Preview: NBA 2K13, Part 2


by Adam Figman / @afigman

Late last week, SLAM previewed NBA 2K13 for the second time. While our first glimpse last month gave us a look at specific gameplay details, this one provided a peak into the various game modes 2K13 contains, along with some other miscellaneous tidbits. Below are a list of said tidbits—in bullet-point form, because, c’mon, who doesn’t like bullet points?—of what we learned while checking out the widely anticipated video game.

• It’s been (very) reported that Jay-Z curated the game’s soundtrack—which is true—but that’s far from Hov’s only influence here. In the game, moving the left control stick determines where the player a user is controlling goes, while fiddling with the right control stick determines specific dribbling moves the player can make. (So: If the player is dribbling with his right hand, moving the right control stick to the left performs a crossover, or moving it to the right performs a stutter step to the right.) Jay didn’t exactly have a hand in the technical aspects of making this happen, but we were told he had the idea behind the philosophy of separating the motions of the hands and feet between two different buttons. Smart guy.

• More Jay-Z: The Brooklyn native assisted with getting the Dream Team into the game by recruiting guys who have held their names out of video games for years—Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen—and convincing them to get in. Seriously, imagine not wanting to do something, and then having freakin’ Jay-Z personally ring you up and be like, “Yo, come on, do it.” Good luck saying no to that.

• Speaking of the Dream Team, there’s a special anniversary court that is used whenever the Dream Team faces up against 2012’s Team USA. This will come as no surprise, but both the Dream Team and Team USA have 99 ratings for offense, defense and overall.

• The game’s intro is very clearly influenced by the Nets’ part-owner as well. It includes NBA highlights—in the 2K graphics, naturally—spliced between concert footage of Jay performing “PSA (Interlude),” and eventually leads into an introductory menu screen, which resembles a stage: also a Jay-Z idea, we were told.

• Basically anything you do in the game earns your created player (see the next bullet point) Virtual Currency, which you can use to “purchase” a ton of different items, from insanely customizable sneakers (see two bullet points down) to off-court clothing to accessories to on-court Signature Skills to plenty more. You earn that currency through advancing in the different game modes in basically any way, but you may also purchase that in-game currency with real-life scrilla, for those of you with some money to burn who want to get ahead in the NBA 2K world.

• Onto the game modes. Last year’s My Career mode has been split in two: My Player (which refers simply to the creation/customization of a created player) and My Career, in which a user guides said player through his career. Unlike in last year’s version, though, the My Player, err, player—can be selected No. 1 in the Draft. Association mode is very much still present, with most of the same great features as in 2K12. (We were also told the trades made by computer-controlled franchises will be a little more realistic this year, too.) And there’s a new mode called My Team, in which a user is given a deck of random digital trading cards that display the players on his/her roster, and then one can earn currency by playing with that team and trying to build the given roster into a better one. There’s a fantasy basketball element at play, too: The players’ real-life NBA stats are uploaded into the game, and their value changes as a result, so like in fantasy bball, a user may trade for guys he/she feels will soon break out (buy low) or trade away guys he/she thinks are finished (sell high). Make it through the Playoffs and win the Championship and earn a gift in the form of one Michael Jordan, which will make a user’s My Team squad damn near impossible to beat.

• Back to customizing in My Player mode for a second. There’s a new feature called the Shoe Creator, which is exactly what it sounds like. A user can literally customize every single millimeter of a sneaker, from the laces to the sole to the color scheme to the, just, everything. Tons of sneaker brands are in there and usable, too, including Jordan Brand, Nike, adidas, Under Armour, Spalding, Reebok and Converse.

• There’s no longer any kind of specific mode for the legends teams, but each of those old-school squads in 2k12 is still playable, including one new one: The Allen Iverson-led ’00-01 Philadelphia 76ers. There’s also a celebrity team, starring Justin Bieber, Meek Mill, Wale, JB Smoove, Jersey Shore‘s Vinny and Pauly D, Bow Wow, Sean Kingston, Mac Miller and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from The Office).

NBA 2K13 drops October 2 in the United States, October 5 worldwide.