The wait is finally over... originally the PC version (digitally distributed) of the next instalment in the NBA 2K franchise was delayed by two weeks, but this was extended out to 4 weeks after the release of the XBOX 360 and PlayStation3 versions.
There seemed to be a disconnect between the developer, publisher and parts of their target clientele. The console community seemed not only receptive, but enthusiastically embraced the latest addition to the basketball simulation genre. However, the extended delay in releasing the game, without any official comments, had left a bitter taste in the mouths of some PC gamers. Unfortunately, it had allowed much speculation in regards to the motives of 2K Sports for future releases on the PC platform, but for now let's enjoy what we've got.
Sound (4/5)The auditory experience in NBA 2K13 is overall a reasonably well coordinated effort. With Jay-Z being the Executive Producer, the music selection was a nice selection from multiple music genres, from rap to rock.
The in-game environmental audio is an improvement over the previous instalments of the NBA 2K series. The sound of the ball bouncing off the rim, the grunt of players fighting for position to grab the rebound and the crescendo from a cheering crowd as your home team gains momentum, all adds a crucial element to the overall experience playing NBA 2K13.
The commentary team of Kevin Harlan and Steve Kerr make a colourful and fairly dynamic addition to the game. Examples of comments they make include the progress of the game, the last play, a player on court or even how the team was last season. Considering there can only be a number of recorded lines of commentary, it still feels natural enough.
Graphics (5/5)Admittedly NBA 2K13 does not have Crysis-like graphics, but then it doesn't have to. The stadiums have an individual feel in regards to lighting and crowd mood, and the players actually look realistic enough if you're not staring at them close up. In fact, without paying full attention to the graphical quality, you would almost swear that you're watching a real NBA game on TV.
Gameplay (4/5)It's a basketball game... what more do you want? Actually, it's more of a basketball simulation game. There is a vast difference with other basketball games out there, such as EA's NBA Live series or the NBA Jam series. NBA 2K13 continues the tradition of being more serious with the gameplay, where good defence makes a large difference whether your opponent sinks his basket, or even the correct screen at the right time will free your team mate up for an easy score; much like real life competitive basketball.
In fact NBA 2K13 has paid much attention not only the effects of the strategic game, but has tweaked and improved several aspects of the game over previous iterations of the series.
There is now a significant difference with speed, such as with a small guard versus a large forward. In previous versions, even a center could sprint down the court and catch a very quick point guard on a fast break, but no more. If you're playing as a big guy without ridiculous speed, then forget trying to out-sprint a point guard down the court.
Additional, it feels like the physics behind the game has been improved. In fact, a power forward setting a strong screen on an opponent point guard can knock him on his behind if you can catch him off guard. Unfortunately it has made it worse when you accidently bump your own team mate; it can almost knock you off course or even stop you in your tracks. This becomes especially silly when a big fellow like Dwight Howard clips Steve Blake and gets bumped backwards.
Overall (4/5)NBA 2K13 continues the tradition of being an excellent basketball game, particularly if you enjoy the finer points of the strategic game, and overall has again made a slight improvement over its predecessor (NBA 2K12).
There are other modes, but I did not get to test them, hence they’re left out of this review. The Association makes a return for those who enjoy playing online.
My Career mode is now integrated with My Player mode (for stats), and it allows us NBA fans to live our fantasy of playing in the NBA.
There aren't many choices of games for basketball fans at the moment, with the cancellation of EA's releases, but NBA 2K13 is definitely well worth the money.
Currently is it available through Steam for $30 if you want a PC version. Unfortunately it appears that a hard copy version of the game is not sold through the stores in Australia.