Following a year on the sidelines, EA Sports will make their return to the world of basketball gaming with NBA Live 18 after revealing the trailer for the new game at this year’s E3. In what was one of the biggest surprises of the event, EA announced the return of the NBA Live series after a year’s break, with the gaming giants seemingly making a fresh commitment to trying to crack the market after previous failures.
A hit-and-miss history of producing NBA games hasn’t been helped by the huge success of the NBA 2K series; the Visual Concepts-developed franchise that has established itself as the genre’s leading title. The decision not to produce a 2017 version of the NBA Live game – aside from a mobile-only release – was seen as a way of EA Sports giving up on trying to challenge the 2K-published series. But based on first impressions of the brief gameplay demo shown at E3 2017, EA may have come up with a product that could well succeed where they have failed before.
The clip of the demo highlighted a number of eye-catching features; from the high level of player control to the likeness of the players. Starring the likes of Steph Curry and LeBron James, whose Cavaliers are +333.33 in the latest bet365 NBA odds to bounce back from their defeat in the Finals at the hands of the Warriors and win the championship next year, the likeness levels and all-around graphics are very impressive. But the real star of this game looks set to be NBA Live 18’s career mode: ‘The One’, an enthralling looking feature that could be where this title really challenges NBA 2K18.
‘The One’, which will continue in the same vein as the company’s cinematic ‘The Journey’ mode as seen in the FIFA franchise, will take a player from the streets into the NBA via a series of very playable challenges. Whether playing in one of the NBA’s most iconic stadiums for the Lakers or competing in a five-on-five game of “street ball” at famous locations such as Venice Beach or Rucker Park, you’ll find the rules change as well as the overall feel of the game. While we’ll find out more about this game as we edge closer to the release date towards the end of this year, the early signs are extremely positive for EA Sports and those gamers looking for an alternative to its rival series.
Following another thrilling NBA Finals won by the Warriors, in which we again saw the game’s two biggest stars – James and Curry – do battle for the sport’s most prestigious title, interest in what EA have been working on has been very high. When you look at the impact the company have had on sports gaming, it’s hard to believe that EA have failed to get it right when it comes to basketball. That could all be about to change, however, and the genre could be about to experience something of a shift in power over the next few years. Either way, it’s good news for gamers.