previews\ Jul 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

NBA Live 10 - PS3 - Preview

EA Sports’ NBA franchise has certainly seen its share of ups and downs, as fans of the series can attest. The developers knew that the game was simply not what it could be and entered development of the 10th edition with a renewed focus and direction. The result? A completely revamped title that targeted the goals of being ‘relevant, fun and true to the game.’

The game has been reworked from the ground up, with the game’s dynamic DNA driving not only the presentation but the storylines.

The title was shown off during an EA “Playing with the Pros” event in the Burnaby complex near Vancouver in Canada in mid-July and if first impression matter, then EA has most certainly made all the right moves to give the franchise a fresh look and feel.

It begins with a massive effort on the five-on-five gameplay and moves straight on through to the video-on-demand elements with the ESPN feed as well as a new and fresh commentary by Marv Albert and Steve Kerr. The user interface is more culturally relevant (to the NBA environment) and a bit edgier and every arena is authentic to some degree. In regards to the latter, the dev team has taken great efforts to mimic the atmosphere within the arenas – if an arena is bright and showy, that will be part of the game, whereas if the environment is a bit darker, you can expect to see that as well.

The game will include a “couple of hundred signature sound effects” and more than a “couple of hundred new animations during stoppage in play.”

NBA Live 10 PlayStation 3 screenshots

In addition to the upgrades to the arenas, there have been improvements to the player models with new player lighting and shadows.

There are “new levels of detail,” it was stated during the presentation, bringing “pretty much a brand new look.”

The control scheme has been addressed as well and the game sports improved controls, and the AI is much better this year. There is a simplified control scheme for new users but the control elements are layered – meaning that hardcore NBA Live fans will be able to play the game the way they want to and still find it challenging. Some of the changes include moving all the shots to one button … however, body position will determine the type of shot that goes up.

“Live 10 is the epitome of control you can have over the game,” the rep team stated.

As mentioned, player movement has been addressed, not only on the ball-handler, but off-ball movement as well. More than 150 new moves have been implemented, and the team put a lot of effort into making the ballhandler look right with contextual movement. The new levels of player motion are dependent on real-world tendencies.

While the presentation was short and very directed to the heart of the gameplay, there is little doubt that NBA Live 10 is shaping up to be a whole new beast, but one that should delight players.

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