NBA 2K12 First Look Impressions -- NBA's Greatest Live AgainBy Mike D'Alonzo - Posted Sep 01, 2011
It's no secret that I was a huge fan of NBA 2K11, having done the review and nominating the game for Game of the Year honors last Fall, so when I was offered the opportunity to get my hands on NBA 2K12 earlier this afternoon, I jumped at the chance.
How, I thought, would 2K Sports even begin to approach what they did last year, which was, quite simply, a redefinition of NBA gaming? Could this iteration of the game come close to last year's achievement? Well, so far, the answer is a resounding yes.
Not content to stick with the Jordan Challenge of last year's game, 2K12 comes with a mode called NBA's Greatest, which follows the career of 15 of the greatest to ever play the game. I had the opportunity to play as Magic Johnson during the Lakers' 1991 season against Terry Porter, an aging Danny Ainge, and the Portland Trailblazers.
To make the game more authentic, the venue was the Great Western Forum, rules had been reverted to 1991 standards (which allowed me to body up on defense without being called for fouls), and the pace of the game was a little slower, commensurate with the game at that time.
Gameplay has been improved to include new reactions and collisions on both sides of the ball. Defenders not only react to your first move, but often times your second, as well. When you pass sloppily, it gets picked off. Try and run a one-on-four offense, even if you're playing as Magic Johnson, and you're going to get swatted.
In short, they've taken what was already a very realistic game and made it even more so. Fans of NBA history are going to be thrilled by playing as Magic, Dr. J, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, and Bill Russell, as well as the teams they played on and against, which you will be able to play as once they are unlocked.
Whether or not there turns out to be an NBA season this year, fans will have something to turn to which will either enhance their basketball experience, or define it while the real thing is gone. 2K Sports looks like they have another winner on their hands here.