At the beginning of the month, we let you know that EA Sports changed the name of their long running NBA franchise from NBA Live to NBA Elite. And with that change, you knew that they were going to have to feature one of the game’s best players on the cover to live up to the hype. Well, they delivered. At an exclusive launch party last night in NYC, they announced that Kevin Durant will be the cover athlete for NBA Elite 11. And KD, in his humble way, couldn’t have been more psyched.
“I’ve always been a fan of EA Sports,” says Durant, who’s only he third player in EA Sports history to be featured both on the pack of an NCAA and an NBA licensed product. “This has been an exciting year for me and the team, and capping it off with being on the cover of NBA Elite 11 is cool.”
In addition to being a 2010 NBA All-Star, the 21-year-old became the youngest player in NBA history to lead the League in scoring this past season, and helped lead the Thunder to an impressive 50 win season and NBA Playoffs berth.
While at the event, I got a chance to get up with KD, as well as guys like Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and J.Cole, as the competed in the new game, as well as the new NBA Jam. Also, halfway through the night, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Wesley Johnson and Ed Davis rolled through as well. While NBA Elite 11 is currently finishing up development up in Vancouver, I can only imagine how great the finished product will be once its available this October.
“Durant is a game changer,” says Jordan Edelstein, VP Marketing at EA Sports. “There has never been a player his size with his skill set, and there has never before been a basketball videogame like NBA Elite. Just like we see Durant as the future of the NBA, NBA Elite 11 represents the future of basketball videogames by providing a gameplay experience you simply won’t find anywhere else on the market.”
After playing the game a couple different times throughout the evening, you realize that NBA Elite 11 introduces (and delivers) significant gameplay changes that promise to revolutionize the basketball videogame experience. Through their new “Hands-On Control” – an innovative new control scheme that allows for one-to-one responsiveness of a player’s movement and actions on the court – you completely determine what your players do, as opposed to predetermined animations from the past that require users to wait while a scenario plays out before making the next move. Also, Hands-On Control is unique to NBA Elite 11, and is used to manage everything within a player’s offensive and defensive arsenal, including dribble moves, dunks, drives to the basket, fadeaways, mid-air adjustments, blocks, steals and more.
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