NBA 2K13 continues the NBA series but has anything changed? The problem with this type of sports game is that only so much can be done before you run our of ideas and repetition becomes inevitable. There is only so much tweaking you can do to existing titles such as the predecessor, NBA 2K12, and no doubt it left the developers, Take 2, with the tricky problem of how to improve on the existing title while maintaining quality and gameplay.
For some reason the developers decided to introduce Jay-Z, who is a well known American Rapper, although the influence he brings to the game is not great, and apart from music and some character presentation elements, it made me wonder why they even bothered.
To try to make NBA 2K13 fresh the makers have introduced what is known as virtual credits, where winning matches enables players to earn virtual coins, which can then be used in various ways such as in My Team Mode. Or you may to use your acquired coins to purchase booster packs, unlock players, court surfaces or head coaches amongst a bunch of many other things designed into the game. As a manager you will also have to pay players, and the amount of coins you have to dish out depends on the skill level of the player in question. Playing exhibitions matches will earn you more credits.
They have also introduced a new system which enables 33 different Signature Skills. These Signature Skills are very varied. For instance, the Microwave Mode enables a defense player to be momentarily boosted into attack for a short period of time. Another example would be the Closer Signature Skill which enables a player to have a boost in certain defense and offense skills for a period of time. These 33 new Signature Skills can also be taken to online play.
The seemingly authentic AI is really well mapped out, the players actually respond like they would in real life, adding that element of realism to the gameplay. The controls too are very well done, but may take a little time to get used to. The fluency around the arena, the shots and the dribbling all look authentic, but then they have had several previous titles in the series to perfect it.
Like so many of the sports franchises such as FIFA, I feel that once you have initially set the bar it is hard to be able to keep making that type of game better with each succeeding title, but the additions in this game certainly add to the overall experience. They have managed to make the graphics sharp and the gameplay fluent. They have also improved the overall scoring, and the cinematic dunks now look much more realistic, unlike 2K12 where dunking the ball looked very unrealistic and unbalanced.
The online play does have a few glitches which are to be expected with online gaming. Various players and bits of stadium sometimes appear distorted, so don't be surprised if during gameplay your scoreboard suddenly goes for a walk. You may also find a player is missing a leg from time to time.
In conclusion this is a great Basketball game that has managed to surpass the 2K12 edition.