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NBA 2K18 may be plagued by microtransactions, but it still reigns supreme

There may be a couple of glaring issues, but NBA 2K18 is still an undeniably fun game at its core.

2k Sports has offered us the crème de la crème of basketball video games for many years, and they don’t look like slowing down any time soon.

NBA 2K18 is the newest title on the shelf and offers us further proof that this developer simply can’t be beat within the genre – not yet, at least.

Complete with impressive graphics, new game modes, serious depth and addictive gameplay, it’s one of those games you can play for hours on end.

Whether it’s dunking on friends with Kevin Durant or swatting shots like flies with Anthony Davis, NBA 2K18 brings everything you ever wanted to the basketball genre on console.

NBA 2K18’s predecessor, NBA 2K17, had a few hiccups in terms of animations and gameplay, but the latest edition smoothed everything out to give the game a much more fluid and organic feel.

The new “Neighbourhood” is the most interesting new feature, giving you an open-world environment through which you can access everything to do with MyPlayer – including MyCareer, MyPark, Pro-Am and more.

The Neighbourhood is kind of cool, but it’s also kind of gimmicky. It certainly adds a fresh flavour to the single-player modes, but it makes everything take ten times longer than simply navigating a menu.

I spent a good ten minutes trying to find out where my flipping house was since my in-game phone was demanding I go there without providing a map.

The most obvious downfall of the game is its relentless push for microtransactions, something which could prove 2K Sports’ undoing if they don’t reel it in before releasing future titles.

Despite the fact the game is not free to play or even cheap, NBA 2K18 flogs microtransactions so hard it has left a foul taste in the mouths of many fans. Indeed, apparently spending $80 to $100 on a game isn’t enough of a financial commitment.

Don’t worry, because you don’t need to spend the money to enjoy the game – 2K Sports just really shoves it down your throat. Almost every game mode is infected with opportunities to speed up progress by spending more money.

The second major issue is the prevalence of cutscenes in the solo career mode. It’s clear they’ve made an effort to add a very personable narrative to it, but just let me play the game for goodness sake.

I could have sworn I booted up the game and sat through half an hour of cutscenes and jogging around the Neighbourhood until I actually played any basketball.

Also, I really wanted to add “creating the ugliest possible character” to the list of top features, but the customisation options are really limited – at the beginning, at least.

But in terms of gameplay, there’s no doubt it’s a joy to hit the court as a team, player or manager. Plus, it’s fairly easy to pick up and play right off the bat.

Don’t worry, though: the skill ceiling is high enough that you can knuckle down, master all the moves and become an unstoppable force.

The nitty gritty stuff – gameplay, graphics and various modes – is all on point. If you pick up this game, you won’t regret it.

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