NBA 2K13 Review


I once referred to NBA 2K13 as the Dark Souls of sports games, and I’m sticking with that statement. Everything about the game torments me; I shoot and I miss, I pass and I get intercepted, I defend and I get fouls, the failures go on and on. I don’t know if it’s my aggressive approach to the game that is my demise or if it’s a fault on the games part but very rarely did I see a win in the many matches I played. More on this later though, I’ll stop describing how much I suck at the game and instead describe the game itself a little.

NBA 2K13 is the latest addition to the NBA 2K series, developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. The full NBA roster makes its return for NBA 2K13 and the focus of the game has never been greater, going so far as to update the tattoos players had done in between games.

The Dream Team makes a triumphant return.

Graphically the game looks amazing, at a quick glance you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between a real game of NBA and a game of NBA 2K13. The player movements flow well and are realistic, the models are accurate and the lighting and shadow effects are great. The graphical presentation overall is one of the game’s highlights, even the menu appearance has a great synergy with the overall feel of the game. One of the factors that may play a role in all of this is the fact that Shawn Corey Carter, better known for his stage name Jay-Z, was brought on as the executive producer for the title.

This is especially apparent in the soundtrack and overall gangster overtones the title portrays. The sound track includes tracks from artists such as Puff Daddy, Kanye West, Eric B. and Rakim, Justice and of course a number of tracks from cha-boy Jay-Z. Oddly enough though, U2 and Coldplay each feature a track, because why not right? Keeping with this randomness, we’re likely to see One Direction featured in NBA 2K14.

This year’s release returns with its career mode mostly intact. You’re treated to an immersive and feature-packed career mode with endorsement deals, social media interactions, player interviews, contract negotiations and a new featured dubbed GM Sit-Downs which, as the name suggests, allows you to talk shop one on one with the general manager of your team.

The My Career opens with you as a rookie being interviewed by a number of general managers from professional NBA teams. You’re given the option of several multiple choice answers to their questions. After a few interviews you’re taken to a talent scout conference where you and other rookies get their teams announced. I found this sequence pretty ridiculous, as you’re literally watching a number of people who you couldn’t care less about being selected for various NBA teams. During this time I must have tried every single button combination on the PS3 controller in an attempt to skip this sequence, but to no avail. After a number of minutes of your precious life wasted you’re eventually assigned a team and are able to play your first professional NBA game. Here’s where everything went completely south.

Get some air.

You’re thrown directly into a game without any guidance, with no helpful tutorial mode in sight. Naturally, this game saw me sucking harder than a crack-addled prostitute whose last dollar was stolen by a pack of drunken teenagers.

From here I immediately sought out a training mode so as to educate myself on how to suck a little less. The training mode was effective in that it provided training for every single move you could possibly use in the title, for which there were many. I found the training completely overwhelming, there were so many possible button combination for different scenarios in the match.

To give you a bit of an idea here’s a list of the different training categories.

  • Shooting.
  • Dribble moves.
  • Post game.
  • Offball offense.
  • Defence.
  • Passing and offense.

Each of these categories has a dozen or so moves to learn, each with varying levels of difficulties to master. In any case, you’re looking at a minimum of 60 moves to commit to muscle memory before you’re playing the game like a pro. Having said this though, if you do by some divine miracle manage to learn and master these mechanics I think the game would be incredibly enjoyable and challenging. Unfortunately this won’t be the case at all for casual players or newcomers to the series.

  • PS3

The Verdict

NBA 2K13 is a game that will destroy the souls of newcomers and casual gamers. The game itself includes some great visuals and a solid soundtrack but will mostly appeal to hardcore fans of the series or those looking to invest some serious time in understanding its deep mechanics.
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