NBA 2K11 E3 2010 Impressions
In case you hadn’t heard, Michael Jordan himself will grace the cover of NBA 2K11, which is set for release this October 5. But, will the game inside that cover prove itself worthy of its own packaging?
We had a sit-down meeting with 2K Sports Gameplay Director Rob Jones at E3 to find out. Hit the jump for details on NBA 2K11′s battle with its cover.
Jones explained the positioning of NBA 2K11. NBA 2K10 outsold its competition (NBA Live 10), which was good and bad. Good, because…well, sales are good, but bad because the game’s multiplayer had some connectivity issues post-launch. It was like being “caught with [their] pants down,” as Jones put it. Another point of criticism with NBA 2K10 was the controls didn’t allow you to “cancel” movements in mid-motion.
So, NBA 2K11 hopes to correct all that. We watched a video demo of the game to get a feel for how this stuff would shake out. Right away, I was pretty struck by the high quality presentation of the pre-game sequences. It was Lakers vs Celtics (obviously), and the way the game highlighted the starting players and arena was definitely a notch above NBA 2K10. Everything looked explosive and big. What changed, you ask? It turns out 2K Sports poached a producer from TNT to help with design here, and it definitely shows.
Next, we got to see some actual gameplay running at 60 FPS. The game has new player models, uniforms and lighting, which all look pretty great. The ball handler looked pretty smooth as well, thanks to the revamped controls. Jones explained that 2K Sports is shooting 1-to-1 response with “what you think you should be able to do with the ball handler.” This new precision looks like it will allow you to do things like half-spin forward, and then half-spin back, and do it pretty seamlessly.
Lastly, Jones talked a bit about how 2K Sports is going to be better prepared to support multiplayer functionality the day the game goes live. If you remember, NBA 2K10 had some issues with multiplayer gameplay post-launch. Players reported issues with lag, and many couldn’t connect to the 2K Sports servers at all. Jones assured us they’d be ready this time.
And so far, the game looks pretty solid. The new ball handling mechanics look fun, and the souped up presentation is a nice touch. Personally, I just hope Michael Jordan will be playable, and that you can dunk from the free throw line.
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You know what we thought about it at E3, now see what we thought about it at release in our NBA 2K11 review!