NBA 2K18 is set to launch next month. On last Thursday, Brian Mazique has an opportunity to visit 2K headquarters and play NBA 2K18 prior its release on September 15. He played the new game on PS4 Pro, and half of the games he played came against human opponents. Below is his hands-on impression of the new game.
Dribbling and Defending
In NBA 2K17, Dribbling and Defending are two areas that have the most problems. Ballhandlers usually got stuck in an unwanted animation, and defenders often seemed to have no chance to stay in front of their opponent. In this year’s game, the two fronts have been improved noticeably. The dribble moves are far more intuitive. There's a bigger gap in skill between the elite ballhandlers and the good, average and below average. You can try all sorts of moves when you're controlling a player, if you chain the moves together properly, you can create space or some pretty amazing drives and finishes at the basket. But the defender still had the tools to stay in front of the ballhandler if he moves his feet and anticipates the next move of his opponent.
Reaching for steals will be much more costly. The better defenders or players with the high steal ratings have more success, but in general, reaching for pilfers led to more fouls in this year’s game.
Ankle-breaker sequences are still in this game, but they appear less frequently than they do in NBA 2K17.
He played two games on 2K cam and found it harder to stay in front of ballhandlers. In the current build, the court becomes wider and the long pass was probably too much of a viable weapon. The same could be said for the broadcast cam, but the long pass is a little more discouraged in that view because you can't see as far down the court. However, experience is more realistic on the broadcast view.
Passing is an area that needs the most tuning. The long passes are successful much too often. The development team told him that they will fix the problem before the game is released.
The overall speed of the passing game needs a little turning up. The speed of moving ball around, especially in and out of a dribble move, is a little slow.
In NBA 2K18, Green release still exist, but they are much more difficult to attain. There is a shot feedback meter that tells you how accurate you were on the release meter and how well you were defended. The other two factors that decide whether your shot is successful are your shot rating from that distance and the type of shot your player is taking.
Every time after you shoot, you'll see a small box near the top of the screen that tells you your release was very late, late, good, very good or excellent, which is a green release. A field right next to that reading will tell you your player was smothered, heavily-contested, contested, open or wide open.
This system offers great rhyme or reason for every miss and make in the game. However, sometimes it seems as if a player should make some of the long and short-range shots that they miss. This is most noticeable when players are attempting contested layups. He felt that players, especially the bigs, missed a few too many contested layups. For non-elite scorer, it’s almost impossible to convert a contested layup in the paint.
Brian Mazique is satisfied with the shooting percentage, which becomes more balanced and authentic.
Defensive and Offensive A.I.
Defenders take away passing lanes more aggressively. They may entry passes into the post a little more difficult and cutters cannot flash the lane without some recognition. There are some changes so slick that you wouldn’t notice unless they're brought to your attention. For example, the A.I. pays attention to the defender’s awareness rating, if a defender's head is turned, he will not react on a play that he is not looking at.
For those who may not know defensive assignments, a defensive assist setting is very helpful. It can tell your player what he should be doing mid-play. It gives message says things like "get back," or "stop the ball."
A system match component shows you how well suited each of your players are to run the scheme of their head coach; In the settings, you can see a meter which ranges from green to red based on their level of comfort.
New Animations and Player Strength
Some of the most memorable new animations come during and immediately after the rebound battles. In some instances, players fight for the ball even after the possession has been determined.
As for the strength rating, the heavier player almost always wins the back down segments in the post. Contact in the paint is more apparent and impacting.
The foul sensitivity in the lane is almost perfect, but the amount of fouls called on shot contests from behind need to be turned down a little bit.
Compared with NBA 2K17, the body types show a huge improvement. The malnourished player models have been replaced by legit athletes. Players who looked too hefty in NBA 2K17 are leaner now. The face scans are incredible. Brian Mazique regards this as the best-looking 2K ever.
The build he has played in is not a final one, another hands-on experience with the game will happen around August 31.
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