NBA 2K14 continues the trend of the series into mediocrity. Like most sports games, you can’t go into NBA 2K14 and expect a major upgrade from the previous year, but 2K14 just feels boring and pointless this late in the console game.
The game is largely the same song and dance as 2K13. Minor improvements have been made here and there; the interface is easier to use and less cluttered, for example. Online seems to be much more intuitive, with it being incredibly easy to hop into an online game in any game mode. The online community is fairly large, which obviously helps matters as well.
The most fun I had with 2K14 came from the multiplayer. There are local as well as online options, and it’s all equally as entertaining. I especially enjoyed the blacktop mode online, which had a more personal feel than the games taking place on NBA-sanctioned courts. It’s hard to deny the fun that can be had when getting a friend together to play this or taking the game online, but the multiplayer can’t sell the game on its own.
For some reason, I found that the base basketball game at work here just wasn’t as good as before. The controls are largely the same, but slight tweaks here and there have really thrown off the flow of everything. Passing the ball seems harder to do now, and taking shots just doesn’t feel right anymore. Of course, once you’ve put in a decent amount of hours and get used to the slight tweaks that 2K has made to the controls as well as under the hood, then it starts looking up, but the learning curve here is a bit too steep and wholly unnecessary.
The big new addition this year is the LeBron James Path to Greatness mode. This game mode is actually pretty hilarious in that it attempts to predict a future in which LeBron James just decimates the competition and is a player unmatched in his godly achievements. While it’s honestly not that fun to play, like I said, it is amusing, especially for NBA fans. It’s a fun little twist on the “historical” modes we usually see in sports games, like the Michael Jordan mode we saw a couple of years back in this series.
Due to the annual release schedule, I find that I have less and less to say about each passing entry in the NBA 2K franchise. This may also be due to the fact that the seventh generation has gone on forever and the franchise needs the kind of boost only next-gen technology can give it. Maybe next year when we see NBA 2K15 on PS4 and Xbox One I can get excited for the series again, but for now, NBA 2K14 is just a tired rendition of the same game we’ve seen year after year. It will be most appealing to newcomers to the series that haven’t gone through all this stuff before.
Tested on Xbox 360. Final Score: 6.0/10