Charming is the one word I kept coming back to while trying to gather my thoughts on this year’s NBA 2K17 release from 2K Sports. It’s one thing to make a good basketball game, it needs to feel good, and look good, and closely resemble the product basketball fans watch on a nightly basis, and while that isn’t an easy target to hit, I’d imagine that trying to nail the ‘vibe’ of your subject matter is far more difficult.
To 2K Sports’ credit, they definitely performed that part of their NBA 2K package this year. NBA 2K17 is charming as hell. It’s a very good basketball game made by people who love basketball, and despite any criticisms of the game that I may have, that charm, that ‘love’ for basketball culture is plastered all over NBA 2K17, and from someone who loves basketball just as much as the creators of NBA 2K17, I really appreciate the kind of care and nuance Visual Concepts sprinkled all over this year’s’ release.
From a graphical standpoint, I can’t say that this year’s’ release looks appreciably different from previous releases on this generation of hardware. I played NBA 2K17 on an Xbox One, and I’d say the game looks a very-generic-and-wholly-unhelpful “fine,” but of far more importance to me, personally, is the game runs great. It’s unfortunate that we have to toss that caveat in here, but this is a generation of broken video games releasing on underpowered consoles, so, it’s worth noting that none of that is present here.