After a four-year hiatus, EA Sports has thrown its weight behind NBA Live once again, releasing a new installment on November 19th on the XBoxOne and PS4. EA invited Maxim into their offices to talk to the game’s developers and put our greasy mitts on the sticks to check out the new game.
The first thing we noticed was the beautiful next-gen gameplay. The devs (“devs” refers to developers when you’re in the biz [“in the biz” means “in the business” when you’re in the biz]) felt like they were working with almost “unlimited memory” and assigned six signature moves to the top 50 players, each with their own unique animations. So when you pull up for a jumper with Joaquin Noah, you get his signature I-look-like-a-child-shooting-at-a-Fisher-Price-basket-but-somehow-convert-more-than-half jumper.
The soundtrack was also carefully curated by the talented MICK, and features different up-and-coming artists for different modes, depending on the feel or the situation. It will also be constantly updating through the season, so you won’t want to throw your controller through the television after hearing the same song every time you turn it on.
All that is no surprise though; they’ve always had the “NBA” part covered, but they’ve really focused on the “Live” part this go-around. Utilizing the next-gen console’s real-time updates and their access to Synergy Sports - the analytics and stats site that the pros use - the game will push live statistics as well as relevant mini-challenges based on real NBA situations all season long, updating within an hour of each game’s final buzzer. They’re also pushing appearance changes daily, so you won’t have to play with a flat-topped Iman Shumpert days after he got history’s most serious haircut like some sort of uninformed dummy.
You can also rage-play your team’s entire schedule through the year – just like the actual season but with your own decisions instead of that STUPID KNOW-NOTHING TYRONE CORBIN.
And while it is unfortunate that this won’t be available to those of us who have yet to upgrade our systems, it does clear the way for the franchise to get into pole position on the new boxes and pull its weight alongside the rest of EA’s sporting titles. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to live in a world where Tyson Chandler is healthy and rebounding.