GC '07: NBA 2K8 Updated Hands-On

2K Sports has some new tricks up its sleeves with its latest hoops game, and we've got the latest details.

LEIPZIG, Germany--In our last look at NBA 2K8, we primarily focused on the new dunk system, which promises to add an entirely new level of fun and challenge to one of the more stylish aspects of the NBA game. Here at the 2007 Games Conference, 2K Sports was on hand to show off an updated build in the game, one that gets to the heart of what most fans of the series have been clamoring to know more about: five-on-five gameplay. Though our time with the game was short, we have a good idea of where the team at 2K is heading when it comes to the fundamental hoops play in 2K8.

Simply put, the focus this year has been on improving defensive controls and giving players more options for running plays while on offense. When defending, a new lock-on defensive system will help you shadow the ball carrier. To initiate it, you simply press and hold the left trigger. A small target icon underneath the player's feet begins to animate and, once it's complete, your controlled defender is locked on to the ball carrier. A player's defensive attributes will affect how long it takes for him to lock on to an opponent, as well as how aggressively he will guard him once locked on to that opponent. When locked on to an opponent, your defender will be able to more tightly cover and stay with a ball carrier--the CPU kicks in a bit to act as a defensive helper--but that isn't to say that you can't get beat. Indeed, should your defender get his ankles broken, or if you switch to another defender, you'll need to lock on to that player as well.

The other big addition to gameplay is the new off-ball controls--as they're known. Here, the idea is to give the player more flexibility with how plays unfold on the court, and the team at 2K is taking the system to a surprising level of depth. Essentially, the system lets you choose a two-man play to run and gives you the ability to choose which players are involved in that play. Here's how it works: As you bring your player (say, your point guard) to the offensive end of the floor, you hold down the left bumper. Immediately, a menu pops up showing four different plays you can call right away with a press of the associated face button: X for get open, A for come off screen, Y for go to post, and B for set screen. Once you've called the play, the highlighted player (indicated by a RB button icon above his head) will move accordingly based on the kind of play you called. Once the player is in position (wherever that may be) a button icon will appear. When you press the corresponding button, you'll pass the ball to him.

Sounds good so far, right? Well, it doesn't end there. Remember that RB button icon that appears over the player's head after you've brought up the menu with the LB button? By pressing the RB button, you can take control of that player. For example, let's say you're playing the Pistons and controlling Chauncey Billups. You can send Rip Hamilton toward the net by pressing the Y button then take control of Rip by pressing the RB button, move Rip toward the net, and press the button to pass the ball from Billups to Hamilton. And because you can select any player on the court with the D pad then take control of that player with the RB button, you could conceivably start the play with Chauncey, send Rip toward the net (controlled by the artificial intelligence), and take control of Richard Jefferson to provide some rebound help or an easy outlet pass.

When playing NBA 2K8, you might notice a small icon underneath a player's feet, one that looks suspiciously like cell phone reception bars. No, NBA 2K8 won't have LeBron asking if you can hear him now; instead, the cell icon represents your player's shot tendencies in the game and throughout different areas of the court. Deriving data from actual NBA games, the team at 2K has devised a system that will illustrate when a player is close to his hot spots on the floor, as well as whether that player is on a hot streak or not. When a player gets close to a hot spot on the floor, the cell phone bars increase; if he moves away from it, the bars will deplete. Hot or cold streaks are noted by the color of the bars in the icon. If you're lighting up J's from all over the floor, you can be sure your cell icon will be bright red before too long.

These features, coupled with a promised new batch of signature style animations, have us once again excited to tackle the next entry in the NBA 2K series. We should be getting a more detailed hands-on look at the game in the coming weeks and will be bringing you much more on NBA 2K8 in the coming weeks.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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43 comments
cometkd
cometkd

all i can say is this game is perfect, except one thing is missing. and that is why is LeBron Not on the Cover? r u kidding me 2K? ~GO BROWNS!!!

