The start of a new console generation usually entails a backward step for most sporting franchises. Unfamiliar engines and powerful new tech make iterating on previous efforts much more difficult. While many games will respond by reining in their rosters, ditching fringe teams and adding another coat of gloss to a star performers’ likeness, NBA 2K14 has its sights set firmly on expansion.
Stars like Manu Ginobli, Ricky Rubio, Dirk Nowitski, Pau Gasol and Tony Parker have all plied their trade in European basketball, and starting this year, so can you. Developed by 2K’s Visual Concepts studio, NBA 2K14 will introduce 14 new Euro-League teams to its collection of modern and classic clubs.
These teams are —
- Alba Berlin
- FC Barcelona
- Real Madrid
- CSKA Moscow
- EA7 Emporio Armani Milano
- Montepaschi Siena
- FenerbahÃ§e Ãœlker Istanbul
- Anadolu Efes Istanbul
- Olympiacos Piraeus
- Panathinaikos Athens
- Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv
- Zalgiris Kaunas
- Unicaja MÃ¡laga
- Laboral Kutxa Vitoria
This marks the first time the much-loved 2K franchise has included international club sides, though its ever-troubled competitor NBA Live did feature national squads back in 2008. Their inclusion coincided with the U.S team’s customary waltz to Olympic gold that year, but failed to reappear in time for the London 2012 Games due to the series’ soon to end hiatus.
With a worldwide viewership of over 200 countries, the NBA’s decision to reach out to its next biggest international competitor makes perfect sense. The 2013 NBA Finals alone exhibited 12 players with European league experience, totalling a whopping 40% of the entire 30 man cross-court roster.
In other NBA 2K14 news, fans have been given their first insight into the game’s graphical overhaul since E3’s wobbly-faced tech demo. Appearing in three, all-new screenshots, NBA champion, MVP and now-cover star Lebron James is shown dunking, handling and swishing the rock, all while kitted out in his Game 7-winning ‘White Heat’ jersey.
Check out the new screenshots and box art below.
So will players get the chance to play as Lebron’s headband-less ultra-powerful alter ego from game 6? How will the new Lebron-inspired ‘Path to Greatness’ mode play out? Tell us what you’d like to see from NBA 2K14 in the comments section below.
NBA 2K14 is coming to Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 1st in North America & October 4th internationally. The game will appear later in the year for PC and as a launch title for both the PS4 & Xbox One. Publisher 2K Games have also confirmed that the title will not be appearing on Nintendo’s Wii U console.
Pre-order customers will receive the ‘King James Bonus Pack’ for day-one download. The pack includes bonus ‘Path to Greatness’ mode content, playable Lebron James in Blacktop mode, Lebron James signature skill moves for MyPlayer & 10,000 coins of in-game currency.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo.
Sources: 2KGames & SBNation