The latest version of the NBA’s legendary video game series was dropped at the start of September, and it’s been a topic of discussion amongst fans and gamers ever since. NBA 2K20 was officially released on 6th September, carrying with it a promise to bring everything we loved from NBA 2K19 and make it better. Whilst elements of 2K20 are certainly better than its predecessor, we’ve also drawn a red line around things that need quite a bit of improvement before we could call it the definitive basketball game of the decade
Let’s take a closer look…
Players and features
From Dwayne Wade on the cover of the Legend edition to the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, the usual suspects are more than apparent in this updated version. In fact, with the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden and Kevin Durant, the line up reads like the ultimate ballot list of players to win the 2020 MVP title.
The hottest NBA rookie of 2019 - and a shoe in to win the award for the 19-20 season - Zion Williamson is also on board, despite not even making his debut with the New Orleans Pelicans when the game was released back on the 6th September.
Ratings-wise, LeBron’s at the top with 97 overall points, followed by the newest NBA Finals MVP (and Champion), Kawhi Keonard. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and James Harden finish off the top five with 96 points apiece.
Playing their part for representation (a bit late, but better late than never) Visual and 2K Sports have listened to their fans and finally included all 12 WNBA teams in both the Season and Play Now modes. The signature playing styles and faces of LA Sparks’ Candace Parker, Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart and Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson have all been poorly captured - let’s see them get the rest of the division shot and replicated for 2K21!
The Next Neighbourhood (NBA 2K’s social location) is back and looking better than ever, whilst the soundtrack kicks butt. Juice WRLD, Post Malone, TroyBoi and Billie Eilish all make an appearance, along with Raptors superfan, Drake.
And now, on to the bad….
We’ve had a good few weeks now to properly dive into this game, and we’ve all seen #FIX2K20 trending on Twitter (and read those scathing fan reviews), but what’s the real tea on the faults with this game?
Sadly, there are a few and they could make a difference between whether or not you’ll be willing to part with the $60 needed to purchase it (for what it’s worth, if you already own NBA 2K19 don’t bother - unless you really need to get your hands on the new features).
Microtransactions - the process of purchasing virtual goods and assets with micropayments - are all the rage now in modern games, sadly, but NBA 2K20 is particularly persistent when it comes to encouraging gamers to spend real money on VC purchases. VC is now featured in pretty much every game mode, including MyTeam and MyCareer. Of course, no gamer has to spend real money to level up their team, but they would have to spend hundreds of hours in the game in order to unlock the assets that those who are quick to splash the cash can in a matter of seconds.
The load times have also been a bug bear with console and PC users alike, particularly the MyCareer game mode. Some screens are even taking several minutes to load on the Xbox, which is especially frustrating when most of the actions you can take - such as in the MyGM mode - seem to require loading a new screen.
Every game can be susceptible to bugs, and for the most part the bugs in 2K20 are currently only affecting PC users - but, they’re still there all the same. Gamers have reported a variety of issues, including frozen load bars, major server issues and attribute bars not showing progress. Controversially, some PC users have noticed that after using VC (virtual currency) to purchase stats boosts for their players, the stats remain the same or go down. 2K have announced that they are “working to prepare an upcoming patch” to address the significant issues in the game, so if you’ve already bought this on PC just hang tight.
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