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Ultimately NBA 2K16 gets to the emotional heart of the sport

In 2K16, the changes to spacing are dramatic from the first possession. Players smartly space all the way to the corners on pick and rolls, providing outlets and space for the 2-man beauty that is the pick and roll. Isolation feature stacked corner sets where the middle of the court is wide open for speedy ball handlers like Derrick Rose and John Wall. It was far too easy to guard these terrors in past games, because the help never had to travel very far. Now, the CPU can and will put you on an island with an elite NBA ball-handler, and it becomes quickly apparent that the game has modeled their abilities correctly. 2K Sports and the people at Visual Concepts have been making one of the best sports games on the planet annually for many years now, and they didn't rest at all this offseason.
 
In additional to the traditional yearly updates, players will notice big (positive) changes to everything from defensive player movement to shooting mechanics to the play structure to the accuracy of the players' faces. There is no need to pre-order NBA 2K16 if you only want it on release day, but if you decide to place a NBA 2K16 pre-order you unlock a set of special bonus items for the MyTeam mode. If you aren’t getting in line at midnight you won’t likely even run into a line for the NBA 2K16 release at most stores, other than the regular line to pay. For what is worth, we strongly suggest using a controller, otherwise you’ll get really frustrated by the keyboard controls (thankfully, you can remap all keys but let’s be honest; you need a controller for such a game).

 
NBA 2K16 runs great and looks stunning. And although it’s not a flawless port, there is no doubt that the PC version is the definitive version of NBA 2K16. Here is hoping that 2K Games will not drop support and will fix all the reported issues (alongside the aforementioned ones). The systems Visual Concepts has in place for MyGM make for a compelling experience, but some of the disparate elements needs to coalesce before this becomes a destination mode. Too much of your time is spent dealing with players demanding different training regiments, and the mode isn’t good at keeping track of what actions you’ve taken. In one instance I offered a contract extension to a player before I had a conversation about it with him, and was subsequently punished for breaking a promise even though he had the two-year deal in hand.
 
You also have no tools for improving your relationship with the press without throwing someone in your organization under the bus. MyLeague is interesting and impressively massive in scope, allowing you to create and run a basketball association and make decisions concerning every last detail. The most impressive part? Your creation, if managed properly, can potentially operate for up to 80 years. You’ll control how the draft is run, what your league’s salary cap ought to be, how many games in a season -- and the game allows you to select hilarious extremes too. I had the most fun toying with absurd league rules, but if you’d rather play MyLeague like a realistic simulation, you’ll have just as much fun doing so.
 
There are a few questionable decisions sprinkled throughout the game. For one, the in-game team still has Steve Kerr commentating when he’s been hired as the head coach of the Warriors since before the summer started. I’m assuming the 2K team already had the audio recorded and couldn’t figure out a way to splice out his audio when part of the appeal of the commentating team is how natural their discussions sound. Another distracting decision is how Doris Burke, the on the court reporter, looks like a bobble head. You’ll frequently notice that during halftime and post game interviews, her neck will continue to shake while the rest of her body is stone-still. That's not to say they can't improve going forwards, but I'm itching to get back on the floor and put everything on the line for Coach Casey... if only so I can facilitate a sneaky move to the Heat in a couple of weeks.
 
In all honesty, you’ll have to look very hard for something to hate about NBA 2K16. The developers over at Visual Concepts know how to keep raising the bar and like Kevin Durant on the cover, use each offseason to come back better than the last year. If only other yearly releases could be as consistently great as the NBA 2K series, gaming would be in a much better place. The game looks fantastic, the presentation (as if I need to say) is absolutely top notch, even if it's quite weird to have Steve Kerr commentating on matches in which he's also coaching or Doris Burke interviewing an invisible person, but ultimately NBA 2K16 gets to the emotional heart of the sport, and MyGM and MyCareer's roller coaster, Hollywood sporting dramas are beyond compare.