It’s always exciting to get a new trailer and see an upcoming game in action, but what we really want to know is, what kind of improvements have actually been made to the gameplay? Fortunately, we don’t have to wait very long for answers in regards to NBA 2K18, as Gameplay Director Mike Wang (aka Beluba) has posted a developer blog detailing the work that has gone into improving this year’s gameplay experience.
As you might expect, it’s a lengthy read, and therefore somewhat difficult to succinctly summarise. However, here are some of the key points:
- The animation and motion engine has been reworked, in order to remove canned moments and a lack of responsiveness. Stick input and attributes govern how players move around the court, so no more getting stuck with an unfavourable animation.
- Shot aiming has been removed this year, with the goal of balancing stick skills and basketball IQ, as well as making sure that a player’s ratings and shooting form are properly factored in. It also sounds as though green releases won’t be as easy or cheesy in NBA 2K18, as they won’t be based solely on release timing.
- The Shot Meter has been positioned beside players for better visibility. Expanded shot feedback informs the user about the quality of their release timing, and how tightly they were covered (Smothered, Heavily Contested, Lightly Contested, Open, or Wide Open).
- There are quicker “load ups” for jumpshot attempts, and some new, explosive hop jumpers. Layup packages have been reworked along the lines of different player styles, such as Euro Specialist, Floater Specialist, Crafty, and so on.
- Weight and strength plays a bigger role in the post game. Multiple moves can also be chained together.
- Tapping or double-tapping the Post Up button will perform triple threat, dribble, and post moves. This is intended as an alternative for users still coming to grips with the Pro Stick moves. There are also more dribbling moves in general.
- Receiver Control will allow users to take control of the pass recipient, to better position them to receive the pass. It’s also possible to choose between a short pass and long skip pass, for more precision.
- Collisions between offensive and defensive players have been improved. There’s more “hip riding” and less “stonewalling”, the logic for ball vulnerability has been enhanced, and foul calls have been revamped. Closeouts are also less cheesy, especially when using Intense D. Attention has also been paid to loose ball situations.
All in all, Beluba describes some very promising improvements to the gameplay in NBA 2K18. Be sure to check out the developer blog for the full details, and share your impressions in the comments section below, as well as here in the Forum.