NBA 2K24: Early Impressions
NBA 2K24 has been out for two weeks. While there is still ample time for opinions to form and for potential game updates, let’s delve into NBA 2K24; the good, the bad and everything in between.
(Disclaimer: I want to make it clear that my assessment of NBA 2K24 will not be solely based on 2K’s current business model, which I believe can negatively impact the overall gaming experience. I aim to approach 2K24 with a different perspective.)
Is it better than 2K23?
For starters, NBA 2K24 presents a noticeable departure from its predecessor with gameplay. While I had anticipated Pro-play to play a more prominent role, considering this is its inaugural year, I expect it will become more refined over time being familiar with 2K.
Despite early reports of online latency issues – which, admittedly, is not entirely surprising – the game itself feels better.
Something I will give 2K crap for is the lack of innovation in modes outside of MyTeam or MyCareer. MyNBA introduces a LeBron-era mode, allowing players to manage an NBA team from 2010 to the present.
Aside from this, there are no new or returning modes in 2K24. For the experience to truly justify the investment of time and money, 2K needs to enrich and diversify what their game offers.
What’s new in 2K24?
MyCareer has undergone a mild transformation, streamlining the journey to navigate players through a full-length NBA career with the goal of becoming the greatest of all time.
This is a welcome addition, unlike the “one and done” approach of recent games. The introduction of the “key game” feature enhances this design, though the removal of the “ask out” function during these games may not be ideal, especially if my team is up 40 at the end of the third quarter.
The optional quests, both in online and offline modes, now come with more reasonable requirements and rewards. I prefer this design over the previous one any day of the week. However, I must note that if you are unwilling to invest financially, the experience may not meet expectations right away. Which should absolutely not be the case.
In my time playing online on 2K24, particularly in the rec center, I’ve noticed a concerted effort by the developers to address the issue of a perceived skill gap.
The learning curve of the game now compels players to strategize more effectively, from refining their builds to navigating in-game situations. This shift in approach is something I genuinely appreciate about this year’s game. To become a good player you have to use your brain. I will say the game has become less casual-friendly because of these changes.
Declaring NBA 2K a “copy and paste” game year after year is, in my opinion, a cop-out.
While the previous sentiment holds true in certain areas, such as MyNBA and Play Now, I regard it as an ignorant viewpoint from those who haven’t dedicated significant time to the game besides enough to “review” the game.
Returning players can indeed find both positive and negative differences each year. Today, 2K24 already represents an improvement over 2K23’s missteps. Looking ahead, I believe 2K should consider adopting a live service game model and players should demand it.
Overall, the fundamental issues with NBA 2K24 are intertwined with the longstanding problem of microtransactions that 2K has had for years. Meaningful change in this regard will require time and a unified outcry from fans. While NBA 2K24 has the potential to be the best installment in years, two weeks is hardly enough time to form a conclusive opinion on the game. I wouldn’t put it past 2K to jeopardize their current momentum. There are still 11-and-a-half months to go.
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