NBA 2K15 makes a roar

Isiah Bryson, Reporter

NBA 2k15 returns as the undisputed champion of basketball video games with some improvements to the MyCareer mode and great visuals.

At the start of the game, gamers will notice right away the stunning graphics. The player animations are the best to date in 2k15. NBA pregame rituals are one of the most popular commodities of the NBA and this game doesn’t disappoint from Tim Duncan hugging the ball to Dwayne Wade doing pull ups on the rim. It almost seems like you’re watching a game on TV instead of playing one.

The TV broadcast-style presentation is almost exactly the same on 2K15 as it was from last year’s installment. A new addition to 2K15 is the inclusion of Ernie Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal as the pregame co-hosts while the game is loading.

Gamers will notice that nothing much from the presentation point has changed except for some updates from the offseason, such as LeBron returning to Cleveland. One glaring mistake that players will notice right away is that Steve Kerr, who is now the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, is also used in voice commentary on the game. While playing with the Warriors it gets awkward hearing Kerr doing play-by-play commentary while also coaching on the sidelines. Would have been nice to get a new voice to pair with the legendary Marv Albert.

On the court, there are only slight adjustments to 2K15. Running the pick-and-roll is now easier than ever to get a good shot on offense. Changes to the defensive AI are noticeably different, making great defensive players such as Serge Ibaka and Joakim Noah that much better on 2K15. The shot meter makes it easier to correct mistimed jump shots midgame without the agony of going 2-20 with Kevin Durant.

One of the most disappointing features of NBA 2K15 is the failed attention to the online franchise mode. Where 2K15 missed on the online franchise, they made up for in the game’s most popular game mode, MyCareer.

The story mode has been completely revamped in almost every way possible. This year’s installment has players going undrafted, rather than being a top draft pick. Players will have to earn their way onto a roster and upgrading your MyPlayer takes much less work than previous years. Instead of adding points to each attribute, skill sets are now grouped into categories such as defense and athleticism.

A new feature to this year’s MyCareer is the veteran teammate that takes your player under his wing. 2K Sports got a real NBA player from each team to actually speak for their game character such as Steph Curry for the Warriors and Demarcus Cousins for the Kings. The additions of the players’ actual voices makes the MyCareer mode that much sweeter to play.

2K15 also uses the PlayStation Camera or Xbox One Kinect to digitally map your face onto your MyPlayer, with results that are more likely to confuse your face with a zombie from The Walking Dead. Where the MyCareer Mode succeeds the facial recognition is one of the new features that they defiantly missed the mark. The online aspect of NBA 2K15 has not been resolved at all. The new MyPark mode, where you take your MyPlayer onto the blacktop, is not even playable at times as the lag made it annoyingly difficult to play defense.

The 2K Sports franchise continues to hold the title of being the best basketball video game experience. The improvements to the MyCareer mode and stunning visuals make NBA 2K15 a must buy this fall as we get closer and closer to NBA opening night.

4/5 stars