NBA 2K17 Review



Genre: Sports
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Release Date: Out Now

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Posted September 28, 2016 by

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After what was arguably the most cringe-inducing plotline of Vicarious Visions’ journey in NBA 2K16 arrives a less-colourful, yet robust story to grace the 2K franchise. Upwards in class, you are now the ever-so-loved Pres, short for President (of Basketball) and your story through the high school system, finding a girlfriend and deciding which college to choose is romantically attached to the progression of a basketball talent rising through the ranks.

The new edition of 2K17 has superb visuals, fluent gameplay and innovative features that fulfill the impact it had promised. The 2K experience I’ve come to know has been fruitful in previous generations of taking that next step in pioneering sports gaming and 12 months since their last installment, they’re back with more grunt and solid, hard-witted basketball.

The gameplay is once again buffed, creating blurred lines of reality. What once felt like an embellished product of sports gaming which favoured offensive highlights has fast become the hardest game yet to blow opponents out of the water. Taking one Stephen Curry out of the frame for just a moment, your only ability to become successful in this game is to coordinate every offensive play and be respondent on defense. Never has a video game been so good that it no longer feels like video game; it’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals and you’re THAT star your team needs to perform.


MyCareer has also reshaped the landscape of off-field requirements for NBA stars. Committing hours with training is finally imperative to on-field performance. Not only do you educate and fine-tune your game in these practice sessions but it allows you to slowly gain more minutes and ultimately, more rewards in the game. Thankfully the training sessions are spaced out having to accommodate for endorsement deals and games so while it may seem like a pain, you can no longer just breeze through MyCareer and become a 3x time MVP by the time you’re 22. The Answer is always practice, pun intended.

One of the most exciting features is something from left-field and yet, it almost broke the imagination barrier for something that we all would have subconsciously expected to exist: Dynamic Duo. Basketball’s golden era paved a way for superstars to partner-up and become the ultimate duo on the basketball court, and in 2K17, the game has recognised how much of an impact it has on today’s game. The likes of Pippen and Jordan, Magic and Kareem, Kobe and Shaq, and Stockton and Malone are some of the most infamous tag-team pairs that had ever existed and with the modern game reflecting eras past (Wade and Lebron, Westbrook and Durant, Curry and Thompson… the list goes on), magic exists likewise in the game. This feature is not for a fan of the 2K17 franchise, but for fans of the NBA; of basketball. And at the end of the day, that’s all that this game needs to accomplish in order for it to be great.

Justice Young is your designated partner in MyCareer and while your “Orange Juice” bond is supposed to be as strong as the sugar content in its namesake, you can’t help but feel like you just want him to get traded each and every day he pesters you. The dual-control of both Pres and Justice Young is rewarding though and it does break the barrier of being locked in to only controllimg one player on the court. After Spike Lee’s contribution with last year’s directorial cut, 2K17 listened to the angst and cringes of fans alike and repaired all holes in the dialogue. Somehow they have made it perfectly acceptable to respond to important text messages with nothing but emojis and we’re all supposed to just accept it and move on (thanks for the message Melo! 😉  ).

MyTeam is fast becoming a much-loved feature of the game and while it’s hard to ever create the perfect in-game economy, 2K17 didn’t try and re-shape the system completely which is a major win for the game. 2K16 sure had its kinks and issues and 2K17 does as well but you don’t need to throw a blanket over everything and start again. The game is virtually the same; allowing basketball fans to play Michael Jordan alongside Wilt Chamberlain and Lebron James against a squadron consisting of the modern day Golden State Warriors. That’s if you choose to play with that line-up of course but the beauty of this mode is it allows for you to stretch your imagination beyond a finite 4-quarter game. You’re creating a story as the manager and your cards are your most prized collection – until you auction them off and keep that economy rolling.


The smartphone accompanying app is also an exciting addition to the fold with the ability to scan your face using your phone’s camera and mask your character’s face. It’s a scary thought and an even more frightening result when you look like something out of The Hills Have Eyes. As long as you’re getting buckets and repping your Nike shoes, who really cares about your mutated face – you can always change it at least (thanks 2K!).

MyGM keeps exploring new limits in managing your dream NBA. League meetings allow for a possible 36 teams composing the NBA, and Las Vegas Aces seems to be an annual inclusion to the league for most players. It’s hard to fully assess such a diverse mode of the game because we’re all still scratching the surface of the ample triggers and functions that can change how well you experience the platform itself.

NBA 2K17 has reinvigorated my love for basketball. Its attention to detail with player attributes has reached a new peak bringing an in-depth understanding of basketball systematics and affection for a world sport that is so rich in data analysis that it’s openly cherished in a video game.

In reflection, anything without Spike Lee’s sappy touch was always going to do wonders for this game and to create the story that every basketball fan wishes of living means that this is a path to greatness for the 2K franchise.

Adam Ghiggino

Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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