The realism of sports video games has come along in leaps and bounds over the past few decades. Whereas once the genre was limited to a cartoonish representation of the real thing, the studios behind franchises including NBA 2K and FIFA now use cutting edge technology to make their games as true to life as possible.
Many would argue that developer Visual Concepts is among the cream of the crop when it comes to producing highly realistic sports titles. Their involvement with WWE 2K15 has broken new ground for the series in terms of graphical fidelity. NBA 2K15 is, for the most part, similarly impressive — which makes some of the malformed creations coming out of the game’s ‘Face Scan’ feature all the more jarring.
Much like the ‘Game Face’ system employed by rivals EA Sports, ‘Face Scan’ allows players to import their own likeness into the game, so they can work their way up the ranks of the NBA, taking on the game’s roster of star athletes as themselves. Unfortunately – or perhaps very fortunately for our amusement – many players are finding that the scanning technology doesn’t always work exactly as intended.
Some of the ‘Face Scan’ creations that players have shared on Twitter call to mind the ‘Monstars’ of the 1996 film Space Jam. In the movie, a team of aliens wishing to transform into the best that the NBA had to offer found themselves turned into grotesque caricatures as a side effect — not unlike users of the ‘Face Scan’ system.
To their credit, 2K quickly responded to the issue with a support document that gives detailed instructions on how to get the best results. Lighting and camera position seem to be key to a successful scan — the guide also suggests that users ‘consider shaving’ before using the feature.
While the ‘Face Scan’ technology is clearly having some teething issues, this likely won’t spell doom for the success of NBA 2K15. For one, the problems aren’t affecting all players, some of whom have managed to create very accurate likenesses within the game. Secondly, the photographs of monstrous scans are proving to be a hit on Twitter and across the internet, creating a buzz about the game quite organically.
Last month we saw EA Sports use an in-game Madden glitch to the game’s advantage, and it’s very possible that we’ll see the same here. Given that we’ve seen proof that the tool can be used to great effect — and that the bad scans are very funny — 2K could still turn this hicccup into something positive.
Have you tried to scan your face into NBA 2K15? Share your results — good or bad — in the comments section below.
NBA 2K15 is currently available on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.