I’m not one to have high expectations when it comes to gaming. Usually most of the time I enjoy going into an experience with an open mind and just enjoy the ride. However this time with NBA 2K24, things changed. Towards the release of the title, more and more info was being released and almost every new piece of info rubbed me the wrong way. I’ll explain it further in detail in a bit, but with all that being said, it’s a new year which means another NBA 2K game. How did it fare in comparison to last year’s counterpart? Well, let’s see.
NBA 2K24 is the same game as last year’s instalment. Graphically things look cleaner but that’s just about it. The gameplay itself doesn’t do anything different or flashy to stand out and it feels like I’m playing the same exact title, just with a content upgrade. The props that I can give NBA 2K24 is the fact it does feel more immersive with the player models as they resemble the players more than last year, at least for the majority of NBA players.
The new ProPLAY feature, which allows 2K to use NBA footage and translate it to in-game animations takes credit for making all of this possible, unfortunately, it’s not enough to redeem and save NBA 2K24 from the copy/paste system they’ve been following.
Other game modes that aren’t MyTeam or MyCareer rarely have any love and feel barebones. Like the Jordan showcase from before, the late Kobe Bryant is the one to receive a special tribute mode this time around. It plays pretty much the same exact way. It’s always nice to metaphorically go back in time and re-live NBA games so there’s no complaint there. Other than MyNBA adding a LeBron game mode too, there is nothing else different.
MyTeam as always is getting a Madden Ultimate team treatment where new cards are added every year and 2K isn’t shy about shoving microtransactions in player’s faces. What is something interesting is that they added more methods to earn cards through My Career, but the process to do so shouldn’t be praised as it’s behind, you guessed it, another paywall.
My Career in NBA 2K24 is blatantly turning to an F2P system which is ridiculous as the majority of players are already spending $70 on the title alone. Everything in My Career is heavily reliant on VC and given the little amount you can earn in games, it’s almost impossible to receive any without spending real-life money on the game. 2K themselves even added a $150 VC microtransaction to pressure players into buying the most expensive option because of this. 2K had the audacity to turn the season-level players can earn while playing into a battle pass. There is no grind aspect in NBA 2K24 as anybody can buy their way to the highest level, which is basically encouraged.
The only positive about MyCareer is that they took out all the walking and missions, TikTok dances, and being a music producer mess that they included in NBA 2K23. They promised that it would be all about just playing basketball and they delivered on that promise. But what’s the point if you can’t be good unless you buy VC? Doing the math, if a player buys the Mamba Edition and spends VC on nothing but your build, you’ll hit an overall of 75. That only sets you back $100+. With everything costing an excessive amount of VC, shooting getting a major nerf of “green or nothing”, and a battle pass being added, it’s clear that 2K doesn’t care about players having fun playing basketball.
NBA 2K24 is an overall disappointment compared to not only NBA 2K23 but past NBA titles too. To see how far it’s fallen, all the past great features no longer included, it hurts to see that the only thing that matters is how much VC someone spends on a game. This is the first year that we’ve seen 2K blatantly be VC-heavy and it won’t be the last. Nobody should have to purchase a game that expects you to pay more on top of that. NBA 2K24 is the perfect example for game developers everywhere of what not to do in the gaming industry unless you’re greedy and don’t care about fans.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.