Over the last few years, MyCareer mode in 2K’s NBA games has been pushed hard, becoming a legitimately well crafted sports RPG. It has had a few turns in its journey telling different stories, with NBA 2K16 having a plot directed by Spike Lee for the early part of the MyCareer mode. This year 2K has made available NBA 2K17: The Prelude, which allows people to get a glimpse of what MyCareer has to offer and ties directly into the full game release.
The initial download is fairly light before you can start playing, but this is closer to a full sized game at over 14GB. There’s much more that The Prelude has to download before you can really get stuck in, but during this time you can try out the tutorial in 2KU mode which gives a basic introduction to the controls. By the time it’s done, you’ll probably have memorised the lyrics to Pop Style by Drake feat. The Throne and Me, Myself & I by G-Eazy & Bebe Rexha, which play on a loop.
Once MyCareer becomes available, you create your player and then are treated to a quick introduction by NBA legend Kobe Bryant and the actor Michael B. Jordan, who has a role within this year’s mrCareer. It’s straight through to a cutscene with your high school coach, Coach Washington, propping your character up as a star high school basketball player. You’re one of the best in the country, nicknamed ‘The President’ or ‘Pres’ for short. You have to choose which college to attend, and from here the game opens up.
You’ll play at least four games in the regular college season and depending on how that pans out, you’ll get a couple of more games. This may be college basketball, but right from the off you realise how big an occasion this is, with a crowd full of fans conducting a synchronised dance to Tidal Wave by Posso Feat. Kaleena Zanders, and a grand speech given by the team captain that builds hype until you finally hit the court. All the way through the match, the crowd is going wild.
The gameplay will be familiar to those who have played the other NBA 2K games, and it is pretty easy to pick up and play. There have been some changes to the UI like the shot meter, which changes in size depending on whether your player is in a good position on the court or not. When going for a shot, a bar fills the shot gauge, and when that bar is full you should let fly with a shot. The less that bar is filled the less accurate shots you take are. Of course, even if you do shoot when the bar is full you won’t always score, depending on your player’s attributes.
NBA 2K17: The Prelude does allow you to upgrade these attributes by purchasing points using the virtual currency earned after games, with the amount earned depending on your overall performance as a team player. It’s a good idea to get some upgrades early to help improve your player, because every game played affects just where you’ll be placed in the NBA Draft in the main NBA 2K17 game. Play poorly and you could be drafted into a low ranked team, but show off those skills and fundamentals may mean the big teams swoop in to give your player a shot.
NBA 2K17: The Prelude is meaningful way for players to demo one of the main modes that will be present in the final game, and actually carry over progress. If you are thinking of getting NBA 2K17 then this is really a must to get the full experience of MyCareer, while if you’ve wondered what the NBA 2K games are like, The Prelude is a good introduction to the franchise.