2K Sports makes the best basketball game on consoles, and they have had a few attempts on iOS. We have given 2K a lot of grief with their previous mobile efforts, but they’re back at it in anticipation of the new NBA season with NBA 2K15 for iOS. From experiencing the previous efforts, as well as the console editions, we have a unique perspective for NBA 2K15. At first glance, you can tell there’s a huge improvement in the graphics engine. 2K claims vastly improved graphics, all new player animations, and realistic gameplay, and they’re not lying.
NBA 2K15 for iOS has improved 3D models for all of the players, but the game really shines in motion. It’s the first mobile basketball game that can even be considered playable as a basketball simulation on the go. Previous efforts have been embarrassing, and it makes NBA 2K15 look that much better in comparison. For the first time on iOS, you can actually dribble the ball where you want, pass to specific points, take properly timed shots, guard opponents, generate steals, and simply feel in control of both sides of the court. There’s an actual flow to the game like a real basketball game with the way the players move around the court. The setting is reminiscent of the quality on PS3, though some modeling still is at PS2 era, but either way it’s quite a jump for iOS.
Sports games have had a tough go on iOS with FIFA being the only franchise to offer an actual playable full scale simulation. NBA 2K15 has joined FIFA, and the result is an enjoyable game of basketball from start to finish. Basketball is a relatively frenetic game that has a lot of moving parts, and 2K seems to have finally ported the engine from consoles to iOS, rather than trying to make a mobile version. It’s close enough to the console version to fully enjoy, and forget about the previous hampering of the earlier mobile editions. Once you’re able to perform a couple of passes on a fast break, or dribble into the lane, and kick out for a three, you know you have an actual basketball game.
It’s quite a treat to see in motion as the basketball players move as you would expect, and there are also vastly improved player models to resemble the NBA players you know. In addition to the improved graphics engine, the touch controls, while not perfect, let you fully be in control of all the action on screen. It seems 2K put most of their effort into the graphics department, leaving the feature set on the simple side. The game only includes quick play single game mode, or mycareer mode with no season, or franchise mode to choose from. The mycareer mode feels identical to the last generation console version, minus the audio, which again is quite an achievement. There’s the third person behind the basket camera angle to see the flow of the action, and play as just one player from draft pick all the way up the depth chart. The quick game mode doesn’t offer the most depth, but it does let you play with any two teams in a full five on five game to switch between players, and control all of the action.
NBA 2K15 ($7.99, Universal) offers a great leap in basketball on iOS to offer full five on five basketball simulation with deluxe 3D design, and realistic motion for the first time. The result is equal parts authentic, and fun to play making it a great pick up as basketball has finally arrived in the App Store.