Some of you might remember my review for NBA Live 18 and the fact that game turned out to be a really positive surprise, especially considering the fact it was a game released by EA in 2017, arguably its most disastrous year to date. Suffice it to say, I was actually looking forward to playing its next installment and I had the opportunity to test it at EA’s exclusive Play lounge in Los Angeles prior to the official start of E3. The demo was simple: an exhibition match between the Warriors and the Cavaliers. Sadly, I wasn’t able to choose my Mavericks, but can you blame EA Sports for not including the team in this demo after such a pitiful season?
Unlike most sports game iterations out there, which act basically like a roster update from the previous year’s edition, NBA Live 19 actually feels different from its predecessor in a good way.
For starters, NBA Live 19‘s controls feel easier to pick up and play than last year’s game; defending is easier, one-on-ones are slightly more favorable to the defender, and you can actually steal the ball more frequently.
The most noticeable addition to NBA Live 19, however, lies in its new “taunt” mechanic. There will be many in-game events that will make the crowd go wild, such as fouls, slam dunks, and players scoring frequently. Whenever this happens, a prompt will show up allowing you to either taunt your opponent or ask the crowd’s atmosphere to heat up. Each action will have an immediate effect during said game, with an increased use of taunting mechanics resulting on the opposition losing its patience and proceeding to foul you more often. Asking for your fans to cheer more vividly will result in an increase in player morale, resulting in better passing, dribbling and free throwing accuracy. According to one of the producers located on-site, the way you use this taunting mechanic will directly affect your character’s fame and media treatment during “The One” mode, which will make a comeback.
New additions, such as new street basketball courts (including one in Brazil) and a new “The Streets” mode, have also been announced but weren’t available for testing.
NBA Live 19 comes out on September 7th for both Playstation 4 and Xbox One, with a free demo slated for August 24th. Sadly, no PC or Switch versions will be released at least for this year’s version. Let’s all hope we’ll have NBA Live 20 for the Switch next year.