NEWS - Thursday, July 17, 2008

E3 2008: NBA 2K9 First Look

Developers explained that, unlike NHL 2K8, 2K Sports’ NBA simulation did not need a rebuild, and was instead ready for primetime already. The company "likes where it’s gone and where it’s going", and explained that this year’s design direction is to be the complete package from booting on your system to shutting it down. That’s fine and dandy, but in our first look at the game at E3, we saw very, very little of where NBA 2K9 might be going.

We only saw about 90 seconds of gameplay and a similarly-short trailer that featured the Celtics and Lakers, and neither showed any real tangible differences from the previous versions of the game. The only real visual effect we noticed that looked new was improved lighting and shadowing, with the effect of the arena lights looking really nifty on the Celtics’ parquet. We didn’t see any noticeable gameplay differences, with one glaring, ugly play seeing Ray Allen make a leaping, full-force bullet pass from the elbow to Kevin Garnett, three feet away at the top of the key.

Don’t ask Kobe how Shaq tastes.

Seriously, that’s it -- we learned very little about NBA 2K9, which suggests that the game is still far from being completed. That’s a big concern with the game’s launch only three months away, and with NBA Live announcing its Dynamic DNA feature at E3, 2K already appears to be playing a game of catch-up.


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