NBA Live 19's women give depth to the game's most interesting mode – Polygon

EA Sports’ NBA Live series introduced the WNBA last year, a milestone for the series and for women’s sports but one that was barely supported in the game’s presentation. Fans got all of the league and its players, sure, but they only got them for one-off play-now games — no season-long franchise, or even a playoff tournament — and the generic commentary didn’t mention anyone, team or player, by name.

So July’s announcement that women would be part of NBA Live 19’s career suite was, sure, another milestone. In light of the skimpy, almost thrown-in treatment of the WNBA that followed such a praiseworthy announcement last year, EA Sports deserved a little more scrutiny of what it was really bringing to its basketball franchise this time.

After taking a woman to level 20 in The One, as the career mode is called, I think the developers at EA Tiburon have given women’s basketball, its players and fans a rather sincere and reasonably deep mode. No, there isn’t a WNBA component for a created female star to explore the way men can also play league games in the NBA. Even acknowledging the work it would take to build what is a separate career mode, that seems to be a glaring shortcoming since the NBA is such a large component of the male player’s experience in NBA Live 19.

But the inclusion of women still deepens The One and makes the pick-up games and streetball tour — which is better than half of The One’s offerings — more interesting, whether the user is playing as a woman or not.

Mixed-gender team competition: A sports video game first

NBA Live 19 isn’t the first licensed sports video game to include women. EA Sports’ FIFA series has had women’s national teams for the past

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