NBA Live 18 Seeking reinvention, NBA Live finds inspiration in Destiny, Overwatch PS4 • Xbox One 1 to 4-Player Sports (10-Player Online) » Platform » Style » Publisher EA Sports » Developer EA Tiburon September » Release ypically truncated to eight-month development cycles, sports games are known more for granular leaps in gameplay and feature sets. But coming off NBA Live 16, yet another entry that failed to make even a minuscule dent in the market, EA realized this slow and steady progress would never close the gap to make a true contender. To speed up the process, EA Sports granted its Tiburon studio something few sports game devel-opers are ever given – a two-year runway for creating the next game in the series. Instead of continually chasing the advancements Visual Concepts makes with the NBA 2K series, the studio took off its horse blinders and looked to the wider industry for inspiration. As I sat T through my first demo of NBA Live 18’s new feature sets, the developers continu-ally referred to fighting games, shooters, role-playing games, and even MMO raids. NBA Live 18’s new The One mode serves as the centerpiece for this new approach to sports games. On the sur-face, The One sounds like a facsimile of the NBA 2K set-up – you start by creat-ing a player that you then use across the Live equivalents to the NBA-focused MyCareer, 5v5 sim Pro-AM, and street-ball centric MyPark modes. But once you dive into the particulars the differentia-tion becomes clearer. Users start by choosing a play style for their create-a-player. These break down into traditional basketball arche types previews like playmaker, slasher, and rim pro-tector. Each class has different rating limits on specific skills. Players earn two types of currency after each game, one for boosting your skills and power, and the other for buying cosmetic enhance-ments via loot crates. These are tiered in the RPG standard common, rare, exotic, and legendary classifications. To eliminate some of the frustration play-ers have with randomized crates in other games, EA says you can buy specific crate tiers to improve your chances of getting the items you want. EA plans to offer branded crates for partners like the Jordan brand, and will continue to create new crates when new apparel or shoes become available.