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‘NBA 2k17’ thrives with smooth gameplay, revamped ‘MyCareer’ mode

NBA 2K17 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. (Handout/TNS)
NBA 2K17 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. (Handout/TNS)

“NBA 2k17”—2k Sports—for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
9.5 out of 10

By Jack Davis ’19

2k Sports created possibly their best work yet in the latest edition of the “NBA 2k” basketball game franchise.

“NBA 2k17” debuted Sept. 20, and presentation, details and customization are the name of the game.

“NBA 2k17” delivers clean, fast-paced gameplay that will keep gamers interested and entertained.

2k Sports’ widely popular MyCareer mode allows users to create a customizable player and direct his journey from collegiate sensation to NBA All-Star.

Director Aaron Covington, co-writer of “Creed,” took the reins from Spike Lee in creating the annual MyCareer storyline.

Brooks Fanger ’19 has been playing “NBA 2k17” since the day it came out, making it his seventh year in a row playing the game.

He said that MyCareer is easily his favorite game mode.

“I’m a 6’6 small forward and a shot creator,” Fanger said. “My name is Brooks Fangz.”

Gamers are able to design an NBA player with a specific archetype, or something that the player excels in, which adds a realism effect to the game. It is a very rare occurrence to see NBA players as well rounded as LeBron James or Kevin Durant.

2k Sports released a demo called “The Prelude” Sept. 13, which allowed players to get a head start on their MyCareers.

Out goes “Frequency Vibrations,” and in comes “The President,” a high school phenom with over 1 million views on his highlight tape.

Instead of Lee’s unnecessary, forced high-school saga, 2k Sports gives the user the chance to jump into college right away. The game offers users the chance to play for new schools like Illinois, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, Michigan State and Wake Forest.

Covington created a short but interesting storyline that allows players to jump into the NBA action soon rather than Lee’s dragged-out, boring, limiting and unrealistic narrative. Cutscenes aren’t nearly as long and are much more interesting to follow. The free-flowing storyline itself is less demanding.

For the first time, 2k Sports allows players to play in the Olympics. Fresh out of college, Pres receives a call from Duke and the United States head coach Mike Krzyzewski, inviting him to play an exhibition game against Australia before the draft. Of course, Pres agrees.

New to the game is Justice Young, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, a scrappy rookie that bonds with the player over practice and shares a special connection.

“Orange Juice” is a new MyCareer feature that allows the player to control both Justice and themselves with the ability to call an isolation for one another, throw an alley-oop and more.

“I think it’s interesting how I can control my boy Justice when I get three assists,” Fanger said. “Right now I’m just leading the Suns back to a championship.”

One gripe that I did have with the game was the initial lack of new haircuts for my MyPlayer. It remains to be seen if 2k Sports will add more haircuts in an early patch.

2k Sports did a phenomenal job on expanding signature moves and celebrations. Dances like D’Angelo Russell’s “Hotline Bling,” “The Dab” and many more were added to create a unique celebration experience after hitting a game-winning three pointer or blocking a shot into the stands.

New features were added to the MyLeague and MyGM modes that added a new layer of depth to the generic signing, drafting and trading of players in hopes of bringing your favorite team a championship. The realistic changes included the ability to expand the league to 36 teams, the ability to vote on in-game rule changes, jersey retirements and protections while trading draft picks.

The age-old cliché is that $60 sports games aren’t worth the price tag for an annual roster update. But with “NBA 2k17’s” crisp gameplay, rebuilt MyCareer mode and new MyGM and MyLeague features, “NBA 2k17” is worth every penny.

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