NBA 2k16 garners great reviews, excitement

2k16By: Ben Boezinger

Three months of anticipation leading up to this moment. I skim the 2k16 disk from my MJ edition box into my PS4. The heat from the hard drive is radiating off and warming the carpet around it. NBA 2k16 pops out onto the screen and finally all my anticipation spills out, and I immediately scan my face into the game and head to my career. The opening cutscene proceeds, and I can immediately tell how good the game and mode will be.


One of the things that 2k has focused on this year is new, better and smoother gameplay. Speed actually matters this year. Instead of getting caught on the fastbreak by a 7’2’’, 250-pound center, as a small speedy guard you can take it coast to coast, blowing by everyone and finishing hard at the rim.

The fluency of the game is remarkable and nothing I have seen in any game before. You can gracefully move across the hardwood while simultaneously shaking loose defenders with the skills stick. 2k puts your creativity to the test with what you can do to break ankles.

The system for getting through defenders has been revamped to be harder and give you a harder time of making a mockery of the defense. There is no more cheese in the game; you can’t simply just squeeze by a CPU and coast to the rim for an easy lay in. The defense plays closer and bodies up on you. With active hands, he can easily strip the ball if you’re not careful. If you try to get fancy and break everyone’s ankles, the ball will squirm out of your player’s grip, and the next thing you’ll see is everyone down the court on a fastbreak and the added bonus of two more points on the board.

The next big thing that 2k changed was the shot meter. No more will you be dominated in online play by a green perfect release. While the infamous perfect release is still in the game, it is much harder to grab. While playing on pro difficulty, I only achieved the green release about three times. While the shot meter is more difficult, so are the shooting mechanics. Your shooting grade actually matters whether you’re taking a three, midrange or free throw. I definitely had to make a significant change in the way I played and shot. Instead of having a shoot first mindset, I had to search the court for more possible screen options and passing outlets. I also learned that an Iso play can be your best friend if your skills are good enough to go one on one.

My Career 

By far the best mode in the game. The cut scenes last for about 10 minutes longer than before with way better actor chemistry and emotion. You can just feel the emotion between the actors. They’re voices rise and fall, getting your attention and keeping your attention during the cutscenes. The scenes are extremely well thought out and detail oriented.

A scene that provokes this thought particularly is when you and your best friend Vic Van Lier are traveling across town. The scene starts out positive and upbeat, Vic revealing one of his rap tracks, giving away his alias of BA$$-KEY-YACHT$. Then out of nowhere the tension increases as you can feel it radiate from your TV screen. I was taken back by the actor chemistry and ability. The emotions were raw and uncut. Feelings were all tossed out on the line as both your character and Vic spill out their feelings for each other in such sentiment and angst.

As the cutscene dives deeper and you think that it’s all over, it goes on and dives deeper and deeper. Hidden treasures like backstories appear and suit the story well as it lengthens and keeps the value high.

Eventually it excels to the best moment of the whole game. Flustered by the way Vic has been treated, his voice escalates to a vicious clamer, leading to the introduction of a very interesting and varied backstory of a time of your character and Vic in Harlem. After the lengthy backstory and emotions getting pressed onto the screen, Vic cackles and you can see the horror on your character’s face from the moments proceeding. The laughter goes on until your character confronts the current situation as the angst continues throughout until the scene fades out.

Finally when you finish the great movie that Spike Lee has birthed upon our minds, you come to the “connections” screen. This option is new to the game, and it alone is revolutionary to the mode and brings a fresh new approach to Mycareer. The conflict grows between getting fans, doing drills or hanging out with players around the league. This way you can gain special signature styles and virtual currency from the game. This mode really ties together the 2k16 slogan of “Be the story.”


Probably the only thing I didn’t admire in the latest 2k game was the servers. It’s a continued problem from basically all NBA 2k games, and I am disappointed in 2k’s lack of addressing the server problems; however, in the Pro-Am mode, the servers are relatively good and reliable. Once I got a game going (wait times are really good compared to the other modes), not only was there limited lag, but also, the game never did lose connection, and when you can get a good team going, preferably with friends, 2k Pro-Am is one of the most fun modes in the game.


NBA 2k16 is the best game to come out from 2k studios and in the NBA 2k series. The combined fun and difficulty is a renaissance unneeded for the unmatched ruler of the virtual basketball world. Mycareer is by far the best in the game with the cutscenes introduced earlier in the series. The gameplay itself is a reason to buy, and there is a mode for everyone whether it be Myteam, MyGM or just Online Play. I give this game a score of a 96/100, and it is by far one of the best games offered this year for next-gen consoles.

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