Basketball has typically been a hard sport to translate into a video game. Though some developers have managed to do great things with the sport, none have really been able to capture the real nature of an NBA game. One of these franchises is EA’s NBA Live, which has had a particularly difficult time with this, especially in the last few years. One of the aims of NBA Live 08 is to try and produce a game that features solid fundamentals that should improve the core gameplay, while adding a few new features to make the game stand out from last year’s version.
With NBA Live 08, EA is focusing on four core essentials that should help to take the overall gameplay closer to a real NBA game, while keeping it accessible and fun to more players. Post play is being opened up to add more strategy. While in the post, players can use the right analog stick to throw up a series of moves and counter moves; the goal being to outmove your opponent enough that you can break away. Over 100 moves are possible, each contextually driven so the right moves happen in the appropriate places.
Adding to the system is a brand new defensive A.I. that will adapt to the types of moves you pull. If you have a tendency to use only a certain set of moves, the A.I. will make note and respond with the appropriate counter move.
Speaking of moves, several players will have their own personalized set of moves and shots based on their real-life play style. Players will also have hotspots on the court that show where they are doing best. Hot spots will be generated by real-life as well as through your own play style.
Like EA’s football franchises, NBA Live 08 will feature a new branching animation system. The new system determines the best transitional animations which should up the game’s pacing and give it a more natural flow. The animation system will play into the new ballhandling function. Dribbling is handled by the right analog stick and will let you switch hands mid-dribble and have greater control over the ball. This will open up player movement and, hopefully, produce a more exciting game.
Look for the new, refocused NBA Live 08 this October.