NBA 2K13 is the premiere, and just about only, basketball sports video game on the market. The PC version, available via Steam among other mediums, is part of a PC revival for sports games in 2012. NBA 2K13, executive produced by Jay Z, is a game that has received a positive 91% score for the NBA 2K13 Xbox 360 review. The PC version, however, also measures up with great gameplay, wonderful presentation, plenty of modes, and fantastic graphics.
Undoubtedly a marketing ploy, Jay Z’s name has been plastered on the cover and is listed as one of the big features of the game. Certainly, his creative intelligence has added some style in the form of a nice soundtrack and visual elements. More importantly, there are new and improved gameplay elements, featuring the control stick for improved ball control, a dynamic shot generator for more realistic shot variety from players, as well as signature skills unique to players. There’s the MyCareer Mode that allows you to build “MyPlayer” which is a great and unique game mode where a player creates a rookie, goes through the rookie experience of being drafted, and then goes on to an NBA Career. There’s a traditional franchise mode where you take control of an NBA franchise, as well as playoff modes, and other “street ball” modes of gameplay. Finally, there is the incorporation of USA Basketball so gamers can play matches against the original Dream Team with the recent 2012 Gold Medal winning USA squad.
It should be stated that NBA 2K13 for PC was played on Windows 7 using an Xbox 360 controller. Assuming that the controller is installed and turned on, NBA 2K13 will automatically detect the device. Playing the game in this manner is really the best and most recommended way to interact with the game.
Getting into the game, the control system is outstanding. There’s definite control, accurate passing, sick juke moves, and everything else you’d expect from a top-flight NBA themed video game. The system using the enhanced ball control via the control stick is also another aspect of the true-to-life accurate feel the game offers. Taking shots is also realistic as gamers will have to intelligently move the ball around, set screens, and take open shots in order to score regularly. In addition, pick-n-roll plays work wonders against opponents. Within the game, the controls work marvelously without making it feel more “video game-y”, as opposed to like a sports sim.
The game modes are not to be understated. As stated, the MyCareer mode lets you create your own NBA superstar, play through a rookie game, get drafted, and play through a career. There’s also traditional season modes to take a team and play through an NBA season, plus other “fun” modes to improve gameplay or just play some streetball against the competition. Another great aspect of the game is the inclusion of many legendary NBA teams from the past, including the Bulls teams led by Michael Jordan and the Lakers teams of the 80’s led by Magic Johnson.
Getting back to the nitty-gritty gameplay while playing in a basketball game, the controls are really impressive using a 360 controller. Players will definitely get a console feel with the benefits (mainly graphical) of the PC platform. The physics are extremely impressive with out-of-control shots harder to make, while controlled and thoughtful shots look cleaner and fall more often. Overall, the gameplay of NBA 2K13 as played on a Windows 7 PC has an extremely high fun factor.
Playing the game on a console will, at maximum, offer a 1080p visual experience running at 1920×1080 resolution. For most PC gamers running with 22″ or 24″ monitors, the resolution will be much the same; although the graphical details and levels can be increased tremendously thanks to mid-range PCs nowadays easily outperforming both the PS3 and XBox 360 consoles. That said, running the game on a 27″ monitor at 2560×1440 resolution exceeds what 1080p (and consoles) can possibly offer. Playing NBA 2K13 on PC at this resolution is a near revolutionary experience as the players look great, the details pop and, overall, the visual experience shines thanks to the beefier hardware that comes along with playing the game on this platform. The visual presentation layer in the menus is also very impressive–gamers will experience high quality graphics whether they are playing the game or simply navigating menus.
The soundtrack of NBA 2K13 on PC is definitely one of the best of any game released in 2012. Featuring contemporary tracks of hip-hop and rock, the songs heard in the menus and during the game are great. Inside the game, the “basketball sound effects” are also impressive with plenty of player chatter, fan noise, and other ambient sound effects offering a very realistic NBA experience within the game. Perhaps the best aspect of the sound in NBA 2K13 on PC is play-by-play, which has to be some of the best heard in any sports game released this year.
Overall, NBA 2K13 on PC is a fantastic sports gaming experience and well worth the discounted price from the console version for those owning a mid to upper range PC and an Xbox 360 controller. The graphics are great to look at thanks to stronger hardware native to the platform and potential higher resolutions with bigger/better monitors. The sounds of the game are just as pleasing thanks to a great soundtrack, realistic sound effects, and excellent play-by-play. Along with solid gameplay and plenty to do within the game’s various modes, it’s possible to play this title for a long time to come. NBA 2K13 on PC is a potential “Game of the Year 2012″ title for the sports genre and is highly recommended for purchase, garnering an Editor’s Choice Award.