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NBA Live is now Elite.

NBA Live has been known as “the other guys,” in the battle of the basketball games for a long time. The NBA 2K series has always been far superior, providing a more realistic and much more beautiful experience than the opposing NBA Live series. EA Sports (Publishers of NBA Live) are finally going all out in trying to fix that, giving their series a brand new name and many changes to the overall gameplay.

“We plan to profoundly evolve the interactive basketball experience in a way that the category has not seen for a decade,” says Peter Moore, President, EA SPORTS. “In NBA ELITE 11, we’ll introduce a gameplay experience that gives fans the control on the court that they have been begging for in a basketball game for years.” 

“NBA ELITE 11 introduces several significant gameplay changes that center around user control. The new ‘Hands-On Control’ scheme allows for one-to-one responsiveness of a player’s movement and actions on the court, as opposed to traditional predetermined animations that require users to wait while a scenario played out before making the next move. Hands-on Control applies to everything within a player’s offensive and defensive arsenal, including: dribble moves, dunks, drives to the basket, fadeaways, mid-air adjustments, blocks, steals and more.”

That second part definitely sounds interesting to me. It could be a tough thing to manage but if it works properly, it could be revolutionary. And something that the 2K series might want to try and duplicate. 

“The new real-time physics system in NBA ELITE 11 allows each player on the court to move independently of one another, removing the two-man interactions that have long taken the user control out of basketball simulation videogames. In addition, a new skill-based shooting system requires accurate user input, based on a player’s position on the court, versus the randomly generated dice rolls that have driven shooting in basketball videogames in the past.” 

They seem to be calling out the faults of not just other basketball games, but their own former series as well. Which I definitely respect. I’m still torn on NBA Elite. It’s a real “what if” scenario where, if it works, it could be the best basketball game in the past 10 years. If it doesn’t, it could easily fall into mediocrity like its predecessors.

We’ll find out once the game is released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 (no announcement for a PSP version just yet) in October of this year. 

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