EA Sports NBA Live 19 is set to release on PS4 and Xbox One on September 7.
Here are the 10 things you should know about the game before you buy it.
Expanding on Female Inclusion
In NBA Live 18, EA introduced WNBA Play Now functionality. This was a first in basketball video games. In NBA Live 19, EA has taken female inclusion to the next level. The WNBA is still playable in Play Now, but gamers can also create a female character for use in The One mode, and she can compete against the men in the various street ball and Pro-Am games.
This is yet another groundbreaking move for EA in this regard. As nice as it is to see the role of females increase in this year’s version, fans will have to wait a little longer to see a full WNBA franchise mode, or to have their female character advance to the WNBA the way the male characters in the ONE can ultimately reach the NBA.
There were a number of early screenshots released that show off some improved renders for players like Kevin Durant. While the player faces seem to be a little better than they were in last year’s game, I’d venture to say the visuals aren’t quite as sterling as they look in those screenshots.
Nonetheless, we can still see some improvement.
The Real-Player Motion technology has been used to augment a variety of EA Sports titles and it makes its way to NBA Live this year. The best example of the tech is in EA Sports UFC, and one can only hope the effects are as good in NBA Live.
Progress Carries Over From Demo
EA released a fairly expansive demo of NBA Live on August 24. You could begin your journey in The One and the good news is that any progress you made during the preview carries over to the full version.
New to The One this year is the addition of The One Court. It’s a customizable arena that you can compete against human and A.I. controlled opponents. Some of the customizations options are strong, and this sort of create-a-venue concept is golden for sports games. That said, you should know, there is no way to upload images for use on your One Court.
The court in Brazil, Paris and a few others are rendered beautifully. The Brazil venue is probably my favorite because it has so much personality with the buildings in the background and other structures. The idea of global courts is a good one that hopefully EA can expand on moving forward.
New Commentary Team
Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen have been replaced this year by Ed Cohen and Jay Williams. The new duo was in need of some touch ups during the demo and EA Access period, but they are supposed to return for regular content updates throughout the season, ala Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis for Madden.
NBA Live has featured a few popular soundtracks in its history. The tracklist for Live 19 might be set to join the line of notables. Here is a look at the songs included in the game. During the EA Access period, Teamwork got stuck in my head.
Very Few New Details Shared About Ultimate Team
EA hasn’t shared much about what’s new in Ultimate Team. That leads me to believe the mode hasn’t received much attention. Even if you take a look at the blog post from EA titled 19 Reasons to Buy Live 19, there is no mention of Ultimate Team.
We can probably expect a few new cards post-release, but if you were hoping for some sort of new mode under the LUT umbrella, you’ll probably have to wait until next year.
Few New Details Shared About Franchise Mode
Unfortunately, everything I said about LUT also applies to franchise mode. This looks like another relatively poor year for this aspect of the game.
On a whole, this is a big year for the Live franchise. It’s the season EA hopes to see it climb into a more competitive place with its rival NBA 2K. We should have a good idea of where the game stands a few days after release. Stay tuned for my full review on September 7.