Goat or bidesque? Like every year with the arrival of the new NBA season, Take-Two presents its basketball simulation with this year the legend Michael Jordan in the spotlight, along with Devin Booker, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and J Cole. And the version of PS5 and Xbox Series X marked us especially.
Three different versions for NBA 2K23
A quick reminder of the NBA 2K license, as since the release of the latest generation consoles, NBA 2K23 offers 3 different versions in terms of gameplay finesse, graphic/technical capabilities and content. This test covers the PS5 and Xbox Series version, while a version for PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One was released in parallel. A mobile version is scheduled for October 18.
Expected every year in the technical field, NBA 2K23 does not disappoint this season. Aside from some app crashes on PS5 during certain missions, probably temporary before the first few updates, the title is at the level of the last generation of consoles. Overly bright lighting from last season in certain rooms has been fixed, certain failed models have been reworked, and the collision engine is still as flawless on PS5 and Xbox Series. Finally, remember that when it comes to sound, each room in the NBA now has its own official speaker. Often criticized for the variety of its animations, numerous but unchanged over several seasons, 2K has raised the bar very high this year. New layups, new dunks, running counterattacks, one-handed shot at the Hail Mary, the ability to last a long time at the rim, the license specialists will be shaken from this point of view.
Seemingly minor, the changes to the game will also force “meta addicts” to rack their brains to create the best pro player and the best teams to reinvent themselves. No more team takeovers (when each player’s abilities are multiplied by ten) that can be triggered when only one player is boiling, now requiring each team member to perform well. Also, a dribbler can only attempt an explosive dribble 3 times per possession, otherwise he will be weak to finish on the last attempt. This season it will be necessary to play collectively, and not only use the leader-pivot connection. Finally, let’s talk about shooting. Whereas before a fluorescent green animation would accompany perfect timing and a shot from the start of the ball, signaling to everyone that the shot was going to go in, this animation now only occurs as soon as the ball hits the rim or goes in. The same goes for defense and imperfect timing prompts if you checked the option in the parameters. Knowing that the moment is more demanding than last seasonWe recommend that you remove the shot indicator in the settings to have a shot bonus in case of a good timing, and not give any indication to the opposing team that they will not initiate a counterattack directly in case of a missed indicator.
The theater of dreams in my career
It’s also harder this season to develop a perfect archetype. During player creation, some skills are interdependent, for example shooting skills. It is no longer possible to have a 3-point shooter without him having some mid-range or free kick skill., or a good free-kick center without having any mid-range shooting attributes. Commitments to be made that will reduce defensive capabilities or badges to unlock, for example, to limit ultra-complete players. Once the player has been created and the race has started, there is a completely new city, smaller (about 20%) than the previous one. Less vast but much more functional with a whole new, more immersive subway system and team room (it’s possible to be in the hallways!), it’s just as lively and enjoyable as the one in NBA 2K22.
As for the scenario, no epic staging like last season, but a rivalry with Shep Owen, a player chosen in the middle of the Draft like you and in the same position. He is the NBA 2K with the most cutscenes, but it is possible to skip them. Once the NBA entry missions have been completed, the player can then move on to the various main course missions (fashion, music, nba, college flashbacks). Sometimes tedious or difficult to complete depending on the position, these missions are still a good way to discover the city and its new features, such as theater. New building that adds 6 temporary online game modes, renewable throughout the seasons and a perfect alternative to the park. For the first salvo of modes this year just to illustrate, we have for example a mode reserved for players with less than 75 overall, the Clutch mode with possessions of only 12 seconds or one with a line in 4 points.
The return of Michael Jordan
As for the solo bread of the iteration, Take-Two has perfectly respected the Michael Jordan tribute aspect by bringing the Jordan Challenge mode out of the closet. Already present in NBA 2K11 (with 10 challenges), it is a series of challenges where we relive the 15 most important games of MJ’s career. With 3 objectives to complete per encounter, it’s also the opportunity to (re)discover the immense career of His Airness with the rules and TV skins of the time and through specific visual effects of old televisions. A sort of “The Last Dance” with Sirius music by the Alan Parsons Project in the background (opening music by the Chicago Bulls) with particularly high challenges (score 63 points against Boston, get 8 rebounds in the university final, etc.).
