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NBA 2K14 Rapid Reaction: Flashier Passes And Defensive Intel

The as-yet unreleased NBA 2K14 has already revealed some of their new features — like the return of crew mode — as fans and players eagerly await it’s October 1 release date. Dime was lucky enough to be offered a chance to play a test version of the game today.

Something to keep in mind before picking up the first edition of NBA 2K14 is that a second version will be released along with the new Playstation and XBox consoles coming next year. So you can get the NBA 2K14 for PS3 and XBox 360 on October 1, but you should know an updated version will also be released with the new consoles. Just a ton of great features and a whole separate edition of your favorite basketball game to look towards.

It’s true that LeBron James picked the soundtrack, and Jadakiss blared for the New Orleans Pelicans introductions at the beginning of the second game we tried. Those introductions are pretty cool, and definitely make you feel like you’re about to watch a spectacle despite it being on quick game mode without some of the more advanced features.

The biggest difference over earlier versions of the games, at least to us, was the ability to try out flashier passes and the verisimilitude of shooting motions and post-foul reactions. For the latter point, when we were playing as the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony had the ball on the left wing; we drove him towards the bucket, but were stymied by the Heat defender overreacting to the dribbling, which led to a foul on his shot. Instead of reacting clumsily, ‘Melo’s nuanced body movements stood in stark contrast to a plodding topple in earlier versions.

We had thrummed down the Pro Stickâ„¢ shot button, and ‘Melo subsequently jumped into his defender to draw the foul while getting the shot up on the rim for a chance at a three-point play. It wasn’t the hesitant defender meets offensive player where the game almost seems to freeze, but the intricate give-and-take of forces colliding that we’re familiar with on our television set when Anthony is plowing ahead trying to use his strength to score inside or — in this case — draw the foul.

The new passing features were an unexpected bonus. When you flick the right control while holding down L2, there are a number of flashy passes that happen, rather than the standard chest pass. When playing with Rubio, he didn’t pass it between his legs, but he did adroitly spin and throw a no-look pass to Nikola Pekovic for a two-handed dunk. All it took was a flick of that right controller after calling a pick-and-roll action with Pek. When you press down on the right action, it also doubles as a Pro Stick shot button, so some might want to use the circle button which is still the shot motion.

Like we already mentioned, the accuracy of the movements is getting so that your brain is tricked for a second as to whether it’s an actual game. While attempting to split a double-team off a pick-and-roll, Jrue Holiday got tripped up, and it looked incredibly authentic as he stumbled forward before the whistle blew. We weren’t even involved in the set, but just watching to see how the computer would react.

While it was impossible to really see it in action, the new Ariticial Intelligence feature means that once a particular set has destroyed an opponent enough times, the defense automatically adjusts to that set. It’s like the Grizzlies when Marc Gasol spots a motion he recognizes before it’s developed. Very cool stuff to keep in mind when you’re playing a full season.

Keep reading for a list of all the gameplay options

HIGHLIGHT FEATURES

Crews – The single-most requested game mode is back! Face off against opposing crews online using your MyPLAYER. Create your logo and face off in 5v5 battles with other crews featuring leaderboards and stats. (PS3 & Xbox 360 only)

Euroleague – Exclusive to NBA 2K14 – play with 14 of the top European teams, featuring authentic uniforms and players from Spain, Greece, Israel and elsewhere.

Dynamic Living Rosters® powered by Stats, Inc. – Player attributes and tendencies automatically update daily to reflect the true life hot and cold streaks. If your favorite player starts the season cold from the field, you might want to avoid starting him in your next NBA 2K14 tourney with friends.

King James Soundtrack – Featuring artists and tracks hand-picked by LeBron James, including JAY-Z, Eminem, The Black Keys, Daft Punk, and many more.

MyTEAM – Back and better than ever, with new player modes, multi- and single- player tournaments, and much more. (PS3 & Xbox 360 only)

KEY GAMEPLAY FEATURES

Pro Stick™ – Throw down show-stopping moves, pull off intricate shots, and toss flashy no-look passes with deadly accuracy with Pro Stick control. Easily the most intuitive basketball controls ever implemented.

2K Smart Play Button –Quickly call the most suitable play for the context of the game by simply holding a single button.

Improved Player Motion System – We mentioned this before, but if you’re herky-jerky with the controller, your player will be the same. With an all new motion system, player movement is much smoother on both ends of the floor though, while also allowing for much more explosive cuts and tighter control.

Depth of Content – The 2K designers came up with 3000 new animations, which is astounding.

GENERAL GAMEPLAY IMPROVEMENTS:

Signature Skills – Six new Signature Skills, ensuring each NBA player’s unique abilities are represented in the most authentic way possible.

Playbook and Play System enhancements – The deepest and most authentic playbook gets even deeper. Execute new half-court sets, experience improved spacing logic, and run updated team specific plays.

More Signature Styles – New jump shots, dunk and layup packages, dribble moves, free throws, pre-game intros, getbacks, celebrations and more.

OFFENSIVE CONTROL IMPROVEMENTS

Shot System Upgrades – More realistic footwork on jump shots, improved awareness in shot selection, and a variety of new shot types. Whether you use the new intuitive Pro Stick™ or the enhanced Smart Shot Button, attacking the rim is now more exciting than ever.

Dribbling Advancements – Upgraded dribble movement and new branching technology give you much greater 1-to-1 control over the ball handler.

Enhanced Passing – More accurate pass targeting, new give and go mechanics, better handoffs, and an entire arsenal of new flashy passes.

DEFENSIVE IMPROVEMENTS:

Learning Defensive A.I. – Test your skills even further with new defensive AI that sees where the offense is being successful and adjusts strategy to take those advantages away.

Block Improvements – The block system has been completely revamped for NBA 2K14 with improved ball targeting and awareness, more realistic physics, and more responsive control. At one point, we were playing Andrea Bargnani, who recovered towards the rim and blocked LeBron James. That might be the only time you read a sentence like that, so savor it Knicks fans.

All New Ball Denial – No more getting stuck during off ball bumps and ball denial, allowing for complete freedom of control over your players away from the ball.

Enhanced dribbler vs. on-ball defender contact – Defenders can now initiate steals, hard bumps, and charges out of defensive rides, making locking up players on defense a much more engaging experience. We didn’t score for the first minute going against one of the 2K reps because it took a little geting used to.

Expanded Defensive Commands – New commands using the right stick: including contesting shots, contesting passes, and denying or pressuring the ball.

Returning Features Include:

    MyCAREER
    The Association
    The Association: Online
    Training Camp
    Season
    Playoffs
    Practice
    NBA Blacktop
    MyPLAYER Blacktop
    Team Up

What are you most looking forward to upon the release of NBA 2K14?

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