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The NBA 2K series will be releasing the NBA 2K16 soon

It was always a tough ask to improve on something so great, as was 2K Sports’ task with NBA 2K15 after last year’s brilliant next-gen debut. Going back ten years to NBA 2K6, it’s overwhelming how the series has actually managed to improve year-on-year, setting a standard in the sports game genre that no one has really been able to match. The modes get a touch-up, and on and off-ball physics are continually refined. One thing remains the same, however, and that’s NBA 2K’s staunch commitment to realism: the game of basketball can be a cruel mistress, and NBA 2K16 is especially unforgiving. NBA 2K16 plays a strong hand: it’s the tactical way or the highway. You can try to run the fast break at every opportunity, but a good defensive team is just going to steal that long pass and run it back up the court.
 
You can try to pass the ball through the key to the teammate under the basket, but the three opponents in the way have other ideas. You can jack up three-point shot after three-point shot at every offensive possession, but not even LeBron’s that streaky. You need to play by the rules in NBA 2K16, otherwise you’ll go the way of Gilbert Arenas: plenty of shots to fire but without a clue on how to work a gun. NBA 2K has long been a series with RPG qualities, and for a long time its systems of percentages and dice rolls of a sort were novel and cool. But as the last generation went on, those systems didn't age well, and what had been novel started to feel janky. But NBA 2K16, far more than last year's new-generation debut for the series, has reinvigorated the 2K RPGisms into a far smoother, not-at-all-janky experience. Though it's still not without notable flaws.

 
The NBA 2K series will be releasing the NBA 2K16 version of the game on October 7. The game will be released on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. It’s the most complete basketball experience for any NBA fan developed by Visual Concepts. With the game specifically tailored for the Xbox One and PS4 systems, the graphics are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before while also including some incredible new features. The atmosphere of the arenas is also well done. Certain sound effects are hometown specific (like the Timberwolves howl when a player is shooting free throws) and in the playoffs fans all wear the same color to participate in whiteouts, blackouts - whatever team-color-appropriate-outs. Continuing to add flavor to the game, two members of the TNT NBA studio team - Shaq and Ernest Johnson Jr. - do a pre-game presentation with their usual playful banter, adding some authenticity to the experience. To top it off, Kevin Harlan, Clark Kellogg, and Steve Kerr return with some solid commentary.
 
That alone doesn't cost "2K16" too much. What hurts is presentation. Midgame, everything looks fantastic, from the players to the courts. But then comes halftime when Doris Burke speaks to one of the players, and a purportedly next-gen game looks extremely last-gen. If the same love and care was put into making Burke, Ernie Johnson and the hilarious Shaquille O'Neal look right, there would be no complaint. It's an eyesore given the power of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Load screens are pretty obnoxious, too. It would be nice if there were other activities or visuals available while waiting to transition to and from games. Or, at least cut down on load times. Thankfully there is more player audio throughout the game, in MyCareer for example your player gets taken under the wing of one of the senior players and actually has some dialogue recorded, giving the game a bit more atmosphere.
 
On court it’s clear 2K have made a big effort to try and make the game a little more accessible to players less familiar to the sport, the biggest thing you will notice is a little shot meter around the players, release the shot within the sweet spot and there is a good chance that you’ll score. For more established players of the game you’ll more than like know your players and can base your judgment on the animations but for people like me it’s a welcome addition. Players feel weightier this year, which is great when defending and as ever the presentation is simply brilliant. They have thrown in cheerleaders during breaks in play as well as mascot diving onto the floor. I’ve noticed a few glitches such as the mid game interviews sometimes have the players missing despite being able to hear their true voices.