www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

NBA 2K14

25 Things We Know About NBA 2K14

With the basketball season only a month away, we sat down with Visual Concepts to talk about the new features coming to its hit basketball series.

In addition to getting my hands on the current-generation version of NBA 2K14, we chatted with Visual Concepts executive vice president Jeff Thomas and producer Rob Jones about the changes coming to presentation, gameplay, online, and Association mode. Here is what we found out:

PRESENTATION

  • The best-in-class commentary isn't resting on its laurels. Visual Concepts says it has a huge amount of new lines that provide analysis and backstory in much more detail. "We have also made a lot of improvements to track dialogue and ensure that repetition of stories and common lines are limited, and it makes room for fresh angles of play-by-play and analysis," says executive vice president Jeff Thomas.
  • NBA 2K14 has two new stat overlays called "Scoring Breakdown" and "Hustle Stats" that track points off penetration, points off mid-range jumpers, points off fast break, points off assists, points off post plays, and second chance points.
  • To freshen up the arena experience, Visual Concepts has added more than 500 customized arena beats and music.
  • You should also notice major enhancements to the crowd reactions and the dynamic range of the ambience in the arenas," Thomas says."We've added more detailed event controls and reactions, which allowed us to provide a much more immersive and realistic crowd that keeps up with the action on the court."

GAMEPLAY

  • Last year the studio overhauled its right analog stick control by migrating the dribbling moves to the stick and hiding the shot stick options behind a left trigger modifier. In the quest to make the controls as intuitive as possible, NBA 2K14 removes the need of holding a modifier button to take a shot.
  • With this newly dubbed Pro Stick controls, the full suite of dribbling moves are still at your disposal just like last year, but if you hold the thumbstick in a particular direction it activates the shot stick. It takes a few games to learn the boundaries between shooting and dribbling, but after fooling around with a player in practice mode I grew more comfortable with this approach. I'm curious to see if this leads to accidental shots in the heat of the moment, however.
  • Holding down the left trigger now activates a suite of flashy no-look and bounce passes for skilled point guards like Chris Paul and Ricky Rubio. Simply push the direction of the player you want to pass to on the right analog stick while holding down the trigger and your skilled point guard will deliver a stylish dish worthy of a highlight reel. If you try using the Pass Stick with a less-talented passer don't expect the same results.
  • On the defensive side of the ball Visual Concepts added a deny system that improves player positioning as well as ride and holding. If you really want to stay between a player and the ball as he moves through the key you can hold the left trigger, which makes your defender really get up on top of him.
  • The "call for pick and roll" button has moved from the left bumper back to the B/circle button, where it started a long time ago.
  • While researching player data, Visual Concepts discovered many of its users aren't using the play system. Since plays allow you to be more successful, the developers wanted to expose them in a new way. In NBA 2K14, pressing the left bumper automatically selects a new play for you to run. If you want to page through play options, you can still do this with the d-pad.
  • In previous NBA 2K games, plays were normally run off of scripts. Veteran users could often see the play unfold early, anticipate what a player is trying to do, and take it away before it developed. The AI within the play system now has options and picks the right one based off what the user is doing. For example, if Ray Allen is supposed to curl off a double screen and you go over the top of that screen to try and intercept the pass, he'll either flare lower to get open or cut back door on you.
  • NBA 2K games never previously had a good system for rotating off pick and rolls. This year the dev team met with an unnamed coach to create a rotation system that reacts differently if a player is driving either strong side or weak side and pays more attention to the roller. Now defense helps to the guy that's rolling, not to the ball. This should open up the drive and kick game.
  • NBA 2K14 features a reworked blocking system that allows defenders to choose where to swat the ball instead of just going for the first place the defender's hand could intercept the ball. This allows players who perfectly time their blocks to deny dunks.
  • The defending animations feature a renewed sense of urgency, and overall the game feels much faster than NBA 2K13.
  • The team re-wrote the logic behind how the AI attacks the rim. If you're playing against aggressive players like Heat stars LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, you should notice how determined they are to get to the basket.

ASSOCIATION MODE

  • This year's big push with the Association mode centers on re-tuning free agency. Visual Concepts reworked the player logic so they have a keener understanding of the market when deciding whether to re-up with their current franchise or test the waters in free agency. As a result, you should see many more players hitting the open market.
  • Because more players are available during the free agency period, teams more actively plan by trying to clear cap space.
  • The player rotations have been rebuilt to take into account recent performances. Shooters with hot hands see their minutes increase, and slumping players spend more time on the bench.
  • Don't expect star players to start posting big numbers on the road to recovery after experiencing a significant injury. Players coming back from serious physical setbacks are now eased back into the lineup while they recover their stamina and durability.

