This past weekend at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, EA Sports debuted their first NBA Live 18 trailer. According to IGN, a new mode called The One that will capture your created character in decision making moments both on and off the court. You play 5-on-5 matches on world renowned courts like Venice Beach or take your talents to The League and ball out in the NBA. As you continue to practice and gain skills and attributes with your hooper, you can also upgrade your swag with the latest sneakers and sport apparel.
Aside from the single player experience, EA Sports looks to battle 2K head on with up-to-date roster updates and a wide variety of new animations and gameplay. NBA Live producer, Mike Mahar, had the following to say regarding its new user experience:
“We’ve added a lot more physicality, both on defense around the perimeter, and in the post, and around the rim, a lot of collisions, dunk ons, really cool stuff that you’d expect to see in the NBA. And we’ve added a game mechanic that will, essentially allow you to play — I guess the best metaphor I can come up with is almost like a fighting game on the perimeter.
If you’re the offensive player, your timing, your skill and the character you’re controlling, your success in getting to the rim and dunking it, or taking it to the hole is predicated on your twitch skills and the skills of your character versus my defensive player. My twitch skills, and my ability to cut you off and shut you down open up timing windows for me to steal the ball or kind of make you pick the ball up.”
With that said, NBA Live 18 certainly looks promising. However, the issue with NBA Live are stiff animations, clay-looking player models, and honestly, the controls. The feel of the game felt more arcade like rather than a true simulation that 2K is today. For those who don’t know, the developers completely skipped last years NBA Live 17 game as it was unfinished. They didn’t feel that the game was ready so they took their time and developed it as much as they could this time around. I can respect that.
Nike and EA Sports has also teamed up to include the Summer Drew League to showcase the NBA talents as well as your customizable character. This may be EA’s version of Pro-AM in which your player could team up with other users online to battle in tournaments and competitive matches.
Lastly, the sneakers in NBA Live 18 look amazing. Each sneaker is detailed displaying the correct materials, color palette, and even where the shoe stretches and compress. Quite a feat for EA as it brings an authentic feeling to the gamer.
EA Sports will release a demo in August and progress from the game will carry over to the released retail version. NBA Live 18 is set to release this Fall on most gaming platforms such as PS3, PS4, XBOX One and possibly PC.