Michael Jordan has his own dedicated mode in NBA 2K11 and its literally called Michael Jordan. Clicking on this menu drops you into another menu with four options: The Jordan Challenge, Classic Bulls Teams, My Jordans, and MJ: Creating A Legend. The Jordan Challenge is a collection of 10 challenges that will allow you to step into MJ’s shoes during some of the greatest moments of his NBA career including the forever famous moments like “The Flu Game”, “The Shrug”, or one of everyone’s favorites “The Double Nickel”. Each challenge consist of 3 to 4 objectives that must all be met during the course of the game. In order to activate the MJ: Creating A Legend mode you must complete all 10 challenges and that my friends is no easy challenge.
Everything about this mode from an authenticity standpoint is right on, the difficulty of some of the challenges themselves however will take the fun away for a lot of players. While you can save your game if you are in the middle of a challenge and come back to it later, it still doesn’t change the fact that all objectives need to be completed in one game and you can’t combine games. For example, I decided to try what looking at the objectives appeared to be the easiest of the 10, which is called “The Shootout”. This is classic MJ vs Dominique and all you have to do is Outscore Dominique, Keep him under 25, Dish 5 assist and Win the game, sounds easy doesn’t it. Well I am here to tell you my friends that it isn’t.
The inclusion of Jordan in the game adds another level to the already stellar gameplay that NBA 2k has brought to the table for the last few years. The ability to play as classic players is something that many NBA fans have been asking for for years. You may remember early NFL games that allowed you to play as the classic teams in the exhibition mode, and it appears that we are finally getting a little closer to that with NBA games.
At times, the CPU players seem to be clairvoyant, especially in their uncanny ability to pick off passes they have no business nabbing — unless they have eyes in the back of their head. But at least the defense is really aware, predicting planned driving lanes and making it a lot tougher to succeed in executing a close game attack.
But this is all getting away from the important thing: There isn’t a better modern basketball game on the market and even brushing the lack of competition aside, NBA 2K11 shows an incredible amount of polish and attention to what makes this genre work. It’s about ease of play execution, realistic physics and resistance in the paint. NBA 2K11 offers all of this and for schooled ballers, it’s an unparalleled game.
NBA 2K11 has much more than I can talk about in one review. All you need to know that this is one of the best sports games ever made, maybe even the best one period. I have to give it to the folks at 2K and Visual Concepts because they continue to keep innovating and pushing themselves. Whether its all the spectacular new dunks you will see this year, the new IsoMotion dribbling controls, or the improvements to NBA Today its all there, they are never happy with what they did last year. If you are an NBA Live/Elite fan, this year might not be a bad year to try something new because this really is a special game. NBA 2K11 is now the new gold standard for sports games and because of that we give it 9.5 out of 10.