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NBA 2K18

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NBA 2K18
NBA 2K18 cover art.jpg
NBA 2K18 Legend Edition.jpg
NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Gold.jpg
NBA 2K18 Canadian Edition.jpg
When a game developer becomes greedy enough to put microtransactions in a full-priced AAA game, this is definitely not good!
Genre(s): Sports (Basketball)
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release: Original release:
WW: September 15, 2017
Retail Version:
WW: October 17, 2017
Developer(s): Visual Concepts
Publisher(s): 2K Sports
Series: NBA 2K
Predecessor: NBA 2K17
Successor: NBA 2K19


NBA 2K18 is a basketball simulation video game developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It is the 19th installment in the NBA 2K franchise and the successor to NBA 2K17. It was released on September 15, 2017 for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo SwitchPlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A watered down PS3 and Xbox 360 version also exists, but this page only focuses on the more well-known Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One versions instead.

Servers for NBA 2K18 were shutdown on January 18th, 2020.

Gameplay

NBA 2K18 is a basketball simulation game which, like the previous games in the series, strives to realistically depict the National Basketball Association (NBA), as well as present improvements over the previous installments. The player mainly plays NBA games with real-life or customized players and teams; games follow the rules and objectives of NBA games. Several game modes are present and many settings can be customized. In terms of commentary, retired players Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett appear as guest commentators.

A staple of the series, MyCareer, returns as one of the available game modes. MyCareer is a career mode in which the player creates their own customizable basketball player and plays through their basketball career. The mode features a storyline which plays out as the player competes in games as well as off-court activities. The creation tools have been overhauled – new hairstyles and body archetypes are available for the player to make use of, among other things.

NBA 2K18 again, for the sixth time in the series, featured MyTeam mode, a mode based around the idea of building the ultimate basketball team, and maintaining a virtual trading card collection. Players assembled and played with their team in basketball tournament-style competitions against other players' teams in several different formats. Assets for a team were acquired through various means, including randomized card packs and the auction house. Virtual Currency (VC) was used extensively in the mode.

The game introduces a new feature to the series, Neighborhoods, which tie into the game's MyCareer, MyPark, and ProAm game modes. In addition to allowing access to the aforementioned modes, Neighborhoods feature an open world design which players could explore while interacting with other players. Several activities could be completed to raise attributes and the player can purchase items.

