With NBA 2K17 is less than a month away (if you get the Early Tip-Off Edition), the hype for the game is starting to build as the first official screenshots and trailers are making their way to fans across the world. Every year hope springs eternal and gamers are optimistic (or viciously pessimistic if you’re on Twitter) that 2K17 will build on what 2K16 brought to the table and the result will be a better product.
A game as popular as the 2K series is going to have a lot of people looking at it from all sorts of angles. Some people want to see a more realistic career mode while others just want their custom avatar to look as fly as possible for MyPark. The game’s actual mechanics are often scrutinized from year to year as developers tweak everything to reflect the real life NBA, much to chagrin or joy of fans. And then there are nut cases like myself who want to see the sneakers get as much love and care from the team as the uniforms, the accessories and the sweat crew. Yes, getting the level of sweat accurate is a critical part of any 2K game and why people care about that more than the kicks is beyond me.
Anyways, while the sneakers in the game have inched ever so close to the real thing, there are still a ways to go before we reach that uncanny valley. So beyond the “make the shoes more real lolz” comment, here are a few other things we would like to see in 2K17 and beyond.
10Paul George Debuts His Signature Shoe In The Game
So the rumor mill is saying that Paul George is the next line to receive a Nike Basketball signature shoe. That’s great news for PG13 fans and with George earning (main) cover athlete duties this year there’s a great opportunity for synergy here where people can rock the Nike PG 1 (or The Bait as it might also be called) prior to release in all of the different modes in the game. Think last season’s Nike Kyrie 2 launch in NBA 2K16 but on a larger scale.
9adidas (and Nike) Yeezys
If we can’t own them in real life, at least let us live out our Swaggy P fantasies and give us the chance to rock the Yeezy Boost 750 or 350 in the game. Getting the Nike Yeezys might be a little more challenging to get approval from the swoosh but maybe if 2K Sports gives them a “do it for the culture” speech it might just happen. Hey, we can dream, alright?
8Limited Sneaker Drops
Saving up the VC to buy a hot pair of kicks was hard enough, but what if we upped the ante a little bit more by limiting the number that was in the game, replicating actually sneaker life where not everybody can get what they want? It’s a little Machiavellian, but the idea of having a truly unique avatar where not everybody can own your swag is worth the risk…
7Create A Reseller Economy
That being said, let’s make it even more like today’s sneaker culture by allowing people to sell their limited pickups. Imagine being able to list your Yeezys that were limited to a thousand pairs like you would in Kixify.
6Complete Signature Shoe Lines
I like the Nike Air Pippen 5 as much as the next person, but I need the Air Pippen 1 and 2 both in my life and in the game. From Pippens to Paytons to Iversons and everything in between, 2K Sports needs to seek out every signature shoe in an athlete’s uh, sneakerography and get them scanned and working in the game ASAP. The PC versions allow people to mod the game so something like this can be as simple as installing a patch from a third party, but console gamers don’t have the same luxury.
5Historically Accurate Sneakers
Yeah, this trailer for NBA 2K17 featuring the 1992 Dream Team taking on the 2016 Team USA squad is great and all, but I don’t see the Nike Air Ballistic Force on David Robinson’s feet, I’ll be sorely disappointed.
Obviously the variety of sneakers on the court for the historical teams are a little bit more difficult to research because finding video and photos of what the players wear wasn’t easy, but it takes me out of the experience when I see Scottie Pippen wearing the Pippen 5 when he was still with the 90s Bulls or when players from the 60s and 70s are wearing generic kicks that didn’t make sense for that era. License the Converse Chuck Taylors, adidas Superstars and PUMA Clydes and even obscure gems like Clyde Drexler’s AVIAs and Dominique Wilkins’ Brooks would be great additions to the roster.
4A More Robust Shoe Editor
With apologies to Velocity Girl, I’m so glad Generation Remix didn’t become a real or accepted term in the culture. However, I’m happy when elements of it, such as being able to design your own decals in Forza Motorsport or building mods in games like Skyrim and Fallout, are a big part of gaming today. A editor with the depth of Forza in 2K would be great. Instead of waiting and hoping 2K will bless you with Supreme Foamposites in the game, why not do it yourself?
3A Better Shoe Creator
With so much emphasis on bringing bespoke elements into gaming, NBA 2K17 could offer that to players by really blowing out the Shoe Creator mode. What if you could sketch out a shoe not unlike what Tinker Hatfield does with an iPad and actually put that in the game? I just expect royalties for any designer the brands hire through this process though…
2Kicks On Fire Breaking All NBA 2K17 Kicks News On 2KTV
Synergy, Ronnie, synergy. You got my number, man…
1Nike Kobe 11 (or 12) NBA 2K17
With Kobe Bryant receiving Special Edition cover athlete status for the second time (he got the nod with NBA 2K10), all the digital goodies you’ll be getting in the game was a given. But what the sneaker world really wants is the follow up to the Nike LeBron 11 NBA 2K14, which is to say we need a NBA 2K17 Nike Kobe 11 or 12 in the near future. Maybe tone down on the animal theme because we already have a bazillion snake-themed Kobes, but something royal and elegant for one of the handful of players who have been in every 2K game since the Dreamcast days. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get weirdly emotional seeing that video of his video game evolution through the years. So a shoe to symbolize the Kobe/2K relationship, which is probably only second to Allen Iverson in terms of importance, would be choice.