It's going to take a while for me to get used to the sight of Lebron James in a Lakers jersey. We're still a few months out from the start of the NBA season, but yesterday I received a sneak preview of what's to come through NBA 2K19. It's going to be an interesting season, I'll say that much.
In any case, the Lakers were one of the two teams I picked to try in an updated build of NBA 2K19 on Xbox One X, which I got to play yesterday. The othe team, of course, were the hometown Golden State Warriors. In no universe do I think the Lakers can beat the Warriors, even with Lebron, but the match still stands to be one of the most intriguing of the upcoming season. You can see roughly what to expect below.
On the sticks was gameplay director Mike Wang, who talked me through some of the changes to expect this year, the biggest being the introduction of Takeovers—special traits that activate when a players gets hot over the course of a game. The idea is to replicate that moment when a player heats up and takes over a game, as in Klay Thompson's famous 41 point game against the Thunder in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals. You can see Wang get Curry going around the 3:25 mark if you want an example.
Some more things to watch: Rebounds are definitely better in this version. Shooting has been revamped. And there's quite a bit more, including a new chuck/grab button. Takeovers are unquestionably the largest addition to this version, though, serving as the culmination of the badges concept from MyPlayer.
NBA 2K19 follows on from the bestselling entry in the series to date. While its microtransactions were polarizing, there was no denying that NBA 2K18 was a strong step up from NBA 2K17 from a gameplay perspective, particularly in terms of animation. NBA 2K19 aims to take the next step in that regard.
As usual, I find myself floored by the quality of NBA 2K's presentation, the complex but polished way players interact with one another, and all the little details that go into making you feel as if you're at an actual NBA game. Madden has made some rather large strides in the gameplay department this year, but NBA 2K is still the gold standard for sports games in that area. And this year's version is partially set in China, which is a novel direction for a sports game.
Anyway, watch the video and see what you think. Here's everything we know about NBA 2K19 so far. It's slated for release on the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch on September 11.