NBA 2K12 Hands-On

Presentation and ball physics highlight our most recent experience with the upcoming basketball title.

Regardless of what is currently going on with the labor situation in the NBA, we all know that come October, 2K Sports will be releasing its latest edition in the famed NBA 2K series. Even with no direct competition and having had a very solid game last year, the guys at 2K are not holding anything back and want to continue to improve their series in as many ways as possible. Getting to spend some time with the game recently, we found the improvements were evident even before the opening tip.

Dirk doing what he does best
To start things off, the presentation for NBA 2K12 is a vast improvement over last year. Pregame animations are dynamically set to reflect the actual rituals the players partake in prior to each match. In our match, replaying last June's final, we were in Miami, and the way in which LeBron, D-Wade, and Chris Bosh interacted with each other was exactly what you'd expect in real life.

Also, based on the importance of a particular match, the pregame broadcasts will change. Because this was a fairly important match between the two best teams of the last season, the player introductions were more interactive than simply showing static player portraits. While games of importance will be introduced that are more in tune with an actual broadcast, matches between two lesser teams, such as the T-Wolves and Raptors, will only start with the most basic of introductions.

On the court, player animations and movements have seen a great improvement over last year. One issue many people felt--including me--was that players often didn't move as they should, especially in regard to the fact that many shot animations didn't properly represent the player who was taking the shot. Now, a player's shot animations feel and look as they should, and players adjust accordingly, depending on the situation.

Another thing that 2K is addressing is the ball. This year, the ball reacts more realistically. If you try to do too much with it, chances are you'll lose it much more easily. In an interesting situation, when a Mavs player tried to grab an offensive rebound because his handling was not that strong, the ball hit his hand and went loose. This then allowed a Heat defender to grab it and begin a counterattack. Ball handling will be much more important, and those who think they can dribble around players and not get punished will be in for quite a reality check.

Larry Bird is one of the three different covers you can pick up at launch

Although it is still a few months away from release, NBA 2K12 is heading in the right direction. We only got to sample a small morsel of what is expected with the full retail release, but what lies in store as we move forward should make basketball fans quite excited. Hopefully, the start of the regular NBA season goes on without a hitch, and basketball fans will be in for quite a treat this fall.

Written By

Former GameSpot Associate Editor, current Content Manager for EA SPORTS.

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Discussion

16 comments
shadow_slim_ii
shadow_slim_ii

I have played only the center position or sometimes moved to power forward, but getting it to the paint was never a problem and my soul purpose was to break the rim by doing "high flying double backflipping dunks" (hersheylala in an earlier post)

WiseLyrics
WiseLyrics

#1 NBA Video Game.....No!....The ONLY NBA Video Game and the Best! Such so that no other developer dare to compete, NBA Live, good bye! NBA 2K taking over once more!

reinventurexit
reinventurexit

@hersheylala exactly! more advanced computer ai, much better. That makes the game more playable/challenging. Challenges makes us players competitive. I do hope that they improve the defense more in this upcoming title

reinventurexit
reinventurexit

I do hope that 2k will not mess the new rebounding feature. I had some few problems with 2k11 with regards to rebounding, well teammate rebounding. However, 2k is getting more realistic every year. I do hope they add a flagrant foul feature or some sort of more realistic crowd reaction.

hersheylala
hersheylala

Hurd6849, I think that was the point of the game.. to be realistic... How many basketball games have you watched where they launch the ball down court? Its called dribbling and ball movement.. it works if you know how to play against certain defenses.. At first I sucked at it too... but putting my actual basketball knowledge to work.. I realized this is not about high flying double backflipping dunks.. its about strategy.. And I wouldnt change it for the world! Best BBall game since 2000 hands down

hurd6849
hurd6849

I hope they go back to the the 2k10 mechanics. 2k11 just straight up sucked to me(except graphics). The computer defense was way too advanced. U could barely pass down court without turning the ball over & it was too hard to get into the paint. So i hope they fix alot of those issues in 2k12. But still gonna buy it anyway

lambojone
lambojone

i think what holds this game of being the best nba game is the fact that the ranked matches are soo hard to get into.......thats where past nba live versions succeeded.. but then again 2k has wayy better gameplay and thats what appeals the most i guess.. but they should fix online play before they edit the great gameplay of nba 2k11. dont fix something thats not broken!

Droogie_1
Droogie_1

it's the number one NBA game because it killed that other franchis.

chaoscougar1
chaoscougar1

lol Loving the case "#1 NBA Video Game" well you were sort of the only one last year and appear to be the only one this year... In saying that, still an amazing game, hope they improve over 2K11, definitely keen for it!

xGho5tx
xGho5tx

Got it pre-ordered :)

slayersith1720
slayersith1720

I love the 2k series since the Dreamcast days but it seems every year it is getting harder and harder to play online. Everytime i try it takes forever to get a match and sometimes it wont even find one. I hope they get this fixed and continue to add small touches to make it even more realistic. Great Game

wilson336
wilson336

The biggest flaw I found in 2k11 was the online play, and lack of options. Why not let two or more people do an online franchise mode? You can do it if you play co-op on the same system, but not online. Instead, you have to pick single games and co-op that way. I hope that is addressed.

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

I'm still playing NBA2K11. I hope thy fix the passing because the last patch messed it right up.

Redman1984
Redman1984

I hope EA is coming with NBA Elite 12, because I think competition is a good thing!

animedude2195
animedude2195

i just hope we have more features cuz 2k11 kinda lacked some at that