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Is ‘NBA Live 19’ any good? Try it for yourself right now

A demo for NBA Live 19 is available now on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles ahead of the basketball sim’s September 7 launch. The free demo comes in at just shy of 16 GB.

The demo lets basketball fans start NBA Live’s new story-driven experience, The Rise, which is part of The One career mode. Users have the opportunity to create their own player and compete in a 3v3 game that includes a handful of famous ballers. Your teammates and opponents include: Reigning MVP James Harden, breakout star center Joel Embiid, two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker, and NBA legend Allen Iverson. The demo will let you create both male and female athletes for the first time in series history. The Rise takes your player on a worldwide journey featuring stops at famous basketball venues.

If the premade courts don’t suit you, the game includes a court creation toolkit, which is available to try in the demo. All progress made in the demo transfers to the full game.

The demo also includes Play Now and Practice mode, so it gives a good look at both the core basketball gameplay and The Rise, which appears to be the main selling point of NBA Live 19.

If you’re curious how NBA Live 19 might stack up to NBA 2K19, you may want to check out EA Sports’ prelaunch event on Twitch  at 7 p.m. PT on Friday, August 24. EA will reveal a new game mode during the event. And even if you aren’t that optimistic about NBA Live 19, the vent sounds like a fun time. Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker will be on hand for “star-studded” 3v3 games and a dunk contest judged by celebrities.

NBA Live has had an up and down history, but it’s mostly been down as of late. Last year’s version made crucial improvements to the core gameplay, but it still lagged behind the excellent experience provided by NBA 2K. One thing that could tip in NBA Live’s favor, though, is accessibility. NBA Live 18 offered a more carefree and loose basketball experience, whereas our time with NBA 2K19 earlier this month suggested the leading basketball sim is leaning into realism more than ever.

Either way, it doesn’t hurt to give the NBA Live 19 demo a shot so you can make an informed decision come launch day.

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