After playing through more than a handful of games in the MyCareer mode in 2K Sports’ “NBA 2K16,” it’s easy to say that it’s an incredibly different experience than last year.
Although you can tell a lot of time and effort went into penning Spike Lee’s version of the mode, it’s too cliché and bland for hard-core fans of the series to truly enjoy. While the drama is there, the plot is weak, at least through your High School and College experience. The characters don’t have the depth early on that you’d expect and it’s hard to root for them the way you would have rooted for yourself last year.
Simply put, they’ll be times when you feel like you’re just playing a new mode in any other basketball game and not something that you play a distinctive influential part of. In the end, while Frequency Vibrations has the potential to be a cool character, he still not you and the times that you feel that you are in control of the story are few and far between.
The experience, isn’t all sour though. Through our initial gameplay, we played a few games in High School and several more in College, before jumping into our first year in the pros. You definitely make a connection with Frequency, his sister, his friends and his family, but it’s just not the same as last year. The emotional cut-scenes later on will make you want to continue playing, but these are after you’ve already invested hours. The early stuff is mega cheesy and is not even close to representing what Lee has done in film. Luckily, the soliloquies are shot beautifully and this is where you’ll begin to be pulled in. However, it’s more of a story mode with your face on an already defined character. The fact that your family’s appearance doesn’t change regardless of the way your avatar looks is cause for concern as well. It makes you feel even more less like you’re a part of something created originally for you.
While the gameplay is still just a solid as ever, the MyCareer mode feels like you’re watching a movie that you have no control over, except on the court. Take this as an example: you’re wrapping up your first year in college and you have the decision to make. Do you go pro or do you stay in college? Although there’s a cut scene and your family and girlfriend (who is never introduced before this) play a huge role in your decision, your character makes a choice all by himself, and before you know it, you’re in the pros. That just wouldn’t have happened last year. You would have had more control.
At this point, about three hours into the mode, it’s hard to make a clear-cut decision on whether or not it has the same power to bring you in as last year. It’s an intriguing ride and it’s one that real fans of the series will enjoy, but to call it MyCareer just feels weird.