Big names of yesterday are the focus of this year's hoops update.
In just its third appearance on the Wii, the latest incarnation of 2K Sports’ NBA 2K series places a particular emphasis on the league’s most venerated teams, players, and matchups, in addition to the expected yearly update of rosters, statistics, commentary, and other minor tweaks to the already established hoops structure.
As directly touted on the game’s multiple covers (which are adorned with either Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Earvin “Magic” Johnson), the bulk of NBA 2K12’s new features revolve directly around a cadre of league legends. Considering the success of last year's Jordan-emphasis as well as the uncertainty of this year's basketball season, the focus on the past is a smart, calculated move. In NBA’s Greatest mode, players are able to take control of 15 past greats, including Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Jerry West. Each former player is recreated to accurately represent his own unique play style—including signature moves for use during games—as is the uniform style of his specific era. Each legendary player and accompanying team has a unique set of throwback matchups with other past teams (including the 1965 Boston Celtics, 1991 Los Angeles Lakers, and 1996 Chicago Bulls), which are unlocked upon victory.
2K12 also boasts new control mechanics for post play as well as ball control. The game defaults to Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls, but a Classic controller can also be used. A new, redesigned tutorial mode takes time to guide players through the Wii-specific control set, and offers three levels of control complexity to choose from.
The My Player mode from the previous two iterations returns—which allows the player to control numerous facets of a NBA rookie’s rise through the league—as does Creating a Legend mode, in which the player takes a current NBA player through the remaining years of his career.
NBA 2K12 arrives in stores Tuesday, October 4th.