NBA 2K16 review: ‘Almost’ the best sports game this year

NBA 2K16 allows you to step into the shoes of a superstar and craft your own rags-to-riches story.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Written by Shayak Majumder | Published: November 2, 2015 10:07 am
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NBA 2K16 is one of those sports games which allows you to step into the shoes of a superstar and craft your own rags-to-riches story.  2K games have set a high example of what a top-end sports game should look like and NBA 2K16 is no different. EA Sports (FIFA 2016) and Konami (PES 2016) should probably take down some notes from these guys.

But is this the best sports game of all time? Here’s what we thought based on our review.

Story: I am legend

NBA 2K16 has the best career mode we have seen so far in any sports game. It lets you create and customise your own avatar, who starts out as a high school basketball hero. Directed by Spike Lee (Malcolm X, Oldboy) the NBA2k16’s ‘Livin’ Da Dream’ narrative provides a heartwarming story of a young man making his way into the NBA hall of fame.

As you win matches and earn reputation on the streets through a number of backyard ball games, league managers start noticing you and eventually offer a chance to play with the big boys in NBA.

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Smart cutscenes offer you a chance to join a new club or remain loyal to your old one. At the beginning of your career, your family will also have a say in the steps you take, making the story more believable.

However, after the first 10 cutscenes, you feel the script gets repetitive. You get bored hearing the same dialogues repeated, which makes it a tedious exercise pretty soon.

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Gameplay: Tough one to beat

NBA 2k16 has added layers of moves, offence and defence strategies. It also has detailed play-styles that makes the overall game hard to grasp, even for experts of the series. We wish the game had a proper tutorial mode where one could learn the ropes before getting into the thick of things.

In the previous titles, you could easily exploit the opponent’s defence by cleverly timing a few usual moves with the best player on your team. Just like we do in the amateur levels of FIFA or PES.

However, NBA 2k16 boasts of a smarter AI, and the opponents change their tactics based on your game style. So, you can’t execute the same move twice, or make the same run again without running straight into the opponent’s defence.

It takes some time to master the game and even when you do, the incredibly sharp AI will keep you on your toes the entire time.

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Verdict

NBA 2K16 looks great and plays better. The player mannerisms seem real, you feel like you are watching a live game, instead of playing one.

The MyCareer mode in NBA 2K16 is one of the best narratives we have seen in a long time. However, the same boring script after a few matches and lack of a proper tutorial are serious shortcomings.

For hardcore fans of basketball, the game is a must-try. The game also lets users slam their opponents on the social media and in post-match conferences which, to be honest, feels great.

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