Three Major Takeaways From EA Sports’ NBA Live 18 Demo

The One is NBA Live's career mode that is featured on the demo for NBA Live 18.
The One is NBA Live's career mode that is featured on the demo for NBA Live 18. EA Sports

On Friday, EA Sports released the demo for the highly-anticipated NBA Live 18. EA took a different route with the demo as the focus was more on its game mode called The One and getting players started with their player and the story.

There were some pleasant surprises while playing the demo, but there were also some issues that we found in NBA Live 18. Let’s start the demo review with some of the cool features that the game introduced.

ESPN's First Take With Stephen A. Smith And Max Kellerman

I intentionally stayed away from Twitter before playing the demo to gain my own opinions, but upon returning to social media, this was one of the biggest topics about the game. In The One, you are a college player who suffers a serious knee injury in your sophomore of college. While you are attempting a comeback, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman are there along for the ride to discuss your odds in the Embrace Debate way that suits them.

The addition of First Take, in addition to ESPN integration in gameplay, is a good touch for NBA Live. It keeps the game on par with NBA 2K and their Turner broadcasting relationship. The biggest complaint I have with the First Take segments was that for some of the videos with Max and Stephen A., the subtitles during their conversations were substantially off. Besides that, it was a great coup to get this feature in the game.

Gameplay Shows Improvement Over The Last Installment

The biggest issue with the last couple of NBA Live games has been that the gameplay always seemed off. Whether it was unnecessary steals or slow reaction time on defense, the game became too difficult to play. In NBA Live 18, EA tightened up much of those issues as player movement are a lot more fluid than before. The defense for human and CPU players was also improved as they are quicker on the defensive end and has better response to controls.

While playing the demo, it occurred to me that NBA Live 18 has an arcade feel to it, thus creating a distinct difference from NBA 2K. That is not to say that changing sliders and settings could change that, but after playing the demo, the game plays has a much more fun game as opposed to just a serious simulation style. There is a market for that style of an NBA game, but I think EA will need to make sure that players have the option of simulation style of basketball as well.

The One Is Interesting, And NBA Live Needs Interesting

NBA Live 18 features a new mode called The One. I briefly explained the premise when talking about the inclusion of First Take and after playing it, I was impressed. To include notable and famous sites such as Dyckman Park and The Drew League helped make The One very special. The story of being a young player trying to recover from a serious injury is a great story and trying to build him back up by playing in Pro-Am tournaments followed by the NBA Draft Combine differentiates NBA Live 18 from NBA 2K’s MyCareer mode.

There was enough in the demo for players to learn the story, play the Po-Am games and want more when it was over. When I was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Draft, The One was over and I was upset that I could not do anymore with the mode. Everything about the mode was great, especially the videos that explained each Pro-Am site and its significance, which just added to the anticipation of playing in each game. The One will be the reason that NBA Live 18 gets a second chance to make a first impression.

What are your thoughts about the NBA Live 18 demo? Let us know in our comment section.

Join the Discussion
Top Stories