NBA Live 16 can only go so far with clumsy controls holding it back.
With no standout modes to differentiate between the competition, NBA Live 16 still is a game without an audience
NBA Live 16 takes incremental steps forward in ball control and online functionality, but its underdeveloped modes and inconsistent mechanics make it a chore to play.
NBA Live 16 is made to feel accessible and simple. At least that's what the structure caters to. From in-game learning help to player development, it's all mostly basic. With this pause in progress, it will be interesting to see if Live will be able to rebound from a supposed "beating" it's looking to take once NBA 2K is released the same day.
NBA Live 16 makes a number of well implemented adjustments to the gameplay, but the lack of completely new game modes, or even major additions to the existing ones, prevent NBA Live 16 from being a real slam dunk.
There's not much positive to NBA Live 16 apart from the unique menus and the well-conceived game modes. Gameplay is borderline crippling, leaving the final product on the whole incomplete. Uneven growth keeps this year's outing from being justifiably on anyone's radar.
The franchise is still on the comeback trail and may not overtake 2K's juggernaut for a couple more years but the gains this year are significant and the franchise is clearly trending upwards
There are flashes of greatness in Pro-Am and Rising Star, as well as deep customization and unlocks available, but they can't mount a comeback in the fourth for this one.
NBA Live 16 has a few new modes and features that help elevate it above last year's offering, but that's practically a footnote when you consider how the game flubs some of its basic controls and AI.
The gameplay is fundamentally flawed, mainly with the inaccuracy of the AI and shooting system, and the presentation needs sprucing up, especially in terms of commentary. With a lot more effort in these departments, EA Sports just might pull off a contender. Or, hey, maybe it's just time to bring back NBA Street and stick with what works.
NBA Live 16 is nice-looking and features some interesting modes, but sluggish and problematic gameplay prevents it from being up to par.
NBA Live 16 takes a small baby step forward with the franchise, but there are still core gameplay elements that need to be smoothed out before it can be a championship caliber game.
While it still has a ways to go in terms of being THE basketball sim, NBA Live 16 has made the necessary strides to at least be competitive against NBA 2K in the market.
If you can tolerate the rough patches in presentation and gameplay, you can find a bit of quirky, arcade style fun in Live 16.
Nowhere near the level of 2K's NBA productions
Far from greatness, but now also far from being bad. An above average NBA experience, worthy of a discounted look eventually.
While NBA Live 16 is a step forward in some areas, it's still hard to recommend over other basketball video games on the market. Until gameplay doesn't feel so stiff, NBA Live will feel like an 8th seed in the Eastern Conference -- in on the action, but not much hope to advance in the playoffs.
[W]hat we're left with is a solid game of basketball with meat and potatoes features. It doesn't hold up to NBA 2k16 and doesn't do enough to be the breakthrough the series needed. That being said, EA Tiburon is on the right track and if they spend the next year truly fine-tuning the mechanics and coming up with a dazzling career mode, this could be the penultimate chapter before the Live takeover.
Overall, NBA Live 2016 is another sports game. I did have fun while I was playing it; however, it seemed like there was a serious barrier between my understanding of basketball and how much fun I could have. Serious basketball fans will no doubt enjoy it, but if you're not a serious basketball fan, while it might make a decent game for when you have friends over, I think Mario Party would do the exact same thing.
Needless to say, NBA Live 16 has a lot of promise but only comes in a little bit above average at its current state. Hopefully EA Sports provides gamers with an October patch or else the game will fall well below the ranks of its highly touted expectations.