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Oct 8, 2006
NBA 2K7 - Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
20/4/2007Take Two2K GamesVisual Concepts
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-7TBA$TBA
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NBA 2K7 looks simply stunning.
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The players look quite stunning.

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Stadiums look quite spectacular.
Sports games are a dime a dozen these days. Not only do we get yearly updates of each sport, but yearly updates from several companies. That's not a bad thing mind you as competition ensures that each developer pushes their games to the limit. In recent years 2K Sports' titles have done just that with superb NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA based games all impressing and certainly competing with Electronic Arts' titles. While the games have reviewed just as well, and often higher then the competition, 2K Sports titles don't sell nearly as many copies. But now they have a chance - and especially with NBA 2K7...

The reason for their big opportunity is that EA's NBA Live 07 is a terrible game. IGN have given it 4.9/10 (compared to 9.0/10 last year, 8.9/10 the year before and 8.8/10 the year before that), and nbalive.org - one of the biggest supporters of EA's game - have been scathing with lists of bugs including computer AI that will not substitute players when fatigued leaving them zombie-like around half way through the match, rookies retire after one year in Dynasty mode, some players have incorrect ages (Josh Boone is 57 years old!) and so on. So here's 2K Sports' big chance NBA 2K7 should finally take the crown as the best NBA based game this year.

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Showing the Signature Style.
So this is basketball. There's no story. Like any game it's a simulation of the sport with quick games, full seasons and dynasty styled modes to keep you occupied. The game also includes a Player creator so you can create your own likeness to include in the game. The PS3 version will have advanced AI over the XBox 360 game - a CPU controlled team now has better clock management, and team management. Another new feature of the PS3 game is use of the controller's motion sensing for free throws. To so so you simply lift the control above your head and move it as you would shoot normally.

One of the key features which Visual Concepts are incorporating into the game are the "Signature Style". This feature elevates next generation animation and adds new level of gameplay strategies as gamers adjust to the different shooting styles of each NBA player. Whether itís Shaquille OíNealís two-handed drop step dunk, Steve Nashís dribble, Gilbert Arenasí wrap around the waist free throw routine, Richard Hamilton adjusting his face mask, Allen Iversonís crossover move, or Shawn Marionís fadeaway jumpshot, Signature Style comprises over 300 unique animations in shooting, dribbling, and dunking in NBA 2K7.

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Slamming it home!
In terms of multi-player Take Two have confirmed that NBA 2K7 will include support for 7-players in offline gameplay. Unfortunately as Sony are still apparently finalizing the online network Visual Concepts still aren't sure about the inclusion of online gameplay - still they are still hopefully it will eb worked out in time.

Graphically NBA 2K7 looks quite stunning. We're not sure if these screens are from the Playstation 3 or XBox 360 version, however after seeing videos of the PS3 version in action we're quite certain that the games are so close technically it hardly matters. Actually that's not quite true as the PS3 version will be enhanced over the XBox 360 game. Cloth simulation is running on one of the PS3's SPU's leaving the remaining six for other aspects of the game. On the XBox 360 the cloth simulation takes up several of the systems CPU cores. This has freed up processing power for more background detail and variety in animation. The mascots now have a much wider range of moves to rev up the crowd. Also the way in which the PS3 renders pixels also gives the game a much richer, and more lifelike, appearance then on the XBox 360. Finally the developers are incorporating 30 new camera angles ranging from the birds-eye view from the upper-level seats, to the eye level view from the coach's cam to view the game from. Impressive.

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Courtside details are impressive.
There is plenty of potential for 2K Sports to achieve greatness with NBA 2K7. Not only are they making use of teh increased power available on the PS3, but also due to EA's NBA Live 07 receiving dismal reviews in the currently released XBox 360, PS2 and PC versions. Unlike some other games coming out on the PS3 (read: EA's) it looks like Visual Concepts are going all out in their first PS3 games to not only match the XBox 360 titles, but to actually surpass them in many areas including visuals, AI and controls. This is a big opportunity for 2K Sports to finally take the crown away from Electronic Arts. Expect a November release in America, and late April in Europe/Australia.