E3 2008: NBA 2K9 First Look

While 2K was tightlipped about the feature set of its latest basketball offering, we did get a chance to see the gameplay for the first time at E3.

2K's presentation of NBA 2K9 was short, to say the least. The new executive producer on the game, Jeff Thomas, explained that the game was still in development and many areas still required attention. As a result, 2K is holding off on announcing the new features to this year's game until a later date. What we did see was a short prerendered clip of a Lakers/Celtics game and a few minutes of gameplay by one of the game's producers.

The first thing that was apparent from the clip (and, to a lesser extent, the gameplay demonstration) was that signature player motions don't just stop at shooting this year. Player-specific celebrations and motions will also make their appearance in NBA 2K9. From Kevin Garnett's chest pump following a three-point opportunity to Ray Allen's unique windmill teardrop, 2K9 does a good job of making the motions identifiable to the player. This even includes more subtle motions, such as Derek Fisher's movement coming off a low screen or Kobe Bryant's no-look pass.

Time was also spent enriching the atmosphere of the game in between quarters. After each quarter, the game will show replays of the biggest plays during the period from many cinematic angles--much like you would see while watching a game on television. Even the music during these sequences feels like something out of a TNT broadcast just before they flip to commercials.

The showing also revealed some elements that haven't been touched up (though they may visit these before release). The audio commentary is almost exactly the same as the year before. There are the same awkward pauses and sometimes redundant speech as in last year's game. In fact, the only instance of new commentary we witnessed was when Rondo bricked a free throw. Issues with players missing simple layups also seem to have made the transition from last year's game, but hopefully, these issues are addressed prior to the game's release.

We will continue to bring you additional updates on NBA 2K9 as the 2K team reveals more.

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Discussion

59 comments
DeltaCobra
DeltaCobra

I just want the dunk animations to have the impact of a Marcus chainsaw - that is some power!! I cant wait till it gets to the point where the dunk animations look incredible instead of just good. To be honest, I think the worst game of the b-ballers, sony's NBA 08 has a great shot method and mad animation on the dunks the way the backboard bends and the way the net flows... but 2Kanything is better than any other ball agmes - so far!

rdlkilla
rdlkilla

JDAWG YOU DUMB AS HELL,I GUESS YOU WOULD BE THE ONLY ONE NOT GETTING IT......I READ MORE INFO ON IT AND THEY HAVE MADE ALOT OF CHANGES. NBA LIVE JUST THROW A WHOLE BUNCH OF CRAPPY FEATURES AND DONT IMPROVE THE GAMEPLAY

jdawg2519
jdawg2519

Its not worth the 60 bucks. Ive played 2k8 and its great. According to here, not enough changes to make the purchase. Stick with what you got people, and just update the rosters on your own.

jdawg2519
jdawg2519

More familiar with the inside drive series which was great, but anticipating something good here this time around. I just wish games were cheaper on this console.

Logan494
Logan494

Live has always been trying to bring in new features to sell games, but the most important thing is gameplay and 2k blows Live out of the water in that.

Maqda7
Maqda7

I cannot wait to hear more about this game, I haven't been a long time fan of the 2k series, i was like a fat kid with cake when I heard about the features they had on the Live games, but then I tried 2k8 and I loved it. And I can't wait for 2k9.

money645
money645

if 2k wants to sell more than live 09 they better have some new features we never saw before because live 09 has some nice features at least they can put go to moves in or something

abduba
abduba

there should be an all star weekend in association mode with the all star game, slam dunk contest, three point shootout, rookie challenge and playstation skills challenge exclusively for the ps3.

jrowdy_08
jrowdy_08

aye, if u can't hit a open lay up then u suck, simple and plain. don't blame it on the game, blame yourself. unless you're playing a PS2 version, there's no reason why you should miss an open lay-up unless u have a CRAPPY player whose rating is under 70 or somethin like that. but nonetheless u suck, lol. that's why they have a practice mode on there.

rdlkilla
rdlkilla

The layups are pressure sensitive...........but the problem was the game missed layups at the wrong time,but thats the only problem yall keep talking about ,when nba live sucked the last 5 years and sell everybody to them with the super cool features........with garbage gameplay. at least 2k try to give sideline reports and top plays when nba live bore me to death. I hope 2k9 go far with their ideas.