Smoothoap33
Smoothoap33

The graphics of this game are much better than live's. And now with the dunk contest, it's gonna be even better. Live for the past few years has really sucked...

gozyaj
gozyaj

Looks like you're in the GAME!!!! *cross-finger*

fax555241
fax555241

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

fax555241
fax555241

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

fax555241
fax555241

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

fax555241
fax555241

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

fax555241
fax555241

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fax555241
fax555241

Can't wait till it comes out!

I_Got_It_4Cheap
I_Got_It_4Cheap

I'm a fan of Live (loyalty I guess) but I must admit the new trailer from 2k is highly impressive. I think i uttered "wow" atleast 50 times....I dont think 2k visuals are better than Live but the gameplay (the thing that matters most) looks flawless.

swatboy82
swatboy82

i like nba live but nba 2k has destroyed them and they will again this year..in my opinion unless live is really good they are done they had their chance to make it good and from the review it looks like they havent changed the gameplay much...the only thing i dont like about 2k is the jerseys dont look real and live has that down but no biggie lol but although i will probably get live first i have a feeling i am going to be switching to 2k soon..i think 2k should give you different outfits for the street mode maybe some customized ones for players like tmac kobe lebron...and more signature moves..it may just be me but the only sig move i saw that wasnt a shot was lebron biting his nails i kno there are more but they should have more like gilbert arenas how he turns wen he makes a 3 or tmac the grin he gives although that would be hard to see but maybe a close up animations..also people may not like it but u should be able to get technical fouls like the mlb game you can control your temper and players like sheed get more angry and one other thing i would like are the commentators talking more about the players in live about every superstar marv usually gives an interesting fact they should move that to 2k in like free throws or wen they are on fire anyway just my opinion i think 2k is going to be soooo much better and they better make tmac actually look like him and not give lebron such a high rating cuz he really should be 85 the most in mid range and 75 in 3s cuz he is always unconsistent and i kno that since people want to practically have sex with lebron they will give him high rating

chrisiscool69
chrisiscool69

responce to wordflow's commment, the graphics in nba2k's are way more better then lives graphics, live runs on like 30 frames a 2nd, and they look like muted statues. 2k has awsome graphics, there graphics are shwoing u from a tvs perspective which is really cool, so 2k will win again like usual

BlakkSteel
BlakkSteel

NBA 2K8 will run things, again, like always. . . . .It's just a hot series!!!

jay_rock_
jay_rock_

Yeah I played 2k7 so damn much that my 360 broke lol but Live is just weak its like they don't work hard on that game at all really 2k just feel right

Wordflow
Wordflow

My god this game would be so much better if they just worked on their graphic and menu situation, Live isn't that great but the get an A+ for presentation and menu scrolling, heres to hoping 2k8 works that out.

Eman5805
Eman5805

I've been waiting for more info on this game and now I finally get it, nearly a friggin' week after it's already out! Why am I always the last to know about these things?

Ty_Law_24
Ty_Law_24

DarioD said all the things ive wanted to say but was to lazy to type

metaljeff
metaljeff

Live is JIVE...2k is THE WAY!!!

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

The screens don't look as realistic as Live. I hope that they work on that.

DarioD04
DarioD04

Are these guys KIDDING ME. I love NBA 2k as a basketball series.. but before they think about changing all these extra little features, they need to start with the basics. Passing, player momentum (when running, to crossing over, to shooting, etc) need to be fixed. Rebounding needs to be fixed (it's not tacked on very well). When a player gets a ball about 4 feet inside the 3 point line (towards the corner), he shouldn't be able to just take two steps and pull down a monster jam. The dunking in traffic needs to be stepped down a lot, more accurate layups and layup decisions for the players need to be included (such as when going up for a right-handed layup, you don't want to see your guy go under the rim, do some kind of double clutch reverse and either get blocked or miss it. It's not realistic that way). There are so many other bugs such as the tornado that seems to occur when your player tries shooting at the end of the quarter but miserably fails. Although it's hilarious to watch, some of the things such as the way the players move and stuff are really glitchy and unrealistic. Fix the passing, player momentum (when and where he does moves. I don't want to see Hedo Turkoglu catching the ball off of a sloppy fastbreak pass in the corner, taking one step and doing a Vince Carter windmill or 360 on me). Rebounding and signature animations (which they're actually improving for this game) are second priority.. and this new "two player system" and other crap is third priority. That's if you actually want to make this game spectacular.

