The first batch of reviews for the highly-anticipated NBA 2K14 is out, and the consensus is that the game is great, though does not improve on its predecessor as much as in previous years.
Kotaku has perhaps the most in-depth review, calling the game's attention to detail "headspinning", but feels a bit too similar to last year's game.
If NBA 2K14 didn't extend itself much from the past year, well, the past year's game was still very enjoyable, with an attentive, responsive broadcast presentation that just puts everything else in the field to shame.
The review also singles out the game's much improved rim play, saying, "...play around the rim is a lot more realistic, involving a lot more contact and a truer ability to disrupt shots—either by blocking them outright or altering their trajectory."
Games Radar gives 2K14 four stars out of five, calling the game's revamped control for the right analog stick--in 2K13, players had the ability to decide when the right stick is used to shoot and when to pass; in 2K14, that context is decided automatically by the computer--confusing.
The right stick now handles shooting and skill moves with no left-trigger modifier; unlike last season, when the left trigger controlled when you shot, it now dictates when you pass. The initial experience for veterans of NBA 2K13 is confusion and comedic ineptitude. All of the finely honed skills you’ve burned into your brain need to be thrown out, and that is not an easy thing to do. While you might say “just use the button passing and shooting, dummy,” the fact that the right stick controls all your crossovers, sidesteps, and spins as well as shooting means that you have no choice but to re-learn the basics. Otherwise it’s impossible to play the game.
The New York Daily News also gives it four out of five stars, calling the production value impressive, but bashes the game's new mode, "LeBron's Path to Greatness".
This year, you get to step into the shoes of LeBron James in Path to Greatness and your goal is to guide him to seven championship rings. You won’t play full seasons, though; you’ll essentially get walked down a handful of unique storylines and play pivotal games along each story. And whether you stay in Miami or not, the entire experience feels wholly unrealistic by the end of the journey. I actually had plenty of early fun playing as LeBron when we were facing the Rockets in the 2014 NBA Finals because it felt completely plausible. But the setup lost its luster by the end.
Finally, Complex compares the game to Saw 3D, and that's supposed to be compliment.
NBA 2K14 for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is the Fast and Furious 6, the Saw 3D of video games. It’s not a brand new idea, it’s not a reboot. It’s the result of all the lessons Visual Concepts and 2K Sports have learned in this console generation, and yet it struggles against its own excellence. For the hundred things we now take for granted, there are a few new things that work brilliantly and a few old things they still struggle to get right. This is the struggle any maker of an iterative franchise takes up, but it’s a worthy one.Seems like NBA Live 14 has a tough road ahead for its comeback.