Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Games
Reviewed on: PS5
Also available on: Xbox Series X&S, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC
Release Date: 8/09/2023
"NBA 2K24," the latest instalment in the long-running basketball franchise from 2K Games, continues to impress with its attention to detail, and remains the unparalleled basketball sim of our generation, though it isn’t without some questionable choices, that have become a widespread issue over the past few years.
Visually, "NBA 2K24" is a slam dunk (pun intended). The player models, arenas, and animations are incredibly realistic, making you feel like you're watching an actual NBA game. Frankly, the faces and expressions (especially for star players) look incredible, and it feels like a next-gen title. The lighting, sound and crowd animations add to the immersion, although some occasional clipping issues can detract from the experience.
The gameplay still feels fantastic. The controls are smooth and responsive, allowing for precise dribbling, shooting, and passing. The AI has improved again on offense and defence, and it really feels like you are watching and playing a real game. The player motions are all spot-on, and the scoreboard is clean and non-invasive, with relevant stats and information popping up during games adding to the immersion.
"NBA 2K24" offers an extensive array of game modes, from the traditional myCareer and myTeam to Mamba Moments where you play specific Kobe Bryant clutch moments, and myNBA eras, which is essentially a franchise mode where you can choose the era to start with (eg. 90s, 2000s). The WNBA is also featured, where you can also choose from several gameplay options.
Let’s address the elephant in the room – The microtransaction-laden myCareer mode. Yet again, fans around the world have voiced their serious displeasure with the seemingly play-to-win virtual currency model. Adding to this, the badge regression is also much maligned, with casual players who can’t constantly grind are left feeling like they are being unfairly treated. 2K seems to have yet again upset a lot of fans with the myCareer mode and is every year seemingly becoming a more and more money hungry grind-fest.
I found the soundtrack enjoyable, and as always, the commentary teams are dynamic and enhances the realism of the in-game experience. The play-by-play calling is great, and the half time show, although a bit bland, helps add to the immersion of feeling like you are in the NBA.
In summary, "NBA 2K24" maintains the franchise's reputation for delivering a highly realistic basketball experience with impressive visuals and a diverse range of game modes. The eras option makes for a more interesting franchise mode, and the bevy of WNBA options is very welcome. However, the incredibly heavy reliance on microtransactions and having to really grind your way through myCareer, coupled with some occasional technical issues hold it back from being a must buy outside of die-hard Basketball fans. If you're keen to jump in, the game is worth a shot, but be prepared to navigate the microtransaction landscape carefully.