This month the NBA Live series made its return to the gaming world after a three-year absence, and it was, almost from the get-go, bashed to bits by fans and game reviewers. Even we joined in on the fun, writing two posts on the poor graphics of Live 14 (at least when compared side-by-side to 2K14, which is admittedly kind of unfair).
Well, Live executive producer Sean O'Brien wants us to know he hears us, and that he and his team are hard at work fixing things. In an open letter on EA's Live site on Friday, O'Brien wrote:
I’m not going to lie; it’s been a rough week. As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly the NBA LIVE comeback story we were hoping for this year.
We hear loud and clear that some of you are disappointed in various aspects of NBA LIVE 14, and I’m sorry if the game doesn’t live up to your expectations. Looking at your feedback, we have laid out a plan to make NBA LIVE 14 a better game as quickly as we can.
He addressed the fact that it was virtually impossible for newbie gamers to learn how to play the game -- as Kotaku's reviews pointed out, the game offered a barebones in-game tutorial and had zero information in its instruction manuals -- and he said they will solve the problem by providing new online guides (Controller Guide, Perfecting Your Style, and Levels of the Dribble) and having the game's developers and programers online "seven days a week" to answer questions. That's almost like a full-on tech support, albeit from people who probably won't be too thrilled to be providing it.
And then there are Live's graphics, which have been clowned all over social media (do a search of #live14 on Instagram or "NBA Live" on Twitter to see). O'Brien promises "drastic and immediate" improvements there, too. Here's his reason for why Live's graphic aren't as good as 2K14's:
We felt authentic gameplay, control and the connected experience would provide the best foundation for the future. As a result, game visuals and animation polish suffered.Kudos to O'Brien and EA for owning up to Live's inferior quality. Let's hope the game will improve and eventually challenge 2K. Maybe Live 16 will give 2K16 a proper fight. If nothing else, maybe Live 16 will give 2K14 a proper fight.