ONLINE

  • As Visual Concepts previously revealed, Crews are coming back in a big way for the current-generation version of NBA 2K14. Using your My Player, you can compete in five-on-five pick-up games with nine other humans online.
  • Crews features season and playoff modes with full leaderboards and stat tracking. You earn VC for participating in these online match-ups just like you do with offline games.
  • My Team mode returns with new player modes, plus multi- and single-player tournaments. You can also play with friends this year.
  • In My Player mode you can play through NBA team schedules for prizes that increase in value the further into the season you play.
  • To spice up the action, Visual Concepts added a fourth tier of special reward players (sapphire) to go along with the bronze, silver, and gold levels.
  • Players can name their city and abbreviation for their My Teams, and Visual Concepts is also including logo cards.

NBA 2K14 is coming to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 1. A next-gen version touting additional features is expected to launch day and date with both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

Email the author , or follow on , , , and .

Comments
  • It has le-selfabsorbed in it, they won't see any of my money. But then again I don't buy sports games anyways, and haven't for 10+ years :D
  • Why dont they fix the HORRIBLE steal animations? All i want to do is swipe at the ball, and he does a 360 jumping super flip in the wrong direction.. At least make it where you hit x for a swipe and HOLD it for an exaggerated stupid steal animation .. Not that hard.. Passing is horrible.. I hope Live is good.. Im actually buying that first.. After 2K11 they got lazy.
  • Can we add a 26th item to the list. That specifically being that Kobe gives his opponents the crazy eyes. Seriously that header picture freaks me out ever so slightly.

  • I wonder if the Crowd will look any more real with the next gen. They still all look like horrible stick models with the same color shirts on scattered throughout the stands.

  • Vita support dammit, give me Vita support. I swear, if they put out one more PSP version without a Vita version...
  • I might get this for the PS4.

  • Can we please just be able to pick what jersey our My Player team wears before games? Jeez, I'm I asking too much?
  • ok well im loving that crew is back

  • It looks good graphics wise anyway.

  • Start Paying players in dollars rather than coins in my career.

  • Here's what I'd like to see.


    1. Improved offensive and defensive AI decision making. No more players on offensive running into each other while driving. I want centers to actually go after the rebound, instead of boxing out the entire time, letting the ball go out of bounds. Players that shoot 3's should be hanging around the 3-line, not in the paint.


    2. More realistic shot calculations. It's totally unfair that Kyrie Irving and Stephan Curry can run to the three-point line, hotstep, and shoot a 3 and have it go in consistently. They can do this because of poor defensive impact calculations, special skill boosting stats, and hotzones.


    3. Realistic momentum and positioning. If a guy is running full-speed and shoots, he'll carry that momentum. It's annoying to see a player running as fast as he can to just stop on a dime and shoot a perfect form jump shot.

  • I'm ma say it like this MULTIPLAYER MY CAREER this would add a whole new dimension to the the game. Imagine you and your friend's on different team's or the same competing for MVP man or 12 Player online or offline My Career. I can see it now your friend a Small Forward and Your Small Forward just *BLEEP* each other over lol

  • Its gonna be another winner for 2k14 sign me up ill buy the current gen and next gen version just because........ok 2k let's here some talk about hopefully returning to the football scene.....

  • I am praying to God that they get rid of Jay-Z from their game. 2K13 was great but got way too annoying. I want NBA Live 14 because they have Kyrie Irvin on the cover.I am still buying 2K14.

  • The 2k Franchise in terms of basketball seems to add new additions/improvements every year but also needs just as much work to fix things.

    Things I really hope are improved:

    Gameplay: The ref took FOREVER to inbound the ball in 2k13, that should not happen. Sometimes you'd sit there for literally a minute and would be forced to call a timeout. Also, when a player is locked in say Ray Allen for example, He would not miss regardless of defense. I know he is one of the greats but it comes to the point where people begin to say, "that's broken." Other players who fell under this category in 2k13 included: Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James (in the paint), Jamal Crawford, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, etc. I understand they are superstars but everyone misses at some point and can be guarded.

    Passing: Some passes would sail way out of bounds or drag the player out of bounds even when close. According to this article, it looks like they are improving on the passing so that isn't my biggest worry.

    Fluidity/Control: Probably the most critical change I would like to see. When you take control of a player in 2k14, you should not feel like your player is glued to the floor. Also, when you make a pass near the sidelines, your player should not always go out of bounds. The game should feel alot smoother like you are playing with a person not a robot.

    Free Throws: In 2k13, Blake Griffin for example, could miss a C+ grade but make a D+ grade that needs to become more realistic. Also, Griffin along with Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, and all of the bad free throw shooters out there should never make an A+!!

    Online: The 2k Servers need improvement plain and simple.

    Very happy they are improving the blocking!! You can now block dunks that are timed well so Iggy, LeBron, and all of the other premier dunkers in the league can't just dunk over 3 people.

    All in all, If it could become as smooth as NBA Live used to be, with 2k type gameplay, this game would be unbeatable.
  • No one wants to talk about My Player mode, I hope it hasn't been ignored