NBA Elite 11 Made Official

Posted June 2nd, 2010 at 9:38 am

Last week the news broke that the NBA Live series was getting a name change to NBA Elite. Along with that would be the addition of real-time physics and a focus on analog controls. Today EA Sports made it all official.

The new real-time physics system in NBA ELITE 11 allows each player on the court to move independently of one another, removing the two-man interactions that have long taken the user control out of basketball simulation videogames. In addition, a new skill-based shooting system requires accurate user input, based on a player’s position on the court, versus the randomly generated dice rolls that have driven shooting in basketball videogames in the past.

“NBA ELITE 11 will give gamers the same skill set that a pro basketball player has at his disposal,” said David Littman, Creative Director, NBA ELITE 11. “This is the first basketball simulation videogame where you are controlling every movement, dribble move, shot, dunk, lay-up, steal and block in real time with one-to-one control. You’re no longer going to push a button and watch the computer generate a long animation sequence. It is like being on a basketball court with an amazing set of skills. This is going to change what people have come to expect from a basketball simulation videogame.”

So there will be even more than shooting added to the right stick as it will be used for just about every function. I’d imagine that freestyle passing will stay on the stick as well. Having all of those functions mapped to the stick will probably further alienate those who didn’t like the idea of even adding shooting to the stick to begin with. I’d currently count myself amongst that group but recognize it will have to be played before making any sort of final determination on the decision.

EA Sports has successfully rebranded sports series in the past with the most recent examples being Triple Play Baseball to MVP Baseball and Knockout Kings to Fight Night. In both of those cases the shift reinvigorated the franchise. The same could not be said for March Madness which became NCAA Basketball and has since been canceled. That though was not so much rebranding (it didn’t receive any additional support) but instead taking advantage of having the license to themselves after 2K Sports bowed out as competition.

Just yesterday I posted up the results of the polls regarding the early news on NBA Elite 11. Does any of the additional info provided today change your early perception or expectations of the game at all? Leave your thoughts in the comments!