NBA 2K11 PreviewBy Mike D'Alonzo - Posted Sep 08, 2010
I got a chance to get my hot little hands on NBA 2K11 a week or so back when the development team came into our offices to show it off, and, based on the few, too short, minutes I got to play with it, I can absolutely not wait for it to hit the market. It's that good.
The first thing I got to see was the Jordan Challenge mode, which is, rightly, the thing they are most proud of with this new iteration of the game. It plunges you into important moments in the career of Michael Jordan and forces you to replicate them. In this case, it was early on in Jordan's career, and you had to put up over 63 points against the heavily-favored Celtics in 1986, while shooting over 50% from the field. This is just one of ten moments in Jordan's career faithfully represented here. Go ahead, name a famous one, and it's there. Flu Game? Got it. Last shot against the Jazz to win the NBA Championship in 1998? Yep. The Shrug? Uh huh.
There's a reward for finishing these challenges, and it's called MJ: Creating a Legend, which allows you to start MJ's career all over again for whatever team you like. Naturally, I put him on the Lakers to make him answer to Kobe. The chemistry was, shall we say, a little strange, but Jordan was a fine two guard in my ridiculous triangle offense, while The Black Mamba ran the point.
Oh, and I'm told that you get awarded with pairs of Air Jordans for accomplishments you make during the game, as well, which means you get some pretty fly shoes to go with your basketball history.
The game's not all about MJ, though. Gameplay elements have been improved. Defense is even more refined than ever before, allowing you to be a lockdown defender in a basketball videogame, which is, until this point, almost completely unheard of. There's new dribbling that allows you to take opponents off the dribble in new and exciting ways. New animations around the bucket change the look of the game, too.
I didn't get a chance to get super deep into the game, but what I saw certainly made me want to do that as soon as possible. 2K is really making a play to become the Madden of basketball, and, with NBA 2K11, it certainly seems like they're just about there.