Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to attend the Gamestop Expo in Anaheim, CA. While there were many games on display, there was one in particular I really wanted to get my hands on; NBA 2K15! I was able to talk with Ronnie2k and LD2K as well as a few other 2K members and play 3 full games (4 quarters. 5 min quarter lengths. Can’t confirm difficulty but seemed to play a bit like Pro.) First thing I noticed was the presentation. The team select screen gave way to large graphics of the star player of each team. You can cycle through the teams with the back triggers (L2, R2) and select jerseys using the front triggers (L1, R1/ LB, RB). Sleeved jerseys are in by the way as well as foreign teams (FC Barcelona was one I remember being in). Classic teams are also in the game, many returning from last year and previous years. After selecting team you are met with the usual lineup/defensive settings while met with some commentary on the game. Team graphics flashed across the screen and the line ups of each team were shown and discussed. Player interactions were shown on court and some had their own individual signature warm-ups (much like we are used to i.e. Lebron’s powder). The players themselves looked very nice. The facial scans were on par with what their real-life counterparts look like. 2K went above and beyond with player modeling from what I saw. The tip-off was a bit clunky and neither I nor anyone I played with (including a guy I had just seen beat LD2K in a game) could get the tip on the first try. It was more of a timing issue coupled with the new feel of movement in the game. The players, shots, steals, and every other movement/action feel different than 2K14. This, however, is by no means a bad thing. The players move with a more realistic feel. It almost feels like you can sense or feel the player’s muscles and joints move with the action. It is very fluid and a nice addition. The shot meter is now located in a portion of the bottom circle, under the player. When you shoot, you must hit a line within that meter for a better shot. If you brick your shot, the meter will remain on the spot you released the shot so you can see what you did wrong and adjust. There were a lot of improvements to the “cheese” moves. Steals are not automatically successful or easy and they also don’t give you an automatic reach-in foul which some of you may have been plagued with in 2K14. Steals feel balanced and as a player who will attempt quite a few steals, I only achieved it maybe 3-4 times in the entire game and many times it was due to a bad pass. The passing seems more intelligent and the CPU players move well off ball. At one point (while controlling Lebron) Kyrie moved across the key toward the corner. His defender came off him help Wiggins (who Lebron was destroying in the post up position) Kyrie then made an adjustment and moved slightly to allow for a better pass which he sunk for 3. Speaking of defense, back again from 2K13 is individual defensive assignments and defensive style tweaking. Another cheese move, the take charge attempt, is also improved. I was picked on by a member of 2K for attempting to take a cheesy charge (in my defense, I was trying to draw a foul to get my starters in). No longer can you run up, tap B, get a bad call, and possession. Alley-Oops are also a bit trickier to pull off as are dunks within contested lanes. The dunking felt authentic and so did body to body contact. The game really makes you fight for shots and rebounds. Rebounding is way more physical and the CPU seemed to fight/box out for each one. After rebounds the player bringing the ball up would come to the big, hands out, asking for the pass to bring it up in transition. The commentary duo of Shaq and Ernie is nice. Most I couldn’t hear (it was loud and I didn’t want to put on the headphones for…reasons) but, what I did hear wasn’t boring or dull. They even made an appearance at half as did the cheerleaders during each timeout or quarter end. The game, all in all, feels new but at the same time has the familiar 2K feel. With a more fluid, realism to movements and ball physics, amazing graphics, fun commentary, and attention to detail, NBA 2K15 is a game you should keep on your wish list and one you should find a lot of fun in.