EA Sports is untouched in the football and hockey arenas.
When it comes to soccer and basketball though, there’s other contenders out there that offer worthy competition. 2K Games’ juggernaut of a basketball sim still holds the crown, but NBA Live has returned to challenge that position. After taking a year off, EA Tiburon has returned with a new entry that offers a fresh Career Mode experience and so much more. NBA Live 18 also seeks to upgrade its long-running formula of on-court action with the One-on-One gameplay system, Franchise Mode and Live Ultimate Team. Houston Rockets guard James Harden (one of NBA 2K16’s cover stars) plays the part of this year’s cover athlete for the return of EA’s hardwood action.
1. The Biggest Gameplay Feature for This Year’s Installment is “The One” Career Mode
EA Tiburon is changing up the tried and true formula of its Career Mode for this go around. NBA Live 18 will let you take your custom ball player to legendary status via The League and The Streets. The League will allow players to raise their stock on the pro courts of the NBA, while The Streets employs a different set of rules and hardwood locales that they’ll need to adapt to. As you compete in games from both specializations, you’ll constantly change the outward appearance of your player and upgrade their special abilities on the court. Important decisions will be made along your journey to greatness, new maneuvers will become unlocked as you progress and your ONE score will continually increase as you ball from the West to the East Coast.
From time to time, your custom baller will also be able to enter Live Events. This mode offers big rewards to those who complete boss battles and various matchups solo, with a friend or through competitive multiplayer. The Pro-Am Tour mode tests your future legend’s mettle by allowing him to compete in the Nike Pro-Am Tour. The games played here feature solo story moments and assorted throwback challenges. And finally, Live Run lets you hook up with an online team and take on others during competitive matchups.
2. Franchise and Live Ultimate Team are Two of the Game’s Other Major Modes
Franchise puts players into the driver’s seat of their favorite NBA team while they attempt to win a championship. Along the way, you’ll be tasked with playing countless games, upgrading your team, drafting top talent and making efficient trades. The ultimate goal of Franchise is to make your way through numerous seasons and build your chosen team up into a dynasty.
As for Ultimate Team, players will get to construct their own team of hand-picked players via card packs. Past legends, current greats and rookies will become selectable as you open more packs over time. These reward packs also unlock new coaches, uniforms and stadiums that make your roster stand out from the pack. Completing various challenges nets you coins, which can be used to purchase more packs and therefore more beneficial gifts.
3. The On-Court Gameplay’s Biggest Innovations Rely on One-on-One Gameplay
NBA Live 18’s on court mechanics rely on the core “One-on-One” system. This gameplay ruleset is powered by four different elements – the Dribble System, Real Player Motion, In the Post and On Court Awareness. Check out the official description for each feature below:
– Dribble System: On offense, use the dribble system to catch your defender out of position, while on defense, use the new skill-based counter move to stay in front of the ball handler to direct pace and tempo.
– Real Player Motion: All-new Real Player Motion (RPM) delivers on ball defense with control and responsiveness to stay with the ball carrier and cut off the drive through skill-based timing windows.
– In the Post: Use your size and strength to blow by your man, cut off the drive, protect the basket or score down low, with the all-new Post System, you’re in position to control the Big Man.
– On Court Awareness: Feel explosive dunks, game changing lay ups and the physicality of player collisions in one-on-one gameplay around the basket with more variety and signature finishes.
4. The Lady Ballers of the WNBA Will be Playable for the Very First Time
For the first time in basketball video game history, each WNBA squad will be available for play. Players who take this mode for a spin can compete in offline head to head games with all 12 WNBA teams. That selectable roster lineup includes the:
– Atlanta Dream
– Chicago Sky
– Connecticut Sun
– Indiana Fever
– New York Liberty
– Washington Mystics
– Dallas Wings
– Los Angeles Sparks
– Minnesota Lynx
– Phoenix Mercury
– San Antonio Stars
– Seattle Storm
5. This Year’s Soundtrack Features a Number of High-Profile Artists
EA Sports’ titles always feature a variety of famous and up and coming musical artists who lend their best tracks. NBA Live 18 is no exception; its soundtrack is composed of hit makers such as Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, 2 Chainz, Kid Cudi etc. Refer to the list below to see the full offering of songs you’ll hear during your NBA Live 18 experience:
– 2 Chainz feat. Travis Scott – “4 AM”
– Aminé feat. Kehlani – “Heebiejeebies”
– Ayo & Teo – “Rolex”
– Dave East feat. A$AP Ferg – “Paper Chasin”
– Ezri – “1/1”
– Gorillaz feat. Pusha T and Mavis Staples – “Let Me Out”
– Joey Bad4$$ feat. Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution & Meechy Darko of Flatbush Zombies – “Ring The Alarm”
– Kamaiyah – “How Does It Feel”
– Kap G – “Rings”
– Kendrick Lamar – “DNA.”
– Khary – “Find Me”
– Kid Cudi feat. Pharrell Williams – “Surfin'”
– Kyle feat. Cousin Stizz – “Want Me Bad”
– Lil Uzi Vert – “XO TOUR Llif3”
– MGK feat. Quavo & Ty Dolla $ign – “Trap Paris”
– Mura Masa feat. Desiigner – “All Around The World”
– Nas x J Dilla – “The Season”
– NAV – “NAV”
– Nick Grant feat. WatchtheDuck – “Get Up”
– Playboi Carti feat. Lil Uzi Vert – “wokeuplikethis*”
– PnB Rock feat. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – “Stand Back”
– Rapsody feat. Anderson .Paak – “OooWee”
– Rick Ross – “Summer Seventeen”
– Russ – “I’m Here”
– Stefflon Don – “Real Ting”
– THEY. – “U-RITE”
– Tunji Ige – “Pounds”
– Year Of The Ox – “Jet Lag”
– Yellow Claw – “City On Lockdown (Instrumental Mix)”