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Jazz_Fan
Jazz_Fan

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

white_jaguar
white_jaguar

I want my nba games to be a bit more fast paced. shots take way too long in 2k8. And in both live and 2k8, it is way to easy to get to the lane and dunk or lay it up. It gets pretty ridiculous. My first time playing 2k8, i had dwight howard and dunked it home every time. it was ridiculous. in nba live lebron can dunk every time. its ridiculous

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

They still have a while to fix these problems listed so I am not too worried about it. The NBA 2K series hasn't really let me down yet, and I am sure they will keep going strong this year. The more realistic the better for all.

abduba
abduba

this game looks so freakin awesome, ive been saving up since february and believe me, i dont usually save money for anything

pinoy83
pinoy83

I agree that the NBA 2K Series hands down whoops NBA live's gameplay by a long shot. I used to love the NBA live series before 2K showed itself. EA's games haven't seemed to progress, but rather they seem to be too busy trying to come up with new fancy features that let the overall game play down. i don't know if it's just me but i think it was around the NBA 2k6 where the dunks were the best! they had the vince carter 360s and some immitation Jordan dunks. there was alot more variety in-game. But since then the dunks (whilst realistic) have been a little bland/ short of creativity in my opinion. I hope they include a few more new ones. What i don't understand and wish sponsors/ companies should take note of is that if NBA 2K is THAT MUCH BETTER, why don't companies jump ship and start getting involved with the 2k series? that will take it to a whole new 'authentic' level with the sneakers and stuff like that. I do give credit to EA for coming up with the FIBA thing though. all be it i wrote in to suggest that to 2k but i guess it wasn't worth it? i was always keen on the idea that one day the international game will lead to awesome online play where there's countries vs other countries! i can't wait to hear more about this game.

ronmd24
ronmd24

I've been an NBA Live fan ever since it came out. But since NBA 2k has came out, it's been better than Live. Every NBA 2k came out, it's been better than NBA live. Every 2k game has been much different. But in my opinion, NBA live 06 and NBA live 07 are the same game. I play 2k all the time, and i very rarely miss a layup. Live can have twice the features of 2k, and not come close to 2k. 2k is a much better game than Live. That's why 2k is always rated higher than Live. Live 08 is a better game than the previous two, but it doesnt come close to 2k. EA stole the idea of the hotspot from 2k sports and made it worse. This game is most likely going to be similar to 08 and is not going to be worth buying. 2k will always be the better game.

catalyst14
catalyst14

Listen guys, the 2K franchise is easily one of the best ever when it comes to basketball games and even sports games. The signature style will be three times as amazing this year waaaaaayyyyyyy better than that DNA garbage from EA which failed last year too. If you cant clap an offensive board manually or make a layup get better its as simple as that. The real issues are some of the animations that tend to force players to do wild things like go out of bounds inadvertanly. All of the other problems are simply cosmetic. So i firmly believe that the 2K staff will give me another amazing year of simulation basketball

omnislash_13
omnislash_13

Glad to see I'm not imagining the whole missing lay-ups thing, it is so damn frustrating, you're wide open on a break, you press the right button for the right amount of time, and he just misses. Another issue is it is almost impossible to get offensive rebounds manually. Finally, this is only an issue for the PS2 version because I own that one but played both the PS3 and 360 versions extensively, posting up is redundant in the PS2 copy, you get stuck in the backing down motion and cant exit it quickly to make effective post-up shots, only cancel out of the motion completely, or shoot a fade-away. This is frustrating because the CPU can pull off all kinds of moves that you simply can't, if the animation is in the game, why can't we make it happen?

aass9900
aass9900

better be good.dont screw it up agan.or else you are not going to make us happy.no body is going to buy it.please rent it first..

brian3434
brian3434

oh and i forgot to mention that 2k8 had the worst soundtrack i have ever heard in my life. dont get me wrong- even after all the problems ive named, i still like the game... but i just want to see a lot of improvements before i decide to get the newer version. otherwise im gonna experiment with this new look nba live 09

mostazadinho
mostazadinho

I just hope they fix the problems that were in 2K8. 2K9 will likely be a very good simulation. But the obvious problems (layups, lackluster teammate AI, realism), if not fixed by the time of this review, will very likely not be fixed...

