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Free ‘NBA 2K19: The Prelude’ mode lets you start your basketball career now

We still have to wait a little bit longer before NBA 2K19 hits store shelves, but if you’re looking to get your hands on the game a little early, you can do so now — and for free. NBA 2K19: The Prelude is out now, and it lets you try out the beginning of the game’s story-focused MyCareer mode.

Available now as a free download, NBA 2K19: The Prelude includes access to the first chapter of MyCareer, titled “The Way Back.” It’s a bit different from some of the other narrative sports modes we’ve seen from the likes of Madden, FIFA, and even previous 2K games, as it focuses on a player initially grinding away in the Chinese Basketball League.

“As you develop your skills and gain recognition in China, the opportunity to return stateside comes when you receive an invite to to play in the G League,” 2K Games said in a press release. “Through hard work and perseverance, your chance to play on the main stage in the NBA comes late in the season when a roster spot opens up.”

“The Way Back” includes several big-name actors this year, including Marvel Cinematic Universe star Anthony Mackie, actor Michael Rapaport, The Sixth Sense and Kingdom Hearts star Haley Joel Osment, and Hidden Figures star Aldis Hodge. You can watch a teaser for the mode at the top of the page. Your player initially struggles with the communications barrier in China, dreaming of being drafted in the NBA in the middle of games, but soon learns that he needs to “learn to crawl” before he gets his big shot.

We’ve loved what we’ve played of NBA 2K19 thus far, with particular praise reserved for the improved shot mechanics, as well as the new “Takeover” system. You can look forward to our full review in September.

NBA 2K19 will bereleased on September 11 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. The Switch version will include all of the same modes as the other versions, and it isn’t a cut-down version of the game, like we’ve seen with some other companies’ sports titles.

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