Next-Gen NBA 2K14: Hits and Misses

by
Posted November 21st, 2013 at 5:00 pm

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NBA 2K14 represents a phenomenal first effort on the next-gen systems. It immediately shows off the capabilities of the new hardware and provides fresh experiences coupled with the reliably excellent gameplay consumers have come to expect from the series. No game is perfect though and NBA 2K14 has its share of faults. Continue on for what NBA 2K14 did well and where it faltered in this Hits and Misses review. 

Hits

MyCareer
Though silly at times due to the cliched dialogue, awkward interactions, and bad voice acting, MyCareer is a blast and revolutionizes what had been the traditional boring career mode. There is now an emotional element to playing that had never been present. Having a true rival provides additional motivation, the draft presentation is excellent, and while it’s scripted there is enough variation to make how your player performs matter.

2K needs to get rid of the bad call for pass penalty, or at least move it to a button where it won’t get pressed accidentally so often. Teammate AI appears to be much improved making it far less frustrating to play without the ball in your hands. It’ll be interesting to see how 2K Sports evolves the mode in the future. They’ll have to start from scratch with unique stories and compelling twists every year now.

Graphics and Presentation
There is no game that better puts on display the graphical achievements of next-gen than NBA 2K14. Most player faces are stunningly true-to-life, the players show actual emotion, and the lighting and courts look great as well. The general flow to the games and way they are presented could easily be mistaken for a real NBA game.

The on-court interviews utilizing real audio are a tremendous addition (just need to have the crowd filing out, be on the right spot on the floor, and different poses…small details to address). Commentary and presentation otherwise is familiar but still excellent. A network branded package would take things to another level however.

Gameplay
Many will likely consider the gameplay to be largely the same as 360/PS3 but there are some improvements of note. Eco-Motion has made the foot-planting more prevalent and the ball being loose feels naturally dynamic without going overboard on deflections and turnovers. The Points of Emphasis system is a great concept that could use some more work. Additional options include voice commands and the touchpad on the PS4 controller to call quick plays.

New Experiences Accompanied By Good Of The Old
Replacing Association with MyGM has generated similar response to when EA had Franchise mode evolve into Connected Careers in Madden. All the new options have been received fairly well but there are a number of features of the old Association that have been left out in the process.

There’s a lot more to get involved with in MyGM however and that level of interactivity and decision making is welcome. MyTEAM brings in a few new ways to play including an offline “Domination” mode (where NBA teams are the opponents) and online tournaments.

The new NBA Today screen is awesome. It displays all the scores around the NBA, stats leaders of the day, the previous day’s results, updated standings, and throws a highlight reel in the middle of the screen.

nba2k14nbatoday1120

Misses

Online and VC
While 2K Sports has excelled in many areas with the NBA 2K series, the company has failed more often than not in providing an acceptable online experience. The servers have been unreliable, lag and disconnects prevalent, and features either omitted or broken.

That doesn’t change with the PS4 and Xbox One and in some ways the game has become even more dependent on the shaky servers. Losing an online connection or the servers being down means being unable to play just about every mode in the game including MyCareer and MyGM.

The Park, while an intriguing addition, rarely if ever works. Online leagues lack the necessary options and tools to make it a viable mode to invest time in. There are no leaderboards or apparent record keeping and stat tracking. It’s nearly 2014 and two online users still can’t do things in the pause menu at the same time?

Much of the blame for the dependency on the servers falls on the implementation of VC throughout the game. VC has infected everything now – even in MyGM mode it has to be spent to unlock abilities like being able to change the lineup. Simming in MyGM mode of course does not earn VC which means all games have to be played to really progress in the mode.

What may be the biggest issue with VC is how it all pools together. Consumers can’t effectively bounce between modes as spending in one limits their success in another.

Menus
NBA 2K14 offers up arguably the most poorly designed menu system in the history of sports gaming. Good luck finding all the advertised features within them.

nba2k14noel

Summary
When all the features are accessible and located in NBA 2K14 it’s a true next-gen experience that combines compelling modes with excellent gameplay and brilliant graphics. It hits many highs and avoids some of the lows that are typically associated with launch titles. This is the rare sports game that has legitimate carryover appeal to even non-sports fans.

*NBA 2K14 has been played only on the PS4. I have picked up an Xbox One version and will note any differences in an upcoming article.

  • alkamist1

    mygm is it playable online with other users? or is it offline, ive been trying to find out about this feature just cant find anything on it! also if it is online has anyone adv to yr 2 to see if the FA glitch is still there or not!

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Offline only. Single player only.

      • KingRell25

        So why you say that if servers not working it affects mygm too?

        • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

          If you start a MyGM, and then your internet is out or the 2K servers are down, you can not continue it. The game tells you that you need to be connected to the servers to play the mode. This is because the mode still contacts the servers to deal with VC.

          • KingRell25

            That’s crazy. Smh.

      • Jerry

        I am a huge offline player and love what I been hearing about MyGM mode. But with the servers, should I still buy the game?

      • aka th3 truth

        are the no co-op modes besides quick game?

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    I’ve mentioned this to a couple people, but I noticed the individual player highlights and the highlights for player of the game are no longer in here. Is this just for me or am I missing something? If so this really sucks because thats what made 2K pop for me when I switched over in 09.

    • Gale

      Go to states and hit box simple.

  • CSaint

    Has anyone else received the problem; You click on MyCareer or MyGM and it just loads. I am going to have to make a new PSN account, even though I already spent 50$ to get 1 year membership. I now am resulting to contacting sony to see if they can help me out with this.

    • Brad

      highlight on the menu screen and then hit the triangle button and it will bring up your individual files. Terrible menu screens as pasta mentioned.

    • MBird

      I had this problem yesterday, I closed the application (game) and restarted it and didn’t have any more problems.

      • CSaint

        I did all that, I had to delete the game, reinstall and now I can’t do anything online on the game…..

        • MBird

          Looks like I lucked out this time. Sorry for your luck bro, but I cannot say that I wouldn’t expect not being able to play the game myself sometime soon, this game is at the mercy of 2K’s servers which don’t have the greatest track record.

        • SeeD

          Delete your all your files by pressing triangle. Then try again, it worked for me

  • jr

    Went and traded live for this. Glad I did. Gameplay has improved in the transition to next Gen. Wish there was a dribble stick like in 2k13. How do you throw alley oops and perform crossovers? I didn’t take the time to look at the manual(who does anymore) lol

    • Dre2778

      You throw a alley oop with L2+square and crossovers can be performed by clicking the analog stick to the opposite hand and releasing I believe.

    • jr

      Thanks Dre. I played around with it in freestyle practice this morning and figured out the crossover moves. Gonna start putting the alley to use though. Thanks again

  • Furious Buddha

    Lately 2k13 has been buggy lately on the 360. This is one of my “most wanted” games and I’m a little worried how everything is tied into online. I don’t play online and just want the MyGM and MyCareer. If the servers are a mess, that could mean the single player is a mess too. And it’s not like VC, and I’ve been a fan since the Dreamcast, has the best servers in the world. I’ll still get the game, I wish the best for us all.

  • Muddawg13

    I haven’t played the new MyGM mode but I was greatly disappointed to find out they don’t allow multiple users to take part in it. For instance, me and a couple friends would go through a fantasy draft and set our lineups, make trades, sign and draft players etc. through multiple seasons and it was tons of fun. Hopefully they can bring that back for next year’s game.

    • Jacob2815

      I am assuming that you are referring to the Online Association mode, which is the mode that allowed that to happen. And yes, it is still there, but i havent had the chance to try it out. Pastapadre mentions it in the article, Online Leagues. I am guessing it’s mostly the same as Online Association, but as i said, i havent tried it myself, so i cant tell you what features are still there and which are gone (Pasta mentions it is missing features.).

  • shimoda

    I Don´t know if 2k is dumb or arrogant … we want in ps4

    1. Ability to Create a player and use in any mode of the game.
    2. Ability to edit rosters and save them to the hardrive instead off uploading online and having to re download them for use.
    3. Option to use custom rosters in NBA Today games, this has been a option in NBA 2K11,2K12 2K13.
    4- Ability to create teams
    5- Ability to export teams

  • JS7

    NBA Dead 14 looks like a PS2 game lol.

  • SJ13_BILLS

    Very fair and well said man.

  • shimoda

    I Don´t know if 2k is dumb or arrogant … we want in ps4

    1. Ability to Create a player and use in any mode of the game.
    2. Ability to edit rosters and save them to the hardrive instead off uploading online and having to re download them for use.
    3. Option to use custom rosters in NBA Today games, this has been a option in NBA 2K11,2K12 2K13.
    4- Ability to create teams
    5- Ability to export teams

    • KingRell25

      Yeah no create a player, and vc for everything is just dumb….and it’s sad they still don’t know how to properly work servers.

    • MBird

      Its almost feels like arrogance on 2K’s part to me. I say this because it’s almost an EA way of thinking on 2K’s part, no matter what they do to the game people will buy it, which, if true, 2K14 will be my only next-gen basketball game from them unless some things change like the terrible VC integration and horrible menus.