Supaman625
Supaman625

NBA 2k has its share of problems just like NBA live hell I can deal with missing a few layups over shooting at the back of the rim commentary is not as important as gameplay just like having a ton of features Live still looks like Its on PS2 just with longer load times like 10:00 mins 2K is still the better game thats why EA is so desperately trying to buy them out Live 09 looks like Live 08 EA kinda got a Zoolander thing goin on.

brian3434
brian3434

maybe some of u guys just dont notice things like i do but 2k8 actually had alot of problems. did anyone notice when peoples shorts were ripped off somehow at times, and the blurred closeup vision was screwed up and even tho some players looked really realistic, there were so many players that made me say "what the heck" whenever i looked at them. and yes the layups were a problem. you shouldnt have to adjust sliders just to make the game more realistic for yourself thats a pain. the commentary was too repetative even tho thats the same as any sports game but the sideline report was the same exact thing almost every time!!! so annoying!!! i wish it had a real slam dunk and 3 point competition too. aside from all that the game just got too boring after a while. nba live keeps you way more interested except for the not as good graphics, all tho this year its really close.

slick911
slick911

I have to see more but 4 now i going with NBA LIve 09 Dynamic DNA is genuis

re_up
re_up

i never had lay-up issues and frankly, if you cant make a wide open lay-up maybe you shouldn't be playing an NBA game, anyway this game will be great

zooltan
zooltan

i hate it when people get mad that they don't change a lot from the previous years.... if it ain't broke dont fix it... 2k8 was great and all they really needed to do was update the roster for 2k9 and then this game should be great...

EGoodlife
EGoodlife

it will sure be a great hit...

aaron324
aaron324

NBA LIVE is way better than NBA 2K

SolidSnake2506
SolidSnake2506

NBA2k still rules among all basketball platforms in PS3, I hope that they will make more signature moves and make it more difficult when you are challenging the computer players. can't wait for this game!!!!!

datniccah187
datniccah187

The lay-ups aren't really a big issue for me you can use the sliders to fix that, i believe someone below mentioned that as well. And i usually dont put on the commentary it is very annoying. As long as the add more signature player stlyes, and sharpen up the graphics a little, i'll be happy with the finished product.

TehFuneral
TehFuneral

Same here, don't really like NBA games.

Macgyver40
Macgyver40

same old story with mild changes

Fury296
Fury296

eh i love 2k8 but live this year is really interesting

tretcharuss
tretcharuss

The missing layup thing wasn't an issue at all. They can all be adjusted with the sliders. Gamespot needs to hire people who not only play games, but are somewhat cognizant sports fans.

metaljeff
metaljeff

This is probably going to be the greatest sports title ever released!!!!!!!.........YipEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Eman5805
Eman5805

I doubt the commentary they heard was the final product. There's still tons of time to add even more dialoge but further enhancing signature control should be really sweet.

grambyte
grambyte

There we go. This is a sports game. Unlike NHL. Can't wait to get my hands on this one.

met7
met7

Defenetly looking forward,last year had some naggin issues but still was better than live,the signature moves where great and there going to be better this year.

MasonAaron
MasonAaron

well well well, im not interested this year... so far It looks like LIVE is beefing it up

Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

It's too early in development, it hasn't sparked my interest yet.

CMakaCreative
CMakaCreative

All the little touches that's been implemented in the games over the previous years are all nice. It definitely made the game look & feel like the real thing (besides some frustrating issues like missed lay up & the silly move where you try to lay it up & it always gets blocked...I hate that move) but I really want to be blown away this year. So far they are steadily building the game up & the new additions sound cool. I can't wait to hear what else they got up their sleeves. But this may all be for nothing if EA gets a hold of TakeTwo. I doubt EA would release two baskeball games. If they do take over T2, & decide to only put out Live basketball games, I hope VC can collaberate with EA & bring out the best basketball game ever: LIVE 2K10.

kpm575s
kpm575s

2k8 was the best bball game ever! Hopefully 2k9 will be even better!

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

Out of all of the different basketball games coming out, I think that this one will come out on top.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

Prove to me that it will be different enough from previous versions that it is worth a purchase and I may consider it. Until then, no.