NBA Live 14
Top Critic Average
NBA Live 14 marks the return of the once-excellent basketball sim, but that excellence is long gone.
It's good that NBA Live exists--competition is desperately needed in sports games--but NBA Live 14 needs some serious work to gain equality with its NBA 2K rival. Hopefully EA Sports will back up its talk by supporting the game in the near and long term.
Like a former star player struggling to rediscover his form, NBA Live 14 is tough to watch
NBA Live 14 struggles in just about every facet, resulting in an unsatisfying and frustrating version of basketball.
The distinctive parts of NBA Live 14 are buried deep and difficult to understand. The rest is hamstrung by overwhelmed player AI and underwhelming visuals.
NBA Live 14 is a pretty lousy basketball game.
In its return, NBA Live 14 helps kick off what there is to come for next-gen gaming, but as a representation for sports brands, it's not the best outing.
The visuals are a mess and the atmosphere is flat and generates no excitement. The game modes are generally the standard affair but the gameplay makes them un-enjoyable. Perhaps the only remotely redeeming feature of the game is the net, but let's face it: you don't buy a basketball game because of the net physics, do you? NBA Live 14 is a bad game that is not worthy of your time and money – if you really want a basketball game on the Xbox One or PS4, there is a much, much better alternative.
At some point EA Sports had to release a basketball game. That is exactly what they did. It's not the best, and it can barely be considered good. In fact, it's not good. NBA Live 14 producer Sean O'Brien posted an apology of sorts only four days after the games release where he promises a lot of changes to this year's game, from animation and graphic upgrades to helping players more easily understand the gameplay controls. In a world where NBA 2K14 exists, this game cannot be recommended until these promises are followed up on.
NBA Live 14 doesn't drop the ball entirely, as the aforementioned arcade mechanics can make for some tolerable head-to-head matches in multiplayer, where the artificial intelligence is less of an issue. However, unavoidable comparisons to the infinitely superior NBA 2K14 make this look like a bit of a mess. The gameplay's poor, the modes are predictable and shallow, and it's aesthetically extremely underwhelming. Don't even consider giving this a shot unless you find it very, very cheap.