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“NBA 2K24” fails to meet expectations

(Photo courtesy of Steam) “Cover for 2k24’s special edition dedicated to the late Kobe Bryant.”

Shaan Baid
Connector Staff

NBA 2K24 was released on September 8, 2023, for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The game was developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K. NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant is the cover athlete of the Kobe Bryant and Black Mamba Editions. 

While the graphics are exceptional, the gameplay is frustrating because of the lag, increased difficulty and new shot meter. The online experience is the biggest letdown of the game, however singleplayer is still at least respectable. 

2K introduced a new technology called ProPLAY, which translates NBA footage into 2K24 gameplay instead of using motion capture like in previous games. NBA players worked with 2K to help replicate the moves they use on the court in games. The intention was to upgrade jump shots, dunks, layups, dribble moves, pass animations, signature movements, inbound passes and other minor moves. 2K aimed to deliver a more realistic in-game experience for players. 

However, this new technology did not help improve the gameplay at all. If anything, it made the gameplay even worse than NBA 2K23, which was also a disaster. Shot timing, for example, is wildly inconsistent. If the player tries to dunk the ball, sometimes they will pull up for a jump shot instead. Sometimes, the player will not shoot when the button is pressed.

There are also times when the player will uncharacteristically run out of bounds, which can be a momentum killer. It is difficult to finish at the rim where there is a high chance of smoking a layup with minimal contact from a defender.

For jump shots, it is rare to hit a shot without hitting green on the shot meter. Hitting green is more difficult with the new shot meter 2K24 has at its disposal. 2K should bring back the old shot meter, which was better because the bar was straight and flowed better with the shooting animation. The turnovers are frustrating as ball-handling can be sloppy at times. 

MyCAREER takes the cake as the least enjoyable. Whether the user plays MyCAREER season games or online modes in the Neighborhood, such as squads or duos, the gameplay makes it difficult to enjoy. The player starts as a 60 overall and can progress up to a 99 overall. However, it is hard to progress because upgrading attributes costs a lot of VC. Lower overalls struggle in any game mode. Unless the player spends money on VC, MyCareer will be a frustrating experience. 

MyTEAM is objectively the best mode because the single-player experience is at least somewhat enjoyable. It’s easy to upgrade the team as there are a variety of quality players available for cheap. Along with VC, MT Points can be used to buy players and packs. MT Points are easier to obtain than VC, adding flexibility to the game. 

The single-player variant of Triple Threat and Domination modes are the most appealing modes in the game. There isn’t much lag, and it’s easier to time the shot meter. However, in MyTEAM online, the shot meter becomes significantly more difficult to time due to the lag. With this inconsistent balance, it’s hard to enjoy the game. 

Play Now Mode is mediocre at best. Players can compete with current NBA and WNBA teams, along with historic teams. While singleplayer is solid, the online gameplay has similar issues to MyTEAM, such as lag spikes, shot meter issues and turnovers.  

For other game modes, you can play MyLEAGUE, which allows you to control NBA and WNBA franchises by handling front office moves such as trades, signings, drafts, and staff hires. This mode gives the player freedom, having full power to build your roster the way you want. This is one of the few game modes that is enjoyable. It’s creative and allows the player to operate like a general manager. 

The game’s soundtrack is mediocre at best and does not add to the game at all. The 2K24 soundtrack has many genres such as pop, hip-hop, R&B and rock. Overall, 2K24 is another miss in the 2K franchise. 2K seems to care more about style and art than quality, negatively impacting the game. 

Grade: C- 

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