NBA Live 14
Top Critic Average
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.
NBA Live '14's dribbling mechanics (bounceTek) is done well, but the rest of the game needs some work. Bad A.I., dragging controls and subpar next generation looks really don't do much for a series trying to make a comeback.
The problem is justifying an NBA Live 14 purchase when NBA 2K14 is on store shelves. As a newbie, I had fun with NBA 2k14, but I didn't have nearly as much fun with NBA Live 14. I felt like it assumed I knew more about basketball and basketball video games than I actually did. It just dropped me into the deep end and asked me to figure it all out, and all I could really do was button mash and hope for the best. It's a good foundation for a franchise that could prosper in the future--after all, I've been saying that sports games should use live updating stats via the Internet for years now--but at this very moment, it just pales in comparison to its competition.
NBA Live 14 delivers an unambitious, sporadically exciting basketball simulation held back by its slavish adherence to replicating the televised game.
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.
It gets some parts (such as Big Moments) right while other parts don't appear to be fully baked. I can't help but wonder if it would have been better for the series to have skipped the launch season in favour of a a game truly worth of the next-gen tag next year.
A half-baked attempt to revive the NBA Live franchise should have waited another year.
While I haven't had the chance to play the final release for NBA 2K14 on the PS4, I did review NBA 2K13 for the PS3 and would strongly suggest, if you are in the market for a great NBA game and haven't bought a PS4 yet, forgo NBA Live 14 and just pick up NBA 2k13 used somewhere. NBA 2K14 released for the PS3 already, and our staff review lets you know it's really just a season refresher without much for new bells and whistles. Stay tuned for our PS4 NBA 2K14 review as that version should feed your need for a slam dunk for the next gen.
[I]t's difficult to recommend now, and, given the wait between releases in the Live franchise, you're left knowing that NBA Live 14 should stay on the bench. Sorry kid – maybe next year.
NBA Live 14 isn't awful. Faint praise, to be sure, but with the way the internet has erupted the past few weeks, one would think that this is the Fighter Within of sports games.