What NBA 2K18 Gets Right: Everything That Can Go Wrong in Basketball – GQ Magazine

Lang Whitaker breaks down what it’s like to play the 19th NBA 2K edition—and what it’s like to see your own face in a video game.

There’s a reason basketball fans around the world spent Friday calling in sick, leaving work early, and eating up download bandwidth: It was 2K Day. It’s not exactly a national holiday, not yet, but it’s getting there.

For the uninitiated, 2K Day occurs each year when the latest edition of the preeminent basketball video game series, NBA 2K, is released. This week, the 19th game in the NBA 2K series, NBA 2K18, arrived. Cue the accompanying work slowdown and lost weekend as millions of people dive in.

Each year the game finds a new hook upon which to snare new users. One iteration had a soundtrack curated by Jay-Z; another version had a career mode directed by Spike Lee. This year’s game leans heavily on the introduction of Neighborhoods, which ties together game modes and allows for virtual interaction with other people playing the game.

The thing about sports video games is that there is a baseline of reality that must be approached. With games like Halo or Call of Duty, anything goes. Those are fictional worlds, so soldiers who can up and fly at the push of a button? Cool. But with the 2K series, things have to look and feel exactly like an NBA game. And to that end, NBA 2K18 does just fine. From opening with a shot of Kyrie Irving in a Celtics jersey to letting you design your own Jordans to hanging out in your Neighborhood with your friends that you hoop with, NBA 2K18 delivers a robust simulation of not only an NBA game, but also gives touches of the holistic

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