October 13, 2011

NBA 2K12 may not be too realistic

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball, Video Games

With the first two weeks of the NBA season already cancelled – and perhaps more cancellations on their way soon – how does this affect NBA 2K12? The 2K series has been preaching realism for the past many years and have been improving their gameplay in ever iteration of the annual game. I was once playing NBA 2K9 and my 30-something-year-old cousin thought that it was a real-life game on television.

But with this year’s game released last week amidst the league’s lockout, how realistic can it be?

Gameplay aside – which reviews of the game say is amazing – how could you go and start a franchise when the league’s system for contracts and free agency is in a state of debate?

When the real NBA comes back, we could see a modified schedule, a hard cap, shorter contracts, a rollback in salaries, a merger of teams or even the contraction of a team or two.

In other words, these real life changes would completely undermine the game’s franchise mode. Would you want to play a game lauded for its realism when one of the main features would be completely unrealistic?

Many of the possible changes could be made with a simple software update through Xbox Live or PSN, but what about the deeper issues? What if the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets were contracted, with the players divvied up in a draft? Could 2K sports even remove a team from their game straight up? In the case of a merger, could the two teams be turned into one, with perhaps a different name, logo and uniform?

I’m sure the 2K sports have some sort of contingency plan for the lockout but, even as a fan of the series, I won’t be rushing out to pick up this game anytime soon. It might be the best substitute around for real-life ball in this lockout, but wouldn’t it be depressing to watch Blake Griffin drop 45 points on the poor Raptors in a hyper-realistic video game when in real life, it just simply can’t happen?

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