2017 is the year the sports games ceased being focused simulations of their respective sports and became sprawling experiences with aims at pleasing everyone. EA Sports sent Madden 18 out into the world this past month with a reworked story mode designed to entice new players into the gridiron franchise. NBA 2K18 goes even further in that direction and has transformed the popular MyCareer mode into a sprawling open world adventure-RPG.
In previous installments, NBA 2K’s MyCareer mode was limited to creating a new superstar and following him through some cutscenes and occasional career decisions while grinding away on the court on the road to basketball greatness. With 2K18, MyCareer mode is greatly expanded to include the popular MyPark, NBA career progression, and training into an open world dubbed, The Neighborhood.
Players can spend their time in The Neighborhood hanging out at the local parks, challenging other players to street pickup games to show off their skills. Once you leave the parks, you can walk across a few city blocks and duck into the local arcades for some minigames. Further up the street, your created baller can take a seat at the local barber shop to freshen up your fade. While you sit in the chair, there is a chance you could bump into NBA superstars like Kyrie Irving and talk with them about basketball or how to take a dump on a city you claimed to love because your fragile ego is incapable of playing a Pippen to one of the greatest to ever step on the court.
Players can dip out of the barber shop and visit the local Foot Locker to try on new kicks. The Neighborhood also includes a designer clothing store that will let the rest of you look as sharp as your feet. Also connected to The Neighborhood is your team’s arena, where you play your NBA games. Those do not seem terribly important against the backdrop of the new open world.
You will be able to live the basketball dream with NBA 2K18 hits the street on September 19. The next step in your basketball career dribbles onto the Playstation, Xbox, PC, and Switch and can be pre-ordered here.