As we lead into the release of NBA 2K23, 2K Sports has begun a series of deep dives into all the new stuff that’s going into it. This week is gameplay.
If you’re a fan of sports games, then you already know all about the yearly model that they pretty much all work on. It’s a fairly typical thing, and sees year-over-year sports releases add in minor upgrades and improvements along with new rosters.
In the case of NBA, we’ve seen quite a bit more than “minor” updates over the last few seasons, and this year looks to be the same. 2K has a bunch of improvements planned out, across the NBA 2K experience, including “gesture combos”, a “major” update to defensive play, and a pretty big new feature with Adrenaline Boosts.
Here’s a taste of what you can expect:
- Shooting: This year’s major change is the addition of shooting attributes, which give each signature jump shot its own unique shooting stats that help determine its effectiveness. There are also five new shot meters to choose from, with 15 more that can be unlocked through Seasons over the coming year;
- Pro Stick Enhancements: New Gesture Combos have been added to the Pro Stick, introducing a lot of new weapons for both shooting and ball handling for playmakers. Dunking also received new commands, ensuring players dunk exactly how they want without accidentally firing off an unexpected skill dunk;
- Skill Moves & Adrenaline Boosts: New gesture combos give players even more ball handling and shooting options for their offensive arsenal. Additionally, a new feature to prevent overdribbling is the concept of Adrenaline Boosts. Boosts are consumed every time a player performs a hard go or explosive sprint launch, and once their three boosts are gone, players will notice their speed and acceleration decrease significantly for the remainder of the possession;
- Defense: Defensive gameplay includes major updates aimed at creating more realistic on-ball defense and shot blocking, as well as steals and ball strips. This year, blocks have been tuned to a more realistic level, leading to more predictable outcomes, with the right players making appropriate stops when timing their block attempts well. There’s also a distinct improvement in ball security for good dunkers, and much more;
- Badges: Introducing a brand new tiered badge system for players on PlayStation® 5 (PS5™) and Xbox Series X|S, there will be 16 badges per attribute category: eight in Tier 1, four in Tier 2, and four in Tier 3, with the basic idea being that players need to equip a certain number of badges in the lower tiers before they can equip badges in the highest;
- Takeovers: While the primary and secondary Takeovers remain the same from previous games, Team Takeover has been redesigned. Team Takeover works as a cooperative team system with the entire team sharing a single meter. The new design makes a lot more sense and does a better job representing what it means to be hot as a team and to take over the game as a unit;
- AI Gameplay: PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players will notice improved AI ball handling, pick and roll execution, defensive tendencies, and coaching decisions.
NBA 2K23 is expected to hit Xbox and PlayStation platforms, as well as the Switch and PC on September 9th. If you’d like to check out our thoughts on last year’s model, click here.