While this author was initially enamoured with NBA 2K22’s sprawling sandbox City, it got seriously tedious to navigate over time. The sheer scale of the setting meant you spent minutes at a time simply travelling from one side to the other, without actually shooting any hoops. For the upcoming NBA 2K23, publisher 2K Sports is taking the feedback to heart – and proving that bigger ain’t always better (unless you’re playing Center)!

“NBA 2K23’s City is approximately 30 per cent smaller in comparison to what you traversed in NBA 2K22,” a new Courtside Report reveals. “This allows for a tighter, more meaningful City with less unused buildings that served to increase distances between destinations.” There’ll also be fast travel with zero loading, and hitting R1 at any time will show you the nearest teleportation point.

This year’s online sandbox sounds more like refinement than revolution overall. The affiliation hubs have been given a gorgeous thematic makeover, with the North Side Knights playing inside a high fantasy castle and the Beasts among a volcano. Then there’s the Block, which brings key destinations like The REC and Pro-Am all together.

One particularly interesting improvement is the Theatre, which iterates upon the matchmaking warehouses from the previous game. Now there’ll be a rotating pool of game types, with new experimental modes implemented every week. There’ll even be a Rookies playlist at launch, for newcomers rated under 75 to find their feet.

Finally, the Arena is a new area that will more closely associate MyCareer matches with the City. You’ll be entering through the Player’s Only door, and will have the opportunity to show off your swag before you hit the court, then enter the media mix zone to appraise your performance afterwards. Hopefully this doesn’t become too repetitive, but we like the concept.

You can learn a lot more in the Courtside Report, but a few other takeaways include the addition of a Jordan Challenge Building to encourage players to try out the new campaign mode. And the Events building has been given an overhaul to ensure players know when there’s a big occasion in the City. You can glimpse all of the new additions and tweaks in the trailer embedded above.

[source nba.2k.com]