2K Sports NHL2K7 and NBA 2K7 Previews
The good news is that they're going to try to have both NHL 2K7 and NBA 2K7 available for PS3 launch. It's not an official declaration that they will have the games, just an announcement of an intention.
NHL 2K7 This is, of course, the hockey game. They've developed a new concept in hockey game play called "cinemotion", where you can either have no commentary and a dynamically orchestrated soundrack synched to the action, or have commentary. There are a lot of new cut scenes and they've added a lot of player voices in something like 16 different languages. There's a new skating engine and new animations. I am a huge hockey fan and I thought that the game looked extraordinarily realistic. There's a new "parametric" camera angle that is above the rink sort of like the ESPN cameras; it moves in and out, up and down, and you can actually see a line change. The game plays much more fluidly when you can see the whole ice surface, it's really easy to step up in the hole and make a play. The right bumper is a drop pass. The left bumper can be used to send a teammate to shadow or take out a player. In franchise mode trading logic has been tuned and the computer does a better job of balancing team chemistry. There's a rivalry system that builds rivalries over time based on year to year play. There's also something called "opprotunity knocks" where as GM you get a random phone call that you can accept or decline and it can be a good thing or a bad thing for your team. Online leagues are now based on a real point system. Overall, I think the game looked great on the Xbox 360 and I can't wait to play it.
NBA 2K7 - 2K Sports wants to be known as the innovator of basketball games. They've got signature style animations on shots and dunks for every NBA starter. They've done a lot of work on each arena and the lighting. They've improved isomotion, use the left analog stick and the right trigger for offense; on defense you can use the right analog stick to control your stance. They've done a lot of work on contact animations and performed lot of mocap with 2 or 3 players. There are blocks, dunks, defensive fronting. They've really worked on the post play (which I love) to include ratings for power, finesse and speed; the animations and the moves you can do match a players capabilities, for example Shaq is a power player and Duncan is a finesse player. They've worked on the loose ball game so it looks more realistic with players diving on the ground and making passes off the ground. They've built up franchise mode. They show a hell of a lot of stats, tendencies, skills charts and graphs. They've made progressive fatigue more important so it will matter how you manage the bench. They've built in complicated multi-team trades where you can trade multiple men, draft picks, etc. There's also 24/7: NEXT, a story driven streetball game that starts off in first person. Then you create your character with extensive customization options, play in tournaments and win reputation. The left trigger and the face buttons pull street moves. Finally, with online leagues they've added the ability to do live fantasy drafts from your 360 or your PC.