first_imgI have to level with you folks, I’m not into sports video games. Or rather, I’m not into realistic sports video games. I love me some NBA Jam and Mario Tennis, but if I don’t enjoy watching actual sports why would I enjoy playing games that closely mimic actual sports? That said, simulation sports games are wildly popular, and lots of them are pretty good! NBA 2K, in particular, is by far the best modern basketball series. Not content embarrassing EA every year with its superior gameplay and horrifying facial scans, NBA 2K has now begun expanding its narrative ambitions. Here are the latest exciting details on NBA 2K17’s story mode.MyCareer is NBA 2K17’s single-player story mode. Players create a character and play through the life and season of rising new NBA star. That already sounds elaborate enough for sports game campaign, but wait until you hear the talent contributing to the storyline itself.Michael B. Jordan, star of films like Fruitvale Station and the upcoming Black Panther, provides the voice and likeness of Justice Young. Not to be confused with that canceled DC cartoon, Justice Young is one of your character’s teammates and has “a bit of a chip on his shoulder, having been passed over and second-guessed for most of his basketball career,” according to Senior Producer Ben Bishop in this Facebook blog post. Meanwhile, Aaron Covington, who has already worked with Jordan by scripting the Rocky reboot Creed, is writing the script. Other famous names include Matt Walsh and comedian Hannibal Buress.This isn’t the first time 2K has flirted with higher artistic aspirations for its flagship basketball franchise. Last year the publisher famously hired acclaimed and controversial filmmaker Spike Lee to craft a bizarrely theatrical tale for NBA 2K16. Not to go too deep into spoilers, but ghosts were involved. That Spike Lee joint wasn’t entirely successful or even congruent with the rest of the game, but it was an intriguing experiment that at least got me exponentially more interested in a genre I typically ignore.This seems to be the new direction for big sports games. FIFA 17’s story mode, The Journey, looks to be similarly narrative-heavy with an almost Mass Effect-style emphasis on player choice. Passing balls around just isn’t enough deep anymore.NBA 2K17 drops September 20. No word yet on the accuracy of virtual Steph Curry. Hopefully, this time players can finally take on Devil Basketball King Michael Jordan, teased in last year’s cinematic intro.last_img

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