While NBA 2K14 did its victory celebration on current-gen consoles this month, come next month, the battle begins…again. EA Sports returns with NBA Live 14 and will look to battle it out in the new generation of consoles against the juggernaut that is NBA 2K14. With little known about both games, it was only a matter of time before we finally got a look at what next-gen basketball was going to be like come November and beyond.

We will start off with NBA 2K14 who released their trailer yesterday with the help of Phil Collins, and James Harden’s beard.

If one thing is for certain, it’s that the player models for NBA 2K14 are ridiculously amazing. The sweat, the skin tones, the muscle reflexes, and even that massive beard from James Harden look astounding. The gameplay, well I think we can sit here and comfortably say that when it comes to that department, we can trust 2K. We know what they’ve done and what they’re capable of. If anything, the gameplay will be accompanied by the best graphics in a sports game to date. Let’s just hope the entire presentation got a bit of an overhaul as well and not just the players.

As for NBA Live 14…

I’ll be honest with you, I really enjoyed NBA Live 10. If there was one thing I loved about Live, it was the in-game presentation. The gameplay was good for what it was, even with the issues it had, but I will gladly admit that I was fine with the game. Then NBA Elite 11 happened. We all know how that ended and it left 2K with the opening they needed to take full control of the NBA gaming market. EA Sports has a lot of catching up to do if they wish to get back into the competition.

Graphically, player models look fine for the most part with Steve Nash looking the oddest because he looks like he stepped into the fountain of youth. We saw a lot of slow motion lay-ups, dunks, and shots including a few pan outs of the court to show that there are more than five players on screen. The dribbling was cool and I look forward to seeing how the controls play out when going all Globetrotters on opponents but I still feel EA is being a bit too conservative. From the looks at the message boards and even the comment section on YouTube, the community is very 70-30 (negative versus positive) on the trailer.

It wasn’t amazing, and I say that with an itchy finger, but I am not counting out NBA Live. This is a complete overhaul of the series and they want to get back into the game. Regardless if the game is surprisingly good or mediocre bad, as a community we can help shape the franchise with our feedback to help EA get on the right track to compete with 2K. If 2K Sports ever brought back NHL 2K, I would jump on that ship in a heartbeat because competition is good. I miss having options as a sports gamer. Being tied down to one franchise is hard, especially when that franchise barely makes strides to truly improve. 

We will see what happens come next month and we will surely be getting more photos, trailers, and blogs on both games as we inch closer to release dates.