by Preston Tolliver
Gone are the boring days where you could buy a basketball game and focus on silly things like controlling a player whose primary focus is to play basketball, because “NBA 2K17” has realized that there are more important things than that. Finally, it’s come around to what I’ve believed for a long time – that the one thing basketball needs to make it entertaining is some daytime soap opera-level of drama.
In the game’s MyCareer mode, you’re a high school and college standout, nicknamed “Pres,” which is short for “President,” but could also be considered short for “Preston,” which, if you’ll look above here, you’ll see is my name and so that’s pretty dope. You declare for college – you can choose one of eight schools, and so I decided to take my talents to Michigan State, where I quickly cemented my place as the school’s best player to ever don a Spartan jersey (Suck it, Magic).
From there, you’re thrown into the draft, but don’t worry – you’ll still have plenty of time for things not revolving around basketball. For example, you have ample opportunity to set the controller down and watch the long, several minutes-long, one-after-another cutscenes of you and your college roommate playing video games (it’s almost surreal playing a video game in which you get to watch your player play a video game), or of you and your girlfriend sitting outside in the dark, talking about things that people in relationships usually talk about, or answering a million text messages after each practice, a task that feels almost like work, which is awesome because there’s nothing I like to do more while I’m at home than to field almost as many complaints from people as I do at the office. The game actually gives you the opportunity to ignore those messages, but half of them are from your mom telling you she loves you, so you really get to develop your player, right down to just how big of an asshole you are.
Now, because the game takes realism to a new level, prompting you to endure through practice after practice with Michael B. Jordan, there’s a lot I haven’t been able to check out on the game just yet. After all, the life of a basketball star is a pretty busy one, especially when 80 percent of that life is spent dealing with all the other crap. But I have a few notes:
The game obviously has its flaws. All games do. But there’s one thing 2K has proven with their latest installment, and it’s that damn, do they know their demographic.