The good thing about review copies is the ability to try out games several days before they release. But the downside is usually not being able to do much in the way of online play. With only a handful of people able to access servers, we’re often reviewing just the single-player modes.
Because of the ability to patch games after release, the review copy is seldom the final product. Our Jerimiah Mueller discussed this issue as it pertained to his review of Continue?987654321. His primary complaint, the controls, had been patched by the time we published his review. It’s now part of our job to check back and see if a game has improved since we first looked at it.
On the flip side, we also need to look back and see if things got worse. That’s the case with NBA 2K14. The basketball sim’s single player mode has been best in class for years now. But its online play has had problems constantly. In spite of that, NBA 2K14 contains a virtual currency system that runs through every game mode. It requires constant check-ins and has essentially turned NBA 2K14 into an always online game. Considering how hard it is to get online, that’s a losing proposition.
Polygon opted to amend its PS3 review score, lowering it from an 8 to a 5. Next gen versions are experiencing some of the same problems. Making things worse, they don’t offer the LeBron James Path to Greatness Mode that is the game’s best single player bonus. Patches that have tried to address the online instability have sometimes added new problems.
Thanks to the continued struggles of EA’s NBA Live franchise, 2K Sports still enjoys a near monopoly. All EA needs to do is release a basketball game with a 70 percent Metacritic rating that has reliable online play. That would put them right back in contention. The publisher’s been unable to hit even that low bar.
NBA 2K14 may be the breaking point for many gamers. They’re demanding refunds, starting online petitions and making their displeasure known.
Site [NBA 2K14]