It's not without its problems, but if basketball is your thing - there's plenty here to enjoy.

Having somewhat lost its mojo in recent years, NBA Live 10 is a fairly big step forward for the franchise. Graphically the game has come a decent length, with player animation vastly improved, making the game flow much better than previous iterations. The experience also feels a lot more entertaining, with improvements made to the commentary and general "match-day" feel providing more of a spectacle than in recent years.

The gameplay has also seen a few tweaks, with a particular focus on defensive play. You'll have to really think about how you approach plays, rather than performing a few tricks and slam-dunking. The new all-star difficulty will really force you to think about how you're going to approach various plays, which will be relished by hardcore basketball fans.

Alas while AI has seen improvements on the defensive side of things, there are still numerous oddities, such as players constantly getting caught out of bounds. These oddities are hardly game breaking, in fact they're not even noticeable for the first few sessions, but recurring animations and silly, gawky errors on the AI's part can sometimes break some of the progress EA Canada have made trying to make NBA Live 10 more of an involving spectacle.

NBA Live 10 is quite simplistic from a controls stance. Passing is completed by hitting the X button and rolling the stick in the direction of a player. It feels tight and responsive, allowing you to get from each end of the pitch with relative ease. The shooting is handled by the Square button, which can be modified with the analogue stick or right trigger. Holding down the right trigger while hitting the Square button will cause your player to dash at the net and subsequently slam dunk, whereas layups and other shooting variations can be performed by snatching the analogue stick in a particular direction.

Alas, the real problem with NBA Live 10 is that there's no real clingy game mode. Creating your own fun in the single-player mode is fun while you get to grips with the game, but after that you'll crave a really beefy career mode. Despite attempts to provide that with the Dynamic Season - essentially a create your own season based on real-life fixtures - and Dynasty mode, it all feels a little sterile. Something that's perhaps been a problem with many of EA Sports' releases recently.


Thus, while NBA Live 10 is big step forward gameplay-wise, it's a shame there's not more to glean out of that gameplay. Hopefully EA are virtually done with the actual gameplay engine now, and are ready to look into taking that engine forward into a more compelling scenario with next year's edition. Having said that, basketball fans will get more than their money's worth out of the single player and typically solid online modes on offer here.