5 Takeaways From The New NBA Live 15 Trailer

  • Eric Goldschein

Last week, we gave you five thoughts on the NBA 2K15 trailer. Even though NBA Live is the Smush Parker to 2K’s Kobe Bryant, it’s only fair to give this re-booted franchise a chance as well. A new “Visuals” trailer dropped today. Watch:

Remember: This is only NBA Live’s second iteration since the series underwent a re-branding, then a re-boot, which meant last year’s game not only looked terrible on Xbox 360/PS3, but it came out after the season had already started. Needless to say, our expectations are low heading into this year, but here are five things we gleaned from the trailer:

1. The game looks markedly better than last year’s edition.

I slammed NBA Live 14, along with everyone else in the world, because this is how it looked compared to 2K14:


Seriously though, NBA Live looked like garbage last year. Not so this time: Everyone and everything looks the way they’re supposed to, from Dwight Howard’s monster shoulders to the net animations (more on that in a second), which is partially due to the jump to next-generation consoles. But we should give credit to the EA guys for actually trying this year.

2. Damian Lillard: NO HEADBAND.

damian lillard

Headband-gate continues: Originally, I was confused by NBA 2K’s decision to give Lillard a headband, and was told by readers that Lillard himself had announced the change. But he didn’t wear one with Team USA, and it’s not like he submitted a formal request to league about it or anything. He’s the cover boy for the game, and he isn’t pictured with a headband there either.

3. Some animations still look a little goofy.

Those dunks, specifically the Blake Griffin and Andrew Wiggins yams… not great. Ditto Steph Curry’s no-look pass. Hard to see in a still, but look:

wiggins dunk

We’re not saying it’s easy to animate the very fluid motion of somebody rising up for a dunk, but that’s sort of the point of these games.

4. Otherwise, the little details appear to be on point.

Sneakers look crisp; individual player animations are excellent; the ball drops through the hoop without passing magically through the actual net — all things you want in a basketball simulation. A game that gets repeated plays like this needs to have the little things down, and so far Live is on top of it.

5. Music choice: better.

I gave the 2K guys — apparently, it’s Pharrell’s choice? — some shit about using a Red Hot Chili Peppers song in their trailer. Live opted for 2 Chainz’s “I’m Different.” I can’t lie, it’s a good track, and it fits with Live’s goal of finally offering a real alternative to the 2K series. See, they don’t look like shit anymore, they’re different. Thumbs up.