The review of NBA Live 18, a return with the desire for revenge

The EA Sports series dedicated to basketball is one of the most inconstant of the Canadian house, despite its venerable age: it exists in fact since 1994, collecting, under the name NBA Live, the legacy of chapters released just three years earlier for 16-bit consoles . In short, a historical saga that has managed to touch notable highlights, a splendor that has definitely weakened by NBA Live 10, which has started a slow and inexorable decline.One of the causes is undoubtedly to be attributed to a truly fierce competition, able to raise the qualitative bar at each exit; factor that, combined with a series of technical deficits, has contributed to decrease the popularity of Electronic Arts titles, so as to lead to two major setbacks.


The first, very important, was four years and ended with the return of the saga on the current generation, in 2013. After some iterations not very convincing, we arrived at another pause for reflection with NBA Live 16,

the penultimate exponent of the franchise, whose modest response from the public convinced the developers to bring their title back to the construction site. After a period of two years, which left almost foreshadowing the closure of the series, Live is instead returned with a renewed determination: will this new episode to recover the scepter of basketball simulations?


The desire for revenge is always appreciable, but not enough alone to combat a competition that equally relies on many years of experience to improve its product. Probably aware of this factor, EA Tiburon has bet everything on the concreteness for this return, investing on the best things that the series has offered over the years and completely absorbing its history.


NBA Live 18 is a chapter with feet firmly on the ground, except when he has to jump to go to the basket. The first step was to recover and improve the Pro-Am mode of the previous chapter, a sort of prototype of a new way of considering the player career mode. From this base, something even bigger was created, called The One, and led by a luxury testimonial: James Harden,


This is in effect the new single player career, fought between two well-highlighted souls after a series of introductory mini-games, La Lega and La Strada. The first one as intuitive is focused on the career of the protagonist, after having been chosen in the draft, in one of the teams of the US championship. The second is in effect an evolution of the Pro-Am


mode, characterized by the ability to play games with other human players online through historical playgrounds, introduced by beautiful movies full of references and anecdotes. Among these we mention the Pacific University of Seattle, Venice Beach and the Rucker Park in New York. All are made beautifully and represent something different than the classic arenas, but The One is much more than that.

The review of NBA Live 18, a return with the desire for revenge


One of the most stimulating features of The One mode is its structure and its different elements in common with a role-playing game. Our protagonist is completely customizable in terms of objects and skills through a rich menu of upgrades, based respectively on the accumulation of virtual currency and experience points. All this contributes to increasing the level of the player, to whom are linked specific skills that we will unlock then progressing in the career. The coin naturally binds to the inner shop,


which offers a long series of caskets containing a clothing item chosen at random from a defined set. The same chins have a link with the level reached, so they will not all be immediately accessible


.A detail that many will appreciate is the total absence, in this mode, of microtransactions: all the gains must be obtained by playing and winning the various games. Even more interesting is the fact of having full freedom of action through the two modes, league and road, regardless of the progress achieved with our player.


A system that stimulates alternating the One mode with the others present in the game, considering that there is no real story, excluding the usual incipit of the young promise that aspires to the celebrity.


The few parts of the screenplay are relegated to some friendly curtain offered by a fictitious transmission within the game, and a series of cell phone dialogues between the protagonist and various characters, including the inevitable agent, friends and even Harden himself. he gladly peeks out.


These brief dialogues are moreover functional to the development, offering the player the possibility to choose the answer, conquering hype points or virtual currency.