‘NBA 2K14’ devs explain this year’s upgrades

2K Sports and Visual Concepts return with their annual NBA sim in NBA 2K14, but rather than just cramming in new features and a few minor tweaks, the game will actually feature some of the biggest upgrades to the gameplay the series has ever seen, according to the devs.

So far the attention for the upcoming game has been focused on the new “pro stick” controls, and the star of the game himself, LeBron James. We recently got a chance to try out the new control scheme in a recent demo, and then we heard details on the LeBron James-specific mode coming in NBA 2K14, the “LeBron: Path to Greatness.”

These are the types of additions we like to hear about in annual games, but for hardcore fans they are just the dressing on the package. It’s the gameplay that really matters. Based on the improvements mentioned in this developer diary though, the gameplay has seen some subtle, but important changes – especially in the paint.

It will be tougher to score in this year’s game, but that is a good thing. The AI defense has been bolstered, especially under the rim, making it harder to just constantly drive the lane with one of the game’s highest rated players and dunk at will. That promises to make the game move and feel more like an actual NBA game.

The devs also mentioned the upgrade to the next-gen consoles. Among the numerous next-gen launch titles coming later this year will be several upgraded versions of games already on the market. Most of those games are likely to be little more than graphical improvements over their current-gen counterparts, especially for games on an annual release cycle. Next year’s offerings will be the true next-gen debut for most of those. Visual Concepts claims that isn’t the case with NBA 2K14.

We’ll find out how it all comes together when the game is released on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on October 4, and as a launch title for the PS4 and Xbox One.

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