Basketball has always been about the fluid and explosive action on both sides of the court. NBA simulators have captured this, but I have always missed the little details that truly have us jumping onto the basketball court. Does NBA Live 13 solve this problem? Sadly no.
NBA Live is one of the most known basketball franchises in gaming, but was forced to reboot. It has been since NBA Live 10, when Dwight Howard was on the cover. A year later EA rebranded their NBA franchise calling it NBA Elite 11, except it was later canceled in the midst of the 2010 NBA season.
It’s been now three years since the general public has seen NBA Live and much has changed since then. 2K Sports basketball simulator is the dominant basketball game on the market and EA has found it’s self on the bottom looking up. Many things had to change for NBA Live and that’s exactly what EA has done.
Ever since 1995, EA Canada has been in development of the NBA Live franchise until now. Tiburon Studios is taking up the reins of the franchise and are giving it their signature polish on sports games. Tiburon Studios are the minds behind NCAA, NHL, Madden and now the NBA series and you know exactly what you are getting.
The core gameplay mechanics are quite staggering in NBA Live 13. The “Playmaking Engine,” is the backbone in this year installment. The mechanics in NBA Live allow you to freely dominate the court, while rely on your teammates. “Split Second Creativity,” allows you to make quick decisions on the fly. The biggest factor in the game is the CPU intelligence. Your basketball teammates will work together on the basketball court more effectively and will adjust accordingly to what the offense is throwing at you. I wasn’t able to get hands on with NBA Live, but from the outset the gameplay early similar to NBA Live 11. The gameplay didn’t look like it was fully in placed due to the fact that I was looking at Alpha build.
Just like the rest of EA Sports brand, EA and ESPN are patterning to bring you more closer to the action and resembles what you see on TV. Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen are the commentators in NBA Live 13 and it really gives the game a base to work off of. Every game starts off. Every game opens up with a short pre game intro featuring an in depth bibliography about the top players in the game. There is a half time, but I didn’t see it and I wouldn’t expect Michael Wilbon appearing in this year’s version. Then to conclude the game like a television broadcast, the game is wrapped up in post game show. During our demo, Jeff and Mike weren’t shown so we have no clue if their faces will appear along with personalities in the game like in Madden 13. However, there are some presentation flaws that could hurt NBA Live 13.
NBA Live looks far too familiar for a reboot that has been three-years in the making. Many of the athletes still look slimed down then they should be. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade seem to be sharing the same body type. It’s the little details NBA Live is missing right now because even though the presentation values are great, gameplay appears to be work in progress and player models need to be revamped.
NBA Live 13 is set to release on October 2nd, but it has a lot of things it needs to get done before it ships. We still don’t know about the about the playable modes in the game. Until then, make sure you keep it here for all your NBA Live news.
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