For a while now 2K Sports has been battling it out with EA Sports for the best NBA simulation. For many years NBA 2K11 has come out on top. This year EA Sports cancelled NBA Elite 11 thus, not giving 2K Sports any competition. Did 2K Sports rest on their laurels or did they make the best NBA simulation ever? Read on to find out.
2K Sports brings back Michael Jordan. It also brings several new modes to the table. There is the Association mode. You can adjust the number of games you want to play. You can also jump straight into the playoffs if you want to skip the entire season. There are 5 on 5 and 1 on 1 pickup games. There is a My Player mode that has you create a basketball player and try to make him into an NBA star. It’s a daunting task because getting your player at a decent skill level is time-consuming. You will reap the rewards if you dedicate enough time molding your player. There is even a Practice mode for first timers and because 2K11 is tougher than previous iterations in the series.
The AI is also good. Players move really well on the court and act as a team. Players will do their best to get open for shots, get in the best position for a rebound, setting picks, and stopping the offense from scoring. However, the CPU steals too many passes. For some reason good three-point shooters miss three-point shots that they should make. Free throw shooting is difficult because it relies on memorizing each player’s shooting mechanic. Players have their signature shots and dunks.
A new addition to the game is the Jordan Challenge. You get to relive 10 of Michael Jordan’s greatest moments. They are very tough and challenging due to the variables involved in each scenario. There are several requirements such as, scoring a certain number of points, getting a certain number of rebounds or assists, having a certain shooting percentage or simply getting the victory. You will overuse Michael Jordan several times due to the requirements for each challenge. Successful completion will unlock MJ: Creating a Legend mode. You can place Jordan on any team you want. You can even play as classic teams such as, the class Bulls, Lakers, Celtics, Jazz, etc. You have My Jordans which awards pairs of Air Jordans for getting milestones and accomplishments.
You can either play the game with either the keyboard or a controller. I think the controller works the best. It’s intuitive and feels natural. It also gives you the feeling of playing on a game console. There are new IsoMotion dribbling controls. It is designed to offer the most realistic dribbling system with seamless transitions between dribbling moves. Add that with a new gesturing system and you have an impressive control scheme. The Isomotion controls take time getting used to but learning the mechanics will be rewarding. There is also a new Dynamic Shot Control. You can perform dunks, layups and jumpshots all by flicking the stick. Shots can be adjusted on the fly so you’re never in an impossible situation when trying to score.
The graphics are absolutely amazing and give you the impression that you’re watching an NBA broadcast. Players look really good with the exception of a few. Skin tones are lifelike along with the sweat. The players’ jerseys move really well. The suits look pretty stiff for some reason. The crowds look good and come to life really nicely. The courts have a nice shine to them. I wished 2K Sports included player introductions because it would’ve been really nice. Hopefully they will include it in future iterations.
The audio is fantastic. Dunks sound great. Shoes squeak on the court. Swishes sound really nice. Crowds cheer or boo. The game also features improved commentary from past games. Doris Burke does the court side report and fits really well with the on-court action. There are even player specific comments that are really good. The commentary does repeat itself. The game also features a pretty good soundtrack. It does a good job of putting you in the NBA action.
NBA 2K11 is simply the best NBA simulation. It has stunning graphics. The audio is great. It has solid gameplay. It features a really good association mode. Throw in the Jordan Challenge and you have yourself a great package.