annoying aspects of gameplay caused me to give NBA 2K24 on Current Gen an 8 out of 10.
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NBA 2K24 Review
There’s enough enjoyability in the gameplay department to overlook the heavy cloud of microtransactions that’s around every corner of the game
- Pro Play
- Improved Shooting
- Interior Defense
- On Ball Defense
- Ball Has A Mind Of Its Own
- Different Timings When Shooting