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NBA 2K23 Gameplay Details Emerge
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:09am 04/08/22 | Comments
2K took us through the big changes coming this year...

The months before a new entry in the NBA 2K series drops is a lot like the lead-up to a new season of the world’s premiere basketball league. Freshly waxed courts, new b-balls sourced from the, err, b-ball factory, and players ready to display everything they’ve got. According to 2K, NBA 2K23 is all about creating an authentic NBA experience for newcomers and 2K pros alike - more so than ever before.

From new offensive gameplay that expands on the Pro Stick mechanic to a new flex system that is all about recreating and simulating the physics around dunking and then hanging on the rim. All of this is bolstered by new animation for things like layups, where specific movements and contacts have been built around players like Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Allen Iverson, and Magic Johnson.

Plus, it just wouldn’t be an NBA 2K without some sort of rework to the shooting.

Offensive Changes: From the Pro Stick to Flexing on the Rim

Last year there was a focus on the defensive, and with NBA 2K23 the development team is promising an experience “jam-packed with new features and upgrades on the offensive end of the floor”. As the team keenly watches every NBA game with an eye toward detail and then tries to simulate the same match-ups virtually, it noticed that NBA 2K22 was great for perimeter players and long-range shooters, but wasn’t as evenly crafted for players who drive the rim. Going back to the authenticity motto for NBA 2K23, this has led to several changes and improvements coming to the act of attacking the basket.

The Pro Stick is getting new gestures such as a double-throw that’s essentially flicking the analog stick multiple times, and switchbacks that are like that but one flick and then moving the stick into an opposite direction. Adding more finesse and style to layups, with things like a hop-step. NBA2K23 has many new “layup packages”, which are animation and move-sets modeled after real players.

Dunks are getting some love too, with skilled dunks returning with new Pro Stick commands that’ll let you dunk how you want to dunk, covering the range of classic rim shakers. Two-hand, one-hand, flashy, and even rim hangs. According to the team, on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S rim hangs are physically simulated based on tech that has been worked on for a few years. Hold the trigger to keep hanging and use the left stick to adjust body momentum and the right stick to pull yourself up.

All of the new gestures apply to ball-handling, further adding more ways to dribble and flex those skills.

Adrenaline and Shooting

Adrenaline boosts are a new feature coming this year, which are three available boosts per possession (separate to stamina) where one is consumed when you perform a quick move or sprint launch. When the three boosts are gone, for that possession, a player’s speed and acceleration will significantly decrease. Again, for that possession. The aim here is to add some efficiency and thought behind the movement to create opportunities as opposed to simply trying to brute force your way around the defence.

So let’s get to it - the changes coming to the shooting in NBA 2K23. Until now signature jump shots have been aesthetic only with shot success coming down to how open a player was and what the timing was like. This year will see the arrival of shooting attributes, where each signature jump shot comes with its shooting stats to determine effectiveness. Which are - Shot Speed, Release Height, Defensive Immunity, and Timing Impact. And with that, the number of shot animations is increasing.

The good news is that there are five new shot meters to choose from, giving more choice to those that want this side of the game to feel a specific sort of way.

The Defensive Game and Artificially Intelligent Ball Handlers

The Defensive changes coming with NBA 2K23 might sound minor on paper but will definitely add quite a bit to the experience. How defenders are tracked is becoming more accurate, and on-ball defence is being refreshed with new indicators around zones. Shot blocking is also becoming more realistic, with 2K noting, “no more small guards pulling off LeBron James-level chase-down blocks like last year”.

NBA 2K23 also improves things on the AI side for those playing on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, giving them more offensive moves, making them more aggressive in the paint, and making sure that AI ball handlers better assess any given situation and act in a realistic fashion.

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