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NBA 2K16 features fully voiced fellow players

2K Games and CD Media were kind enough to provide us with a review code for NBA 2K16, so it’s time to see how this sports game performs on the PC platform. NBA 2K16 PC is similar to the current-gen console version, which is precisely why we decided to do a Performance Analysis. As always, we used an Intel i7 4930K with 8GB RAM, NVIDIA’s GTX690, Windows 8.1 64-bit and the latest version of the GeForce drivers. Unfortunately, the green team has not included any SLI profile for NBA 2K16, and we could not find a way to enable it. And since NBA 2K15 still lacks an official SLI profile, we can kiss goodbye to a proper profile for NBA 2K16.
 
This improved spacing also benefits the rest of the playtypes, as well. If you’re running a screen away from the ball, the entire offense will no longer bunch up around that screen, giving the defense numerous options to switch off and shut it down. Instead, the sets place non-essential players in different action away from the play, offering spacing and a distraction from the action designed to get an open shot. Post ups, even uncalled ones, find players clearing out naturally and aborting cuts in order to give the ball-handler room to operate and making it as hard as possible for help to arrive. Doubling is dangerous roulette in NBA 2K16, as patient players can read the double and find the open man and punish you for it, just like real life.

 
After last year’s continual connectivity issues, we hoped Visual Concepts would take a new approach to its servers. Instead, we’re facing many of the same issues, like inconsistent performance in online matches and inability to access MyCareer for stretches. NBA 2K16 also brings new problems to the table, like losing face scans that take several tries with the PlayStation Camera and Kinect to create decent results in the first place. Why that data had to be saved to a server instead of the console is beyond me. Visual Concepts claims this issue is resolved, and as the last week progressed I had better luck connecting to MyCareer, but I still encountered intermittent outages.
 
All in all, both defensive and offensive play have taken on an impressive flow and “smoothness” that, while not always perfect, have altered the 2K experience for the better. Offense is a joy once you get the hang of it -- I look forward to further tweaks to the defensive experience with next year’s edition. As usual, NBA 2K is loaded with various play modes, with the returning MyCareer front and center among them. You’ll create a player and optionally scan in your face (via Kinect or PlayStation Camera), and from there the process is rather straightforward. Though I was impressed with the amount of fine-tuned detail my created avatar possessed, this is no “Create-A-Sim” either.
 
If you really analyze the graphics on your player up close they don’t consistently impress, and rapidly altering facial features only draws attention to that fact. I’d recommend you take player creation as a fun activity to prep your for the main course, and nothing more. Instead of dealing with a fictional rival like Jackson Ellis, NBA 2K16 features fully voiced fellow players who will take on a mentorship role for you, congratulating you on a good game or encouraging you after a loss. After a subpar game where I only had 7 points, my teammate Eric Gordon from the Pelicans, pulled me aside to encourage and remind me that it’s a long season and not to be too down after a loss. Each team will have their own mentor figure that will be fully voiced, who you can either choose to learn from or be an ass to.
 
In the games I did get to play, the limited defensive options were really exposed -- there are so many ways for opponents (especially quick ball-handlers) to break you down that winning was really just a case of who'll screw up in attack first. You can play full court matches as well, but the dodgy netcode just encouraged me to go back to the other game modes. It remains, nonetheless, the premier NBA fan experience, all rolled up into one enormous gaming content package. It's sullied somewhat by the repeated connectivity issues that have plagued the series for years, but they've been much calmer of later.