Review: NBA 2K19

 

It's that time again, NBA throws another year on top with the 2019 variant on a centuries-long series. Yet 2K Games does it every year to make it a masterpiece, did they succeed this year?..

NBA is THE  game of the year for most basketball fans  , the title they are most looking forward to. For that reason, there is a lot of pressure on 2K Games to put new elements in it every year. Not only this, but there must also be a graphic upgrade, new music and that urban / sporty atmosphere must be strongly present. This year is again the icing on the many cherries on top of the cake. The game maintains its essential foundation, but adds content and features. Check out the trailer for NBA 2K19 below.


 

The familiar atmosphere is present again!

At NBA I want to be able to pop, to feel like I want to completely crush the opponents. This year, that atmosphere is fully integrated again for me. The music is great with artists from Travis Scott to Dua Lipa to Fall Out Boy. In fact, Travis Scott is the creative producer this year, which also makes for a nice variation. As usual, 2K posts another Spotify playlist where all those songs can be checked in! The list is full of rap, pop, house and more! You'd say music doesn't have to be terribly important, but in a sports title like this one can set the mood at many moments.
The SFX sounds are back on point too, from slipping your pattas along the floor to throwing the ball into the net, the sounds in the game are top notch. Graphically we don't have to say much more about NBA, the game puts itself far above other titles in the sports world and the face scan is also present again for some laughs with your friends. An upgrade is certainly present and for the fans also a real eye-catcher. Where you'll mostly see this upgrade is in the replays, close-ups, and cutscenes.

it's back

Your own character's storyline returns in 2K19. The story is strong again and during the first season you will learn a lot about the life of your character. This time it is not just a story, this because you will start in a… more special place. You essentially follow the road from China to the NBA, with many ups and of course many downs. As a player, NBA knows how to get you into 'the feels' this time. The game puts a much higher level on the story than previous years. There is a new neighbourhood. Just like in 2018, the game feels like an open-world title. This year, however, there is a step up! There is a better layout of the neighborhood and it all runs a bit smoother, also in performance. The loading times also seem much shorter than last year, a small but certainly comfortable plus.
There is plenty to do and explore in this area. Unfortunately, the game hall from 2K18 has been removed. There's sort of a substitute for this, but it doesn't completely fill the gap, contrary to the expectation that more new additions to the modes would come. MyCourt also doesn't have enough changes to actually say anything about it. Of course this can always be added later, something that doesn't feel strange after previous years. The game feels a lot more challenging to the point where it sometimes seems unfair, this is no problem for the veteran. However, a beginner will have to work better on his learning curve here before he will get far in the game. There are new modes of play in the open world to explore and play. One of them is  Dodgeball. 

These are games in the open neighborhood that everyone who walks by can participate in, think of an interactive event as a better name. During these events you can earn more points and unlockables for your character. So you can upgrade your character considerably with this. On that note... creating your own character always feels like one of the best elements in the games. This way you actually get the feeling of progress. You can fully customize your doll from A to Z.
Do you want new shoes? Run past a sneaker store dude. Do you want new clothes? You can earn extra points for your character with the FaceScan app. That's no problem either,  go spend that money you earned! There are also fun interactions between players such as dancing and of course playing with your friends in a party and having fun, or in this case; throw. Fun things like advertising for JBL, for example, are also in the game. Or trampoline jumping, I mean, WHAT? Finally, you have the option to play a kind of ToTo, the more you guess correctly, the more points you can earn!

Verdict

NBA 2K19 surprised me again in a very positive way! The game is full of fun elements and adds a lot of possibilities. In terms of content, there is certainly not too little and the game can be quite challenging, not everyone will have it easy with that. The open world is what keeps surprising me with fun aspects. The gameplay is old and familiar with MyTeam, MyGM and Fantasy Drafts. There are some minor hiccups here and there but 2K continues to deliver a top game, every year. The controls are also nice and graphically there are a lot of nice upgrades. I can definitely recommend the game again this year.

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