EA Sports plans to release extended 5-on-5 footage of NBA Live 14 on Friday but the reveal of a brief teaser clip has eroded what little may have been left of the remaining optimism that anyone could realistically still be carrying at this point for the game. Though a decent amount of information feature wise has been discussed the company has held back from showing the game until now. The first look at the game in action – which was deliberately selected because they felt it would impress or convey something it clearly did not – adds to a rough week which included more deflating Madden NFL 25 next-gen footage.
Knowing that any little bit of footage would be thoroughly analyzed and immediately judged EA decided to release this selection to face the scrutiny. By doing so they’ve dug an even bigger hole even while the competition has yet to show any gameplay or discuss any features.
Within minutes errors were being isolated and discussed. Visually it wouldn’t be fair to criticize an Instagram video but again this was EA’s choice to release it through there because they care more about social metrics than quality. What stood out were deficiencies in areas of the game said to be enhanced by the “Ignite” engine or benefit from the power of the next-gen systems.
Half the courtside seats are empty – there are no fans sitting courtside as the team is spread across the whole row of seats. There is almost no one sitting at the announcer table, the sidelines are not fully populated, the ball stops spinning after going through the hoop, and the railings in front of the first row are absurdly high compared to how tall they should be. Gameplay wise the effort by Damian Lillard to fight through the screen is bizarre and the pick and roll defense in general is weak as players slowly shuffle across the floor. These are things that won’t change by watching a longer video.
NBA Live 14 was built for next-gen. It did not have resources split with a current-gen version. That it could look this poor, at a point where the game has to be finished now or within days, could put into perspective why the other three sports games may not see the significant leap that many had imagined they would with their respective first attempts on the new systems.