Mr_duong
Mr_duong

wonder what the celtics rating will be, and the sweet gameplay i hope all the glitches from last year are fixed like the no shirt thingys

x_kenney_x
x_kenney_x

what richard jefferson ain't on the psitons. that my fav tea m i should know who is on my team. maybe he is talknig about raheed wallace. but anyway. pretty good, but i have always been a live person. not saying its better but im getting live first.

AgentZero7
AgentZero7

im not too interested in this i just want them to fix the glitches and add allstar week and oh ya get rid of 24/7 next

WizzzRoughz
WizzzRoughz

Thats all sounds good...But how about fixing the basics first like passing

ffgothic
ffgothic

Nothing too groundbreaking, but it appears to provide some new gameplay elements that seem fresh. The dunking is what I'm really excited about. I mean the 2K series has been consistently great for years now. I'm sure 2K8 will continue it.

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

doesnt brian ekberg look like sam fisher in the next splinter cell game

Carterman00
Carterman00

Wow... Brian Ekberg, you need to get out of the video game world once in a while and watch some NBA basketball before you do another awful analogy again, people that actually like basketball, and wanted to know about this game, were probably confused as all hell... why when you're playing with the pistions, you can switch from billups... to hamilton... to... Richard Jefferson??? haha

cesarblue
cesarblue

yea i got to agree with wakko on this one when are we going to get a real practice area instead of a empty court were the player hit all his shot but doesn't transfter we you play the game, some lame team on the other side that doesn't move and your team on the sidline looking like a idiot then you got to move them into a place were they sit lifeless untill you try to go by them and they move slightly. All i'm saying is can we have a real practice area so we can learn the plays and then apply them in the game, Another thing they need to do is can i get a decent half time show, cheerleads do the same dance, no real advancement in the half time show, the announcer say the same dam thing, everytime, let's really make it next gen, don't turn into madden 2k we love you for what you are

addchildsk8er
addchildsk8er

copy of live with hotspots????? yep, copy of live with the defensive help button? yep, i hope 2ks better but just sayin

Hoops0123
Hoops0123

Lol anyone noticed that the people at Gamespot put RIchard Jefferson on the Pistons?

Evilmaster101
Evilmaster101

This is turning up to be the best b-ball game of all time.

kuo90
kuo90

wakko19991: why dont you just play a game against the cpu and practice the plays there

wakko19991
wakko19991

yeah yeah yeah, all this is nice, but when hte hell are these guys gonna put in a real practice mode inthese basketball games so you can actually practice the damn plays??? Basketball is a sport where you must practice the plays probably more than any other sport outside football, but to this day not one of these games has a real practice mode. ally you get is that lame empty court with all your teammates sitting on the sidelines and a random opposing team standing on the sidelines. It has been like this for 10 friggin years!!! ALL THIS CRAP THEY ADD: CRIBS, LEGEND, STREET BALL, ETC. ETC... EETC.. AND STILL NO REAL PRACTICE MODE. WHAT THE...

Blinblingthing
Blinblingthing

solo4321 said wayyy better than nba live 08 Ummmm, NBA Live 08 should never be called in the same sentence with the Likes of 2k

solo4321
solo4321

yah i can't wait this is going to be WWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY better then NBA live 08

bloodlust3192
bloodlust3192

yeah dundunna, the hotspots do sound vaguely familiar. But I must say I prefer the way 2k integrated the concept of hotspots over nba live. My decision is just getting harder and harder...

thomasperry
thomasperry

Good to know. My fave basketball franchise. NBA Live is garbage. I can't wait to learn this game all over again for the fifth time. I'll be bringing my skills on-line. Defense wins games... at least in the 2K franchise. NBA Live is garbage.

dundunna05
dundunna05

hotspots huh?hmmm sounds like something i heard about in another basketbal game(nba live) 2 months ago..i guess 2k couldnt come up with their own ideas...

Affect656
Affect656

Nice actual info about NBA 2k8.

legobot4
legobot4

thi smust mean the game will come out this year :P