  • Greg

    I know people keep saying that the gameplay is the same as the current gen one but I disagree. I think the next gen gameplay is much better and just feels smoother and more realistic than ever before. The players just seem more life-like to me in next gen because of the emotions they show on the court and the animations just seem more fluid and crisp. While the gameplay may be similar, next gen’s gameplay is twice as good IMO.

  • Danny

    Never have I been more immersed in a videogame in all my years on earth. NBA 2K14 next gen is absolutely awesome and the pinnacle of the series thus far. From a graphical and gameplay perspective which I feel is what’s most important, this game put’s all sports games to shame. This is true Next Gen!

  • jokesonyouea

    you know what else is a miss. offline association…my friends n i gather at my house and control 8 teams plus the fantasy draft. hopefully it will be back in 2k15

    • nba fan of 2k games

      That is the greatest way to play the game. A true shame it was left out for some of these new terrible modes that true NBA fans don’t give a shit about.

    • Association!!

      I have been googling for hours about this and was pretty upset that it almost seems that no one else plays this way. This is the best feature about this game! Association at the apt with friends, sim all the games except for the ones where your teams meet up and hopefully meet in the finals, go through drafts (esp the create a drafts with wiggins/jabari/randle/etc…)

      And since I have no where else to vent. I hate that 2k takes away great features every year. 2k9, they had a ranking system, and I was 300. that was awesome that you could play people and show off your rank and see theirs.

      crew mode should be available for quick match team ups not just a gang of 99 overall create a players.

      But man, association mode.

    • Shaun Amin

      I couldn’t agree more.. It killed one of my last friendships.. haha Only time me and my buddy hung out was to play Association mode… We’ve battled that way for 8 years. Now POOF.. it’s gone. Some of us do have real tangible friends we like to hang out with. The biggest let down of the game this year . They have to put it back in next year.

  • Bowinkle82

    vc is turrible i despise it. im glad the “loose feel” of the ball doesnt lead to too many turnovers. is rebounding fixed in this game? and is there a delay when you hit buttons? i remember when i would hit the steal or rebound button and there would be a delay from when i hit the button to the actual animation in 2k13 360…

  • BANE

    Thank god we have this game. If we were stuck with that garbage heap that is NBA Live(meta score of 4.5!!!!!) it would be tragic.

  • Dwill

    Why doesnt the updated rosters just update instead of having to go in and update them, then they arent saved to the system, seems strange that you have to do that everytime.

  • Keith.

    I was finally able to grab a replacement PS4 this morning (targets, gamestops, etc. got a new shipment in today to compete against XBone) and can’t wait to fire up NBA2k14 this weekend.

    • rick

      wow you had anissue ….. sorry bro to hear

  • Dre2778

    The VC system is the worse thing that 2K could ever implement into the game. Everything is dependent on it which cripples you unless you pay 2K an @$$load of money to purchase VC which is utter nonsense. Hopefully 2K15 is as dependent on VC as this game is cause it takes away from the greatness of it.

  • Weekend Roady

    One of my fave launch games, one thing to pick on though… Has anyone noticed the game stuttering for them at all? I’ve found a few people online who seem to have this issue and it doesn’t seem anyone has found the real root of it. Basically the game will hang up/freeze for 1-2 seconds and then go again as if nothing happened, it could happen at a menu or during gameplay, etc… One fix is people who are having this problem don’t see it if they are not online/signed out of PSN. Others have just re-installed (and it seems everyone who has this problem played the Heat-Spurs match while the content was installing).

    Otherwise…as far as “tech demos” go, this is definitely on to show off the next-gen. Feels like a truer upgrade than a lot of the games out there now for PS4/X1. FIFA 14 is also quite nice.

  • spursfan86

    they need to get tnt much like nba live has espn, they already have some tnt announcers, adding the tnt intro and music, with the halftime show with ernie johnson and the crew talking about scores around the league, and possibly bringing back marv albert as part of another team with reggie miller

  • shimoda

    2k SUCKS!!! I´m trying to start my gm and I kept getting hit with an error code CE-34878-0 that kick me out of nba 2k14! … Why do ypu force people to do everything online??? Arrogant corporation

  • Ryan Perry

    This game is fantastic but I’m not sure any game has succeeded in making me this angry on such a consistent basis since Driver 2. Some of the late game shenanigans the CPU pulls off to steal games away, including me missing wide open, point-blank shots for no apparent reason throws me into fits of pure rage. I’ve already destroyed a PS4 controller.

