|System: X360, PS3, PC, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Visual Concepts / Kush Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: 2K Sports||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 5, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-10||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everybody||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Regulars to the NBA 2K franchise will notice that the AI has been ramped up significantly. You have to play intelligently to score, utilizing plays efficiently against the intelligent computer. One gripe, however, is that long passes are nearly always supernaturally picked off in the default settings. As always, however, NBA 2K has sliders that allow you to adjust computer tendencies, so this can be rectified easily.
For league players, The Association mode returns and is more intelligent than before. Trades are more realistic, with the computer making smarter trades than previous years. This means you cant swindle the computer into crazy trades anymore, which may disappoint cheap gamers but should put a smile on the face of players who appreciate realism.
My Player is also available for a sort of basketball role-playing game. However, it has a very different pacing than the core game. My Player is slow-paced and requires quite a bit of grinding before your player is up to NBA standards, so it is a mode only for the truly dedicated who are determined to see their name (real or orchestrated) in a virtual NBA game.
Of course, one of the big draws is always online play, but NBA 2K11 does falter a bit in this category. There is the ever-present, game-breaking lag when playing with more than one player online. It isnt as bad when playing with only one player, but most players online like to bring buddies. Perhaps a future patch can help rectify this issue.
Ultimately, NBA 2K11 brings a lot of freshness to the formula. The inclusion of Air Jordan, the improved dribbling and shot stick use, the ramped-up AI, and the TNT presentation means that there isnt much to dislike about NBA 2K11. 2K Games has probably angered a lot of sports game developers by ignoring the update roster and add a new feature formula that most developers utilize. NBA 2K11 has definitely set the bar high for future iterations, both of basketball games and sports games in general. If this trend continues, in a few years time, we may actually have to go outside to a basketball court to get more realistic. NBA 2K11 is the best basketball game ever made, and if you are a fan of the sport, and especially if you were raised in the Air Jordan Era, you wont find a better b-ball game anywhere.
CCC Freelance Writer