While we are still a few weeks away from the games full release, we are getting a chance to get a bit of a peek into some of the new things going on in this year’s game through an accompanying piece of content called NBA 2K10 Draft Combine, which allows gamers to create their own player and run him through the paces of draft combine workouts to determine if and where he will be drafted. When they first announced this I thought it was a great concept, but there are always concerns about new features like this and will they really be good in the first iteration, well folks NBA 2K10 Draft Combine is really good and hopefully it will only get better as the years go by because I can see no reason why this won’t become another staple of the already popular franchises’ repertoire.
Before you get on the court and your journey to become one of the greatest players of all time, you need to determine exactly what type of player you are going to be. At first you set up the basics like name, number, height, weight etc. So I know that a lot of you are thinking that you are going to go out and try to create the next Lebron or Magic be forewarned, a players basic attributes have a direct effect on his overall development, in particular height. As you pass around the 6’6 height level the 2K10 Insider will pop in to let you know that the taller you make your player, the less total skill points he will be able to earn and skill points are what you need to be able to make your player better, so it’s good to be tall but you will pay a price for it so just be aware.
After you have gotten the basics down, then it’s to go into more detail. Next, you can work on the look of your player. This section is fairly deep in some places and the only section that I found not very deep was the player build, you could either be buffed or ripped, but there was really no noticeable difference. Outside of that you can really get pretty deep into customizing just about every physical attribute of your character through an array of customization options.
From there you’re almost done, though you still need to decide what type of player you are. Will you be a lanky, athletic center like Dwight Howard or will you be a small slashing guard like Chris Paul, it’s up to you. In this section you can customize all your player animations from your crossover dribble to your fadeaway move and there are tons of choices in each of these sections. Finally, you go about choosing your equipment, so what kind of headgear if any you will rock, what kind of kicks your going to wear and so on and you will pretty much be ready to show what your made of.
Once you get into the main screen, you will see your player and some information about him and this is where you will keep up with what your draft stock is looking like. From here you have the option to run a scrimmage which you can do as much as you want, run drills to try and get more skill points but be warned that you can only run 6 drills so choose accordingly. Everything pretty much leads up to your actual games of which there are 6, you get to show your stuff in real live game action to show NBA scouts just what you got and determine if and when you will be drafted.
So you once your run a scrimmage, which you should do before you play an actual game, you will quickly realize that you are indeed a rookie and you ain’t Kobe Bryant or Lebron James..yet. The thing you learn in NBA 2K10 Draft Combine is that you are part of a team and you need to play as such. In each game you have objectives such as holding your man to so many points, scoring a certain amount of points, forcing turnovers and things like that. But perhaps the most important factor and perhaps the toughest one to master is the need to maintain a certain teammate rating. Your teammate rating is determined by how well you do the fundamentals and making good passes, filling the lane correctly, and taking good shots will all improve your ratings. But if you are a ball hog, take bad shots, call for bad passes, play terrible defense and commit too many follows you will watch your teammate rating drop drastically. How well you complete objectives and play within the offense will determine how many skill points you earn each game to improve your player and conversely whether your stock in the draft goes up or down.
It took me a minute to get the hang of it and in the first game I was terrible. NBA 2K10 Draft Combine really highlights what “My Player” mode will be like, you are part of a team and you need to play like it. So it’s not like a regular game or franchise where you control all the players and if you want D-Wade to take 30 shots a game no matter how bad some of them are nothing happens. In DC and apparently in “My Player” mode, it’s all about finding your place in the offense. As I said before, at first I was terrible but once I started playing like I was part of a team, not constantly calling for the ball, and doing what all the greats do the game came to me and my draft stock shoot up. Thing about DC is that you don’t have to hog the ball to score a lot of points, if you play your role then shots will open up for you and teammates will get you the ball. That is perhaps the most impressive thing about DC, the AI intelligence. I wasn’t completely convinced the A.I. would play fast enough and be responsive enough for me. I gotta say the 2K guys did a really good job with this as your teammates will slash to the hole to get open and hit you with nice passes when you get open.
All in all I think that NBA 2K10 Draft Combine is a great precursor to the full game. Even more than that though I think this speaks to the innovation and creativity coming out of 2K Sports that while I love what EA is doing I just don’t see. I have no question that EA can take something and duplicate it at a high level but in genres where they compete directly with other companies I see a lot less of that imagination that I think you have to possess to be a leader in an area. I am sure that we will see something like this in NBA Live 11, but you don’t get as much credit for being second. Whether its Living Rosters or Draft Combine, it seems that 2K Sports just gets it and while resources can cover up a lot of deficiencies, when it comes to creativity and imagination you either have it or you don’t and right now on a lot of fronts EA just doesn’t. They do what they do well, that just aren’t pushing the limits is all I am saying. The final call on 2K Sports NBA Draft Combine is that if you are a real NBA 2K fan then you will definitely love this and for $4.99, it’s definitely a steal.