The inclusion of a personalized career in sports game is nothing new and has been around for ages, so developers need to find ways of changing things up to entice gamers to return to this mode. My Player, NBA 2K12's player career mode, is seeing quite a few changes and additions over last year. We had the opportunity to start a career in the NBA and begin our path to the Hall of Fame.
Upon beginning My Player, you will notice a number of changes when creating your virtual self. You'll be able to fine-tune your player with a slew of new additions, including more detailed shooting and movement animations, as well as more options for accessories or hairstyle choices. Your player progression has also been modified. With the inclusion of your standard attributes, which you can adjust as you play, new abilities have been added to give you the option of fine-tuning your play relative to the position you play on the court. Abilities allow your player to become much more individualistic, but they won't necessarily make you a beast because the AI will learn what abilities you have and do what it can to prevent you from dominating. Also, abilities cost significantly more skill points to improve, so you'll be required to save up before you can make your player a more central force. The changes from the first part of My Player go even further than simple cosmetic changes. Rather than going through a series of three pick-up games, which determined your draft order, this time, you'll only have to play in one big matchup and your performance will determine where you land. This predraft "prospects" game will have you still trying to wow GMs, but it won't be the ultimate factor that decides which team drafts you.
This year, a locker room predraft interview is included where three teams will sit down with you and ask a series of questions. You can get an idea on where you may be drafted by the teams you talk with because they will mention where they stand in the draft, but it goes even further. The questions will dynamically change based on your player's position, the city, the culture of the team, and the other players currently on the team. For example, our player was a point guard, and when we talked with the Washington Wizards, one of the questions dealt with not being the star player and having to play behind current Wizards' point guard, John Wall. There are four possible answers, and depending on what you choose, it may sway a team a certain way. The Knicks also interviewed us and when they asked about dealing with the pressure of constantly being scrutinized by the paparazzi and the city, we replied that we liked to keep our lives private. Thus, the Knicks felt that we wouldn't be a good fit as a member of the Knickerbockers. In addition to having a predraft question-and-answer period, the team at 2K Sports has taken the NBA draft to the next level. Re-creating the draft was a goal for 2K Sports in that it managed to not only include current NBA commissioner David Stern in the cinematics, but 2K also had him sit down to do actual commentary. While he won't be able to announce your name when it's finally your turn at the podium, this level of authenticity is quite a treat. Anxiously waiting to see which team drafts you is also quite exhilarating.
Having to play through an 82-game season is another issue that has been addressed. Now, if you don't feel like playing through an entire season, you can play only key matchups, which are based on your player's position, you team's standing, and team's rivalries. Being able to rush through a season allows you to play more seasons and is another addition to this year's game. The ultimate goal in My Player mode is to eventually reach the Hall of Fame, and within My Player, you will have a series of career objectives that will help determine if you are worthy of a place in Springfield, Massachusetts. These objectives are pretty standard stuff, from simple tasks like reaching the play-offs at least four times to more time-intensive requests like scoring over 10,000 points. But if you do reach the Hall of Fame, you'll be able to cater your acceptance speech so your entry is remembered for generations.
However, the inclusion of Hall of Fame objectives isn't just found in My Player. A mode also making an appearance this year is Create a Legend, which lets you take a current NBA player and help him reach the Hall of Fame. Like My Player, you'll take any current player, complete the same objectives, and improve your player as he progresses in the NBA. Some players, like Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitzki, probably already have a place in the Hall of Fame set aside for them, but if you're a fan of players who could be on the edge of greatness, you'll be able to take over their careers and help lead them to eternal greatness.
There are a slew of other My Player additions that fans can expect to see later this year when NBA 2K12 launches this October. From dynamic goals that change on the fly based on your play to postgame press conferences where your answer can alter your influence and popularity amongst fans or players, the way in which you progress from rookie to NBA great should be engaging, as well as appeal to any sports fan. On top of these additions, the presentation has seen a number of improvements as it continues to replicate actual NBA broadcasts. While we are still waiting to hear what will become of this upcoming NBA season, fans at least know that 2K Sports plans on delivering a basketball experience that should make up for not watching the real thing.