When it comes to sport simulation video games, it’s clear that EA Sports is king. When you think of Basketball games, you automatically think of the NBA 2K series, and for a good reason. NBA Live 19 is by far the best entry into the franchise, but EA still has a stiff challenge ahead of them to become the go-to basketball sim on the market.
NBA Live 19 kicks off in rather promising fashion. Before you’re thrown into any menus and potentially overwhelmed with choices, the game presents you a helpful cut scene that explains guard, wing, and big-man player types. This is basic level stuff for hardcore basketball aficionados, but for casual fans or those with little basketball exposure, this is a brilliant introduction. At its conclusion you’re immediately shuffled into a 3-on-3 game to serve as your tutorial. Here you’ll be run through all the basic actions, from passing and shooting to some slightly more advanced moves, like how to post-up or box a player out when going for a rebound. It’s all presented extremely well, and the checklist of actions to perform will have you grasping the basics in no time.
NBA Live 19 is developed by the same studio that has been at the reigns of the franchise since 2010, EA Tiburon. They’re probably most well-known as the studio behind the fantastic NFL Madden series. NBA Live 19 includes gameplay improvements, with the introduction of real-player motion and the expansion of one-on-one features. One feature EA is keen to highlight is that NBA Live 19 is the first Basketball game that includes the option to create a female player.
In general, The League is a very hit-and-miss mode. As mentioned, you kick things off with The Rise, which has your player starting in high school and then strangely forgoing the traditional college experience or even playing professionally overseas, instead opting to play street ball. Unlike the competition, The League doesn’t have a whole lot more story than that. For the most part it’s a straight career mode, which will be music to the ears of fans who have become fed up with 2K’s outlandish and soap opera-style stories.
NBA Live 19 is an admirable attempt at snatching the NBA video game throne, but ultimately it fumbles. While there are a number of quality of life improvements in the career mode, it drops the ball in too many areas. Even diehard fans will be hard pressed to find many improvements to the series’ gameplay compared to entries from a decade ago.
NBA Live 19 Full Specifications
|Model||NBA Live 19|
|Release date||September 2018|
|Platform||PS4, Xbox One|
|Age Rating (PEGI)||3+|