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Playing NBA 2K16 looks and feels like a live game

Let’s start with my personal preference which is MyCareer. I’ve spoken about this mode in both my 2K13 and 2K14 reviews, stating how this is basically the closest you can get to a sports RPG. In MyCareer you create a player to compete in the NBA, but there is a story going on too and how you react to different situations shapes how your team-mates and rivals see you. While in previous games you played a rookie match and got drafted to a team, NBA 2K16 shakes up the formula by making you an undrafted player. This level of detail is just one of the many things that this game does so well and is just another reason why it stands out among other sports games.
 
Firstly or should I say from tip off, as is common with most modern sport titles, on the main menu screen you are hit with a vast array of game modes to play. From NBA Today where you play a single game against the AI, though in this game even this mode goes beyond a simple exhibition match. NBA Today is updated daily and downloads automatically when you load the game, player rosters are updated, the way the players look; yes in this game if your favorite player has a hair cut or changes the trainers he wears, this will be reflected the next time you control him ,and also players ratings will go up and down according to how they preforming during the season. It even adds some new commentary that reflects the ongoing NBA season and all players stats for the season are kept up to date as well.

 
Unbelievably, 2K16 lets me increase my influence even further with MyLeague, where I can change just about every rule in the book to suit my league needs. I can set my own salary cap, or I can throw the salary cap out the window and bring all of the NBA's top talent to one team. I can completely overhaul the NBA's trade rules, turning the league into a Wild West of wheel in' and dealin'. Heck, I can somehow turn every player in the NBA into super humans impervious to any injuries. This mode is the basketball equivalent of a garage full of sports cars and a voice saying "pick one": I can do whatever I want, however I want, then play the league and see how it all turned out, and it's easily my favorite part of the entire game.
 
Of the legacy modes, MyCareer has received the biggest face lift, both literally and figuratively. NBA 2K16 endeavors to take advantage of the high-powered cameras on both the PS4 and Xbox One, allowing you to scan your face into the game for your avatar. The process doesn’t take long, but you’ll encounter occasional errors, need a steady head, ideal lighting situations and require plenty of patience. Errors abound, although a when the system gets it right, boy is it special. MyCareer mode is filled with upgrades, although it starts with a minor bummer. It’s nearly impossible to wind up getting drafted; the game wants you to wind up being a journeyman. There’s some redeeming rags-to-riches to all this, but it would be nice to have the option to be a top pick as well. Not everyone wants to start from ground zero, playing through 10-day contracts.
 
One of the biggest distinctions of NBA from other sports franchises is the experience you get. NBA 2K16 feels like an extension of ESPN at times. Interesting UI, great wipes between replays and gameplay, and an overall flashy style really sold the energy you get with the NBA as opposed to other professional sports. Bringing in Shaq is kind of cool, and the commentary actually feels unique for each game. It’s so hard to make canned responses sound real. Visual Concepts has really brought that to the table this year. Playing 2K16 looks and feels like a live game a lot of the time, but the sound design is what really brings it alive.
 
NBA 2K15 is arguably the best looking sports title out there and will certainly impress if you want to showcase your console. Thankfully, it plays well too and there’s plenty of value on the disc to make a purchase worthwhile. There’s nothing more satisfying than winning that vital match after finding little bit of space, then adding a sudden burst of speed and a shimmy before slamming the ball home. Give it some practice and you’ll be pulling off fakes and three pointers with ease, just like Jordan in his heyday.