- Developer/Publisher: Visual Concepts/2K
- Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Xbox One version tested. Review copy purchased by the reviewer.
NBA 2K15 has been released and it’s one game that many people have been looking forward to – myself included. The game is packed with realism and the mechanics are enticing, even if the game is plagued by online instability and a terribly inconvenient face scan feature that simply does not work. The title is not all bad, however, and fans of basketball will love NBA 2K15 this year.
NBA 2K15 keeps to the TV syndicated broadcast presentation along with the use of the same slow-motion mechanic as NBA 14, just coupled with more stunning player details when it comes to facial features (LeBron’s beard has never seemed so real). Running at 60 frames per second on the consoles, NBA 2K15 has really stepped it up the single-player adventure with the new MyCareer Mode. This is a mode that you can have so much fun with, but it also lacks a certain much needed realism. The face scan feature is utterly broken. Believe me when I say it, it’s terrible and the face scans no matter how much lighting you use (we used an actual studio to do this, mind you) – you will always end up with a deformed and disfigured face. 2K Sports really dropped the ball on this highly popular feature, and it is a definite negative when it comes to NBA 2K15 that keeps it from feeling ‘next-gen’. For anything besides that, the MyCareer mode is entirely enhanced with an actual voiced story, dialogue and just more depth and substance to it. The player movement on the court is not much different, but it still feels smoother at 60 frames per second, while the shot meter is more than welcome for feedback to the mix. I love being able to see a meter, even if some may find it tacky. SituationTech incorporated Defense IQ, Player IQ, and more to create better roll-aways in defense. I cannot tell you how many times I have been annoyed by how good my opposing team actually was no matter how great I dribbled or tried out-maneuver.
The online elements of NBA 2K15 are entirely hit and miss. Online franchise mode feels nothing more than a tacky add-on which missed the mark. Free agency is completely missing and the single-player MyGM seems to outshine this online franchise mode in every way. No more microtransactions along with an improved conversation mechanic keeps the game feeling fresh and enticing. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay with online matches suffers because of 2K Servers with frequent disconnects, unbearable lag, and just a terrible time in terms of matchmaking.
In all honesty, I am a personal fan of the NBA series – always have been. But I cannot in good conscience say that it is a perfect game. Far from it. More than far from it, in fact. But what it does do is catering to people who love to play offline, and if they are A-OK with a face scan feature that breaks the realism. Personally, it was a huge disappointment as I’ve been in love with the face-scan feature since it was introduced. For others, it may not be that bad.