Format: PS3(), Xbox 360(reviewed version), PC
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: 2K Sports
Developer: Visual Concepts
ESRB Rating: E
The best sports game from last year is finally back on the hardwood, and with a ton of new changes and innovations, it looks like it has a chance to repeat.
The presentation in 2K13 has received a number of additions, starting off with the new streamlined menu systems. Each mode really has a new interface to quickly get into a game or just navigate your way through the layers of the Association mode. On the court, the game has received a pretty prevalent facelift. Many of the players have changed for the better, Chris Paul no longer looks like a rare creature from the wild, he looks like his real-life counterpart. Dirk Nowitzki is no longer an underwear model with his long textured hair, he's back to his normal looks. The different courts all look the same, but the newly added Barclays Center for the Nets looks really good. All of the game's new contextual animations make the game look even more realistic than before. The game's fluid animations actually made me be blurt out, "Holy Crap," a few times. Thanks to the the expertise from Jay-Z, this easily the best soundtrack of any sports game around. If you're a fan of rap, like myself, every song brings pleasure to the ears. Before every game, a cool montage of music videos and game highlights really amps you up for the upcoming matchup, giving a little more credit to Jay-Z. The commentators really add to the experience as well, and since basketball is a fast paced sport, they do a really good job of keeping up with all the action on the court. This is one of the best audio/visual packages around, and the fact that this is wrapped around a basketball game is nothing short of impressive.
Core Gameplay and Multiplayer:
On the hardwood, the gameplay is as smooth as ever. Thanks to the addition of Signature Skills, each player is represented well by each of the skills they possess. Lebron James is known for his chase down blocks in real life, so he has the Chasedown Artist Signature Skill. Blake Griffin's signature style of posterizing everybody who gets in his way is extrapolated beautifully to his virtual self. These new additions add more to the game's impressive level of realism. You still get those moments though, where your teammates will just do random things. The pick-and-roll mechanic has received a welcomed change, your big man will actually roll even without making contact with a defender. In the last game, they would actually stand still if they didn't make contact. My Player has received a bevy of new features, but most of them are mostly cosmetic. You can change what your player wears off the court, and even customize your own shoes. A cool new feature has to be the option to sit down with your GM, discussing potential trades or if you just want your coach fired, the options are at your disposal. A funny quirk I found with this and the previous game, is that your NBA player is so well-read. Not every player in the league is this articulate and use the wide range of vocabulary that your My Player utilizes. The Association mode is basically the same as last year, but a few improvements make it slightly different than 2K12. Given these improvements, 2K13 is still the best and the only way to get out on the hardwood.
NBA 2K13 is the best sports game of the year, in my opinion. It does so much more than the previous game, with Jay-Z alone, the presentation is one of the best to date. Gameplay is still great and with the additions to the My Player mode, any fan needs to pick this one up asap.
S&S Rating: 9/10