developer: EA Sports
publisher: Electronic Arts Inc.
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet / common screen
NBA Live 18 for PS4 and XONE is another installment in a basketball series published over the years by Electronic Arts (popular mainly for such franchises as FIFA, Battlefield or Titanfall). The game is the first full-fledged installment in the series released since NBA Live 16 (2015). The creators were given more time to develop the game, because the three previous installments turned out to be average games at best – those were basically no match for the NBA 2K series, which has been polished throughout the years. Obviously, NBA Live 18 gives an opportunity to lead basketball teams from the world's most popular league. EA acquired the full license, so the player observes virtual representations of real-life basketballers on the court.
The creators' aim was to introduce as many positive changes as possible, in relation to the previous installments. For instance, hundreds of new moves appeared here, for which particular basketball players are popular. Handling the basketballers is more intuitive in this new follow-up, and the player has more control over them, but at the same time, the game requires good coordination and appropriate timing, for instance, when taking over the ball.
One of the novelties brought by NBA Live 18, is The One mode, which is an extensive career component, but it differs from its equivalents from FIFA 18 and Madden NFL 18. In each of these two games, the player deals with a story-driven mode focusing on depicting the story of a particular character (Alex Hunter in the first case, and Devin Wade in the latter). Instead, in this new installment of the NBA Live series, the player creates a character themselves, choosing a play-style for them, such as a defender, winger, etc. Then the player takes part in subsequent matches. The One mode does not depict any events from the basketballer's day-to-day life. Instead, the game allows experiencing both the professional NBA league as well as street basketball. In the first case, the player participates in typical matches, competing along with their team for victory in Championships, or for additional awards, such as the title of the Most Valuable Player. The latter type of competition focuses on gaining respect and takes place on popular courts located in such places as the beach in Venice, Los Angeles. Subsequent victories affect the statistics of one's character and give access to new outfits and additional tattoos. Importantly, progress made in The Streets mode is shared with The League component. This means that if the player increases their skills in one mode, the progress they have made is not lost when the player enters the other gameplay component and the other way around.
Another novelty worth noticing is the presence of teams from WNBA, that is, the women's NBA. The developer included 12 teams, among them L.A. Sparks, Minnesota Lynx or New York Liberty. As a result, the player can assume control of the best female basketballers, such as Elena Delle Donne, Sue Bird or Nneka Ogwumike.
NBA Live 18 for PS4 and XONE is an extensive game offering several singleplayer and multiplayer modes. Apart from the aforementioned, The One mode, the player can experience the basketball version of the Ultimate Team mode, which is a popular form of gameplay, based on collecting players, coaches, etc, and creating one's own team with the figures gathered. The Takedown mode is also an interesting alternative – here, the player competes against top basketballers from the NBA league, which takes place on street courts.
James Harden is featured on the cover of NBA Live 18. This American player was born in 1989 and since 2012, he has played for Houston Rockets. The basketballer has achieved a series of victories – he has been chosen for All-Star Games several times, had the largest number of assists in the 2017 season, scores 29 points on average, and apart from that, he is the olympic champion from 2012, and the world champion from 2014.