  • Khadeem

    Can someone address the fact that you cant make defensive adjustments in the game…for example…hard hedge, double, sag off (on and/or offball), play tight, double in the post….y did 2k remove this from the game….why is online association gone…why cant you change settings in online leagues…my are default rosters being used when its a month into the nba season…c mon 2k…can anyone be real with me…plz

  • The Great Leon

    The lack of being able to edit and create players is a bummer. That is one of the ways I use to pass time in assoc. Now I can’t look at other players and fix the gear or rating up. Also found a glitch in mygm, when a player gets lower back strain the career is over for them sometimes. They stay on the injure list and don’t recover ever. It sucks hope they patch these problems.

    • dudde

      you know anyway to fix the lower back strain. lost my number 2 draft pick for 60 games to this point and dont wanna play this anymore if he wont come back in. also paul George has not played in 2 years as well as quite a few others. I also hate not being able to edit anyone. Cant even change numbers on other teams…. Melo to the Jazz…wtf? 2 players on the Lakers number 24…. they ruined Assoc.

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        The injury issue they supposedly are addressing in the next patch. Which won’t help you now unfortunately. Target release date for it is by the end of the month.

  • shimoda

    Does anyone know if it is possible to use my custom roster in an offline mode? With so many bugs I´m only using my custon rosters in quick games. If I try to upload the roster to play MyGm or Season mode this error code CE-34878-0 happen… I´m not alone when I say that a lot of people wants
    1. Ability to Create a player and use in any mode of the game.
    2. Ability to edit rosters and save them to the hardrive instead off uploading online and having to re download them for use.
    3. Option to use custom rosters in NBA Today games, this has been a option in NBA 2K11,2K12 2K13.
    4- Ability to create teams
    5- Ability to export teams

  • Awill08

    I just want the association back so me and my friends can all have our own team and draft. They can also make My GM multi-player so we can have our own teams.

  • aka th3 truth

    Is there any way to play co-op on anything besides quick game…kinda weak if they took co-op fanchise/season out

  • John

    So i’m probably 10 games or so into my NBA career as the sixth man on the Hawks and we destroy the Celtics by about 20 points. I scored the most points on the team, had the 2nd most rebounds, a couple assists, a block, and an A teammate grade. The funny part is where the coach tells me after the game that he expected more and is going to cut my minutes. LMFAO is about all I can say. I don’t know if I can take it serious after that.

  • Bubba Marian

    how do i buy people for my team? I have played a few games but i cant seem to find how to buy people i thought it would be in the market but i still cant see players to buy for it.

  • Khaleel Ward

    Misses – The fun of Myplayer when u put it on HOF. I understand the game is suppose to be tough, but it’s just not fair. Here are a few of my games on HOF. Granted I’m on the Bobcats so we aren’t a good team but in today’s NBA they are competing.
    Against Celtics – 100-67, Jordan Crawford 9-15 for 28 pts
    Against Cavs – 108-88, They shoot 15-32 from 3 pt line
    Against Knicks – 106-70, they shoot 16-27 from 3 pt line, my team 0-11.
    Suns – 112-87, Gerald Green 27 pts, Gortat 25
    Bucks – 109-65, 13-19 from 3 pt line.
    Majority of 3 pointers hit are with a hand in their face or when the shot clock is winding down. HOF is suppose to be challenging not cheating. The Bucks are the 2nd worst team in Basketball.
    This is just in myplayer, in MyGm it is so much worst

  • Joshua Pollard

    So everyone im beating right now is for nothing????no leader boards no stats??? Im 38-0

  • heythere22

    Having difficulty playing a local match on xbox one, can anyone help??

  • JJ

    Are there any easy ways for VC

  • Jacob2815

    Yes it is. I swear on my life.

    • Tony Trenkle Jr.

      Well looks like you’re gonna die then. lol I can do it sometimes during the games, but after the games i press the square and nothing happens and theres no highlights for the player of the game. So yes you can do it in-game, but after the game, it doesnt work. At least for me.

  • Chya Abdullah

    How could you play 2 players online on nba 2k14 ??

  • Slackin

    LOCAL CO – OP SEASONS – Me and my brother have a PS3 in the living room and want to do more than Head to Head match ups. Since we live together we want to invest in a competitive season and accumulate stats over time. And we want the Fantasy Draft back..For 2 local players. You mean to tell me the only way to play a 2-player season is for us to go out and drop another $400 on a PS3 and pick up another TV.

  • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

    No, there is no multi-player seasons.

    • blake donovan

      so when u do an online league with friends you cant do a draft?

      • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

        No, besides the Online Leagues lacking most of the features necessary that one would expect, those don’t include any sort of draft at the end of the season.

  • Otis

    How do I Continue the playoffs if I won round i

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