Review of NBA 2K23: Live in the Past
Every year I promise myself that this will be the last NBA 2K game I purchase, yet every year I find myself lured back in. Buying NBA 2K23 MT the same.
NBA 2K23 follows the tradition of having two totally distinct releases each year. The PS5 & Xbox Series X|S versions of the game receive numerous eye-catching gameplay improvements and options. While this is going on, the PS4 and Xbox One versions from the previous generation only receive roster updates and small adjustments, with little else in the way of substantive modifications. The fact that the PC is still excluded from the greatest edition of this game in year three after the release of an improved next-generation edition of the game is puzzling. This has been 2K's practice over several platform generations.
A Solid Core
NBA 2K players who haven't tried the new edition will probably not notice. This series has always offered solid basics, so the on-court product is still fairly strong. The player AI is strong, the controls are precise, and I can easily jump into a basketball game and have a blast. Franchise mode and basic exhibitions, which I've always appreciated in this series, are still usable and fun.
But I don't need a new game if all I wanted to do was keep doing what I've been doing for years. Since you can obtain a copy of an older version for essentially nothing, neither do you. You may even experience incomplete versions of the newest players thanks to fan-made roster updates. What's new is always a concern with an annual update, and the answer is startlingly few in this case. At least the Jordan Challenge, which was first featured in NBA 2K11, the series' best game, is available to PC players. With this, you can play a series of games that simulate the most significant contests in Michael Jordan's career. Since 2K11, they have grown and are really cool. Although it won't last forever, I'm delighted it's here because in some years, last-generation players haven't received anything close to that.
Disappeared in Action
There is no mention of the new ears mode, which is like the Jordan Challenge but for a greater chunk of the NBA. The numerous gameplay enhancements made to the game's next-generation editions in recent years, including enhanced post-play and defense and a new shot meter, are also not included. Going into 2K23 on a PC felt like traveling back in time to such a previous iteration of the game, and although that doesn't necessarily mean that things are awful or broken, it does make me wonder about the worth of the franchise, which is all about making incremental advancements with each new sequel.
Additionally, gamers on PC don't have access to the Neighborhood, an open setting that they may use as the foundation for their My Player careers. Even on the newest consoles, the previous year's version was terrible with terrible optimization, a tonne of slowness, and open sections that had nothing to do, but it still has potential. Similar to NBA 2K23's last-generation release from the previous year, this one has a drastically scaled-down rendition of such a set on a boat. It's an odd decision, and even though the poor way that mode was executed in the previous year's next-generation edition may have made it less terrible, it's still not good. Although the story is attempted, it is absolutely dull. Between games, there are lengthy sequences that I was unable to skip quickly enough. Nothing is salvageable about this; the voice acting is poor, and the direction is bad.
But don't worry; if you skip the open world, you won't miss any of the product placement. It's everywhere, nearly asking you to spend digital money to rank up your character, whether it's indirectly through advertisements or directly through the game itself. The rate of advancement feels slower than ever if you don't spend real money, and the notion that you must spend more real money after previously paying to purchase the game in order to advance in such a single-player game is completely ludicrous.
Even if it's trapped in the past for a few years, the fundamental gameplay is still really nice, but everything else is terrible. Every year, it seems like the modes I really prefer are hidden deeper and deeper in the options. It seems that avoiding all the content that NBA 2K23's developers encourage you to play is the only method for enjoying the game without feeling exploited. I don't see this peculiar situation changing anytime soon; therefore, players will have to continue weighing whether playing a single basketball game in town each year is worthwhile. But one thing is the same, I buy coins on discounted rates from online sellers every year!