NBA 2K23 Review: Like Mike

I have never envied the development cycle that goes into producing an annual sports game series. Considering how much time and money is spent on other big-budget projects, it’s unfair to ask studios to churn out functional, consistent, fresh and exciting games every year. NBA 2K23 is incredibly impressive anyway, especially considering this tight development cycle. A deep suite of fun game modes, improved on-court gameplay, and a deeper social experience allowed the team at Visual Concepts to freeze time and spend it longer than the normal cycle of this extraordinary NBA sim. I feel like

NBA 2K23 has so many new things to see, both big and small, that it’s hard to know where to start. But for me it starts with the Jordan Challenge. For the first time since NBA 2K11, relive the career highlights of some of the greatest players in NBA history. The new Jordan Challenge isn’t just a rehash of a mode that hasn’t existed in over a decade, it’s a modern remake of the original concept.

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Playing: NBA 2K23 Video Review

Beginning with his college career in North Carolina, he’s played 15 of Jordan’s biggest games, recreating stats and other results like a time traveler trying not to disturb the proper timeline. Just like Jordan set a playoff scoring record by dropping his 63 with the Celtics, now you can too. You can also show off his final dance where he won his sixth and final NBA title. These and other forever replaying basketball moments are yours.

Conceptually, this is the same as before, now with five more games than the original iteration, but it’s the details where Jordan Challenge really shines in 2K23. Time-appropriate filters, retro on-screen graphics, and even old-time arenas and appropriately dressed spectators work together to transport players to the time and place of each game spanning his 80’s and his 90’s. Let Before each game, Visual Concepts his team will include new interviews with players, commentators, coaches, and people who have witnessed Michael his Jordan greatness first-hand. Taken together, the entire mode gave the feel of an interactive museum to unparalleled basketball achievements, and playing it was the first time in my life that I got goosebumps from a sports game.

The Jordan Challenge is like opening a classic NBA time capsule.

This allows you to recreate basketball history from its starting point by arranging your team to draft or trade contemporary and up-and-coming stars from each era. For example, you can create an alternate reality where Larry Bird played for Philadelphia and Jordan and didn’t retire for two years. his prime. Leagues change as you go, with rulebooks updated, dominant playstyles changing over the years, and teams relocating.

Called the Jordan Challenge and Eras, this new MyNBA feature represents how this year’s game feels like it goes above and beyond. No other sports sim offers players this kind of content. This is remarkable and feels treated with care and attention from a studio full of real basketball aficionados, the love of the game emanating from these two modes of his It’s out, and that alone would make NBA 2K23 a must-play for basketball fans.

These marquee features are by no means small, but NBA 2K has long been a series that makes even the smallest sweat. , returns with some impressive touches added, such as different commentary teams depending on the mode you’re playing. NBA 2K has long put other sports series (I won’t name them, but you probably guessed it) to shame in their attention to detail. A fun sports game every year.

These touches separate this series from the pack, even when NBA 2K itself was sometimes lacking in actual basketball gameplay, but concerns about last year’s over-emphasis on shooting Resolved. The NBA itself generally favors three-balls in real life, but that’s not the case. all A player of course. But last year’s game produced a sniper out of anyone with an open look. It was unrealistic and changed arguably the most important aspect of online pickup games with friends and rivals.2K23 is primarily focused on empowering the league’s strong finishers and slashers and prevent years in a row where everyone looks like Stephen Curry.

Modeled after the play of Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, this year’s game feels instantly balanced across different playstyles. Players who weren’t natural shooters regressed to something more realistic, and players who leaned into the paint and bullied defenders felt just as dominant as shooters from behind the arc. , online PvP games just got more fun. Because it no longer feels like a three-point contest.

Painted Beast will be back in 2K23.
Painted Beast will be back in 2K23.


Knowing that, the team designed this year’s game to provide a narrative reason to run around the city completing dozens of NPC quests like an RPG. Districts can be won, but the weapons here are philanthropy, endorsement deals, and the occasional viral tweet.

Even after so many years of The City (and its predecessor The Neighborhood), this mode still feels like an achievement. Like the Jordan Challenge and his MyNBA Eras, this social he hub is something only NBA 2K does and helps separate him from the rest of the pack. Fans of multiple sports games, tons of modes and attractions, some of which rotate daily. The big new addition is The Theater, where you head to limited-time modes with weird changes to scoring or rulebooks. However, the city returns with some nagging issues.

The first thing worth mentioning is transportation in the game. Skateboards and bikes are back for those who don’t want to run from the quest to the court or vice versa, but the controls are so poor, and they always have, that I stay on foot and run at speed. You’re more likely to accept a drop… Thankfully, new fast travel points have been added in the form of subway stations. This year the city is actually about 30% smaller due to fan demand for a denser cityscape. Still, there are times when you need to use your skateboard for both quests and distance traveled, but it’s frustratingly unwieldy. Inclusion is a choice, and this year’s game hasn’t solved this long-standing problem.

If you’re new to this series, you already know how invasive microtransactions (MTX) can be. Even at its past high, paid models put this series down a notch or two, and that’s a problem here as well. On the one hand, his MyTeam mode in the game is as bad as comparable modes such as the EA Sports game’s Ultimate Team. Considering that any player can buy unlimited card packs until they land on a dominant team, it’s definitely a pay-to-win, but his MTX in the game continues to undermine The City. Because the same virtual currency that upgrades your team in MyTeam can dramatically improve your hero in MyPlayer.

The City is a unique social hub for sports games, but the street level is still littered with intrusive ads.

When that player finally transitions from the story to The City, a rift develops between those striving for greatness and those who climb the ranks, as MyTeam did. While some players may prefer an immediate upgrade, having to face them on courts of the City or in other PvP modes afterward is more of a first-person shooter with wall hackers and aimbotters. It feels like I’m stuck in a lobby. Having the same currency to buy tattoos, repaint skateboards, and upgrade players has been broken for a long time the game comes back every September It feels like a function.

The City also smothers its product placements in hilariously over-the-top ways, if it weren’t for giving me a dark preview of the so-called Metaverse: from Gatorade and Nike to Mobil and Nokia, nearly everything is commercial. I feel like I can’t even high-five my teammates without hearing from Mountain Dew.

These issues are preventing NBA 2K23 from being historically great, especially as they persist from year to year, but they could be less painful for yearly players accustomed to these issues. After forgiving (or simply trying to forget) these issues, what remains is undoubtedly an exceptional basketball game made with attention to detail and love for the game. On the court, NBA 2K23 looks and feels real and exciting on every drive. A new and improved mode treats the NBA like a respected landmark. In these important ways, he does his best to reflect Jordan’s greatness, showing both NBA newcomers and historians what it’s like to play like Mike. NBA 2K23 Review: Like Mike

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