Why It Misses The Shot

  1. This game was infested with microtransactions. Yes, microtransactions in a high-budget AAA game, arguably even more than a free-to-play mobile game despite this game being set at a retail price of 49 dollars, bringing it into the premium games category.
  2. Literally demanded VC (premium currency in-game) for almost everything. For example, the game gave your avatar an ugly default haircut, and if you wanted a new haircut, you needed 100-150 (formerly 1000-1500) VC points and you couldn't even preview the new haircut. Also, if you wanted to re-apply a hair-cut that you'd already purchased you needed to pay that amount of VC again. Even something as minor as haircuts cost VC.
  3. You only started off with 6,000 VC (Virtual Currency) and got up to 500 VC per MyCareer match, which you would quickly find out is a very small amount. Putting that in context you'd see that you needed a whole lot of VC to upgrade the overall stats. With 6,000 VC, you could only upgrade your stats enough to upgrade the overall from 60 (the starting amount) to 62. An overall of 60 was far below average in this game.
  4. The customization options required you to reach a certain stat total to unlock them, requiring you to purchase stat upgrades before you could even choose to buy the items.
  5. To make microtransactions much worse, various moves (even the most basic moves) and skill moves were locked behind a skill paywall. You could not even shoot the ball correctly if you didn't pay VC.
  6. The stuff you bought with microtransactions were tied to a character, not your account, meaning if you created a new character you had to rebuy everything again. And if you delete the character guess what? You lose the VC you spent with the character you deleted, and you had to buy them again.
  7. Painfully slow grinding intentionally made to punish players who don't rely significantly on microtransactions, by preventing them from getting enough VC to upgrade stats to get more VC, essentially making the game pay to win.
  8. And when criticized for this? 2K tried to recruit children to be their cannon fodder against critics (and later the Belgium government) and force them to bend the knee to microtransactions.
  9. Terrible MyCareer story which made zero sense with zero ability to shape the tale.
  10. Unfairly extreme difficulty, your starter team in MyCareer mode had awful stats, and you'll get beaten by strong teams almost every match.
  11. It was unfairly difficult to do the MyTeam weekly challenges with the "free" teams given.
  12. The Neighborhood (the place where you can purchase item and upgrade your characters) was full of creepy avatars.
  13. Cringeworthy, unskippable, and overly long cutscenes in MyCareer mode which exploits the two hours Steam refund limit by wasting your time and forcing a playtime longer than two hours to start playing, preventing you from refunding the game using that policy.
  14. 2K bribed various game reviewers to give them high scores for this crappy game. They forced pressure against The Sixth Axis who gave this game a negative 3/10 review score. Not to mention, there used to be an explanation about this on Wikipedia until the page disappeared for some unknown reason.
  15. It contains lots of shameless game glitches. You can get stuck in the elevator cutscene in MyCourt, for example.
  16. The MyPark game mode had servers filled with lag and latency issues, and other general glitches despite the feature being in the series since 2K13.
  17. The series is starting to stagnate due to being the main go-to game for basketball gameplay, with repeated animations and few new features being added.
  18. After getting backlash for the microtransactions the only thing that 2K Games did to compensate is to reduce the prices of the haircuts. They did nothing else to improve the situation of the game. Even Electronic Arts did more to improve relationships by temporarily shutting down microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II and then increasing the speed of progress in the game.
  19. The worst thing about this is the fact that this series was awesome at one point in time and this unfortunately is what started the downfall of the NBA 2K series along with 2K17, which that game itself is no better.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. It's visually stunning and it's visuals are a major improvement over the lackluster graphics from 2K17.
  2. Apart from the graphics, the game was an improvement over 2K17 in terms of soundtrack, presentation, features and the neighborhood. Something 2K17 failed in terms of.
  3. The concept of the neighborhood is very good, and could have been a lot of fun if it wasn't smothered in ads, creepy avatars, and persistent microtransaction begging.
  4. Just like the previous entries in the series, the controls remain tight and responsive, and the core gameplay is still great. Unfortunately, it is ruined by many of the factors explained above.
  5. AI has significantly improved, and a match on Hall of Fame is always a challenge.
  6. Many of the flaws, including pervasive microtransactions, bugs, and a terrible story, are with the MyTeam and MyCareer modes. MyGM, MyLeague, and Play Now are still good.
  7. The Nintendo Switch version (port wise) is great, it's full featured with graphics that are close to the PS4 and Xbox One versions (unlike another 2K published game on the platform, or even FIFA 18 and 19 for that matter...) even with minor issues like 30FPS frame rate and lesser visuals it still manages to be high quality port for Switch standards.
  8. The soundtrack is well balanced, with 80's rock, 90's hip-hop, and modern pop/rap and the soundtrack is full of great songs such as "Do What I Want" by Lil Uzi Vert, "Portland" by Drake, Quavo, and Travis Scott, "Nas is Like" by Nas and several others.
  9. Overall, the game could've been a great 2K, if not the greatest in the series if 2K didn't try any bribery, better game-play, MyCareer not being hot garbage, and the neighborhood being better if it didn't have any flaws. In general, the game is a slight improvement over NBA 2K17.

Reception

Despite generally favorable reviews from critics, thanks to 2K's bribery, the game was heavily panned by Metacritic users with the Xbox One version receiving a score of 1.5, the PS4 version receiving a score of 1.7, the PC version receiving a score of 1.6, and the Nintendo Switch version receiving a score of 4.5.

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