From Bird to LeBron, there’s something for everyone in My NBA!
One of the great satisfactions of the game is its depth in the usually solo mode, but possibly playable online, My NBA (the association since 2021 of the former My GM and My League). We embody a franchise manager with a 200% configurable league system, but this season a novelty will not go unnoticed by the most nostalgic. Even if we could integrate historical players through Fantasy Draft before the season, now the choice of the decade is fundamental: the 80s with Magic Johnson and Bird, the 90s of Jordan’s Bulls, the 2000s with Kobe Bryant, or the modern era dominated by the Warriors. All the teams and staff are adjusted to the time, the television skins of the time, the visual identities of each franchise… and even the Drafts that can be carried out! An XXL accessory and a real pleasure in immersion. What a chickadee for hours on the management of his favorite decade.
Cooperative in My Team mode
If the MyTeam card game, similar to the “Ultimate Team” games of other sports simulators, does not radically change its formula, it improves on several points. First, it is now possible to play cooperatively in MyTeam in Triple Threat (3v3 match, first team to 21 points). Each member of the team plays with an NBA player acquired on the card, a great step forward and a good alternative to Career, since we control a current or historical NBA player this time. Another novelty is the possibility of “locking” a position, that is, controlling a single player throughout the match and leaving the control of teammates to the computer. Useful if you don’t feel comfortable controlling the whole team, if you want to progress a position or win a challenge to improve the player card. Otherwise, the lifespan is consistent with the many online/solo challenges, the classic seasons where you face same level opponents with no restrictions (Unlimited MyTeam) or with team restrictions to be respected (Limited MyTeam) and hence the 3v3 possibly in co-op A little regret this season in The W, an all-female career mode where the WNBA created player joins a franchise and starts at 75 overall before progressing in matches. The latter is almost unchanged from last year and earns less VC.
the color of money
Where the shoe tightens in this edition, and unfortunately it is not a surprise, it is at the level of virtual currency. As the last titles of the license, it will take more than 260,000 VC to raise a player from 60 to 85 in general rating, that is €60 in VC. All without spending money in MyTeam mode! Therefore, the need to find the right archetype the first time is crucial. Note that this season, the “rebirth” quest that allows you to remake a player and raise them directly to level 90 if you have enough VC is available by raising your first basketball player to 90 and winning a game of hide-and-seek with Ronnie 2K . To break down the gray areas, career matchmaking for REC or Pro-Am is always limited, unbalanced with matchups and positional combinations that sometimes turn into a nightmare. But with the many satisfactions that the work brings, we will pass this time.
- Shelf life just got even better!
- Many new and nice animations.
- The shooting system, more demanding and fair in timing…
- …and over 15 gauge options
- An ideally designed city with the addition of the theater.
- The return of the Jordan Challenge, having
- The best mode My NBA of the license
- Graphically and technically at the top
- My team is gaining depth
- XXL and fun career mode…
- …despite some tedious quests
- Some racing accidents
- The W did not improve enough
- The need for VC increased even more
- No matchmaking review
At the end of a more than compelling episode with NBA 2K22, Take-Two had to live up to its cover athlete. And in the end, the GOAT Michael Jordan can be proud: NBA 2K23 version PS5 and Xbox Series is, without a doubt, the best work of the license released to date. In addition to the already gargantuan lifespan made even better in solo and multiplayer thanks to a choice-driven 4-era My NBA mode, the return of the Jordan Challenge, co-op in My Team and Career Theatre, the gameplay in will delight to some. Former crazy dribblers are now limited online and must think collectively, shot timing is more demanding but much fairer and many new animations come to shake up the regulars. Graphically impeccable, dipping into old-school aspects for period matches, the title is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Just gray areas, the usual desire (or even need) to whip out the credit card to get more VC and advance your player, matchmaking that’s still pretty unbalanced, and some crashes on certain pro missions. Even MJ can have flaws.
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