NBA 2K20

Like most of us in Belgium, we are in love with football but basketball has always been intriguing for me. I played it regularly as a kid and I was looking forward to play NBA 2K20 from 2K. To my surprise, I was really loving the gameplay but was constantly blatantly introduced to microtransactions. Meaning I have a big love and hate relationship with what they released. It is a massive game too, with several time-consuming modes, female NBA teams, an interesting story mode and lots of gameplay mechanics. Let’s read if the game is any better than my basketball skills.

  • Animations: NBA 2K20 looks fantastic and is leaps away from the competition and other sports genres when it comes to animations. The player engine is really something, with many dribbles and finishing animations. What’s more impressive is that everything perfectly flows, the movements never seem out of place, like for example in Fifa 20.
  • On court gameplay is a blast: I haven’t played former NBA games, so this was truly new for me and I was really impressed by how fun and addictive the gameplay is. With so many tactical options and movement abilities, it feels like you never play the same game twice.
  • MyCAREER: I love it when sports games do an effort in bringing a realistic story, for NBA 2K20 it is a fine example of why it gives so much value. Having big names like Idris Elba on screen makes it a little bit more special. Even if the story mode only takes around six hours it shows that the developers truly give a damn about single-player gamers.
  • Huge learning curve: As easy as Basketball looks in real it is a major headache to learn in this game. You have so many rules and gameplay mechanics that it is particularly difficult to jump in and play as a beginner. I don’t mind that the learning curve is steep as in the end you can control one of the best sports games on Xbox.
  • Can’t really figure out the hooping: It could be entirely me but even after playing it for some time I can’t fully figure out why it is so inconsistent for shooting the ball in the loop. 2 out of 3 happen as expected, on other times your professional basketball player misses the most obvious shots with perfect timing on my end and no pressure from the defending team.
  • Microtransactions: While NBA 2K20 has some positive changes over the past years, for example, VC is now decently earned by Career sponsorship agreements, it still is overly present at almost every menu. It goes beyond changing your looks too, it has actual PAY-TO-WIN boosts for your self-made character, I understand that not everyone has the time to level up a custom made character but boosting to high ratings feels wrong on so many levels. I can’t stand it that a €65 priced game is begging you to invest even more
  • Coffee break loading times: Starting a game mode, or visiting a shop or neighborhood can take over a minute. Disappointing to see and especially to experience, nobody likes to wait right while playing!
  • Online performance: Actually playing it has limited latency and considering the animations and visuals that’s remarkable. But there is a big dark cloud over the online game modes as it is seriously plagued by out-of-the-blue disconnects and weird bugs. The game has been out for a while and no improvement is having an effect… a shame. 2K commented on this situation and promises fixes, so I guess it will be sorted out eventually.

CONCLUSION

Score: 72%
NBA 2K20 is a fine example of taking the freedom of microtransactions too far, the constant push for buying stuff truly frustrated me and ruins an otherwise fantastic game. The court gameplay is outstanding and the visuals and animations impressive.

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