Metabombed: NBA 2K18 Is ‘The Definition Of Pay To Win’

In case you haven’t heard, NBA 2K18 is a mess of microtransactions, having adopted a full-on freemium economy in a $60 game. This isn’t just cosmetic stuff either – the game’s dominated by “Virtual Currency” that seems ripped from the shadiest of F2P mobile games.

2K Games’ greed was so immense that even the regular games media cared about it, an increasing rarity in a world where scummy business practices are becoming prevalent enough to generate only apathy from many reporters.

Anyway, let’s just cut to the chase. It’s obvious this wallet-flaying game was going to be review bombed to hell, so it’s time to launch the METABOMB and revel in public outrage yet again.

While all versions of the game have been subjected to a bombdown, the bulk of the action can be found on Metacritic’s PS4 page, where user reviews have torpedoed the average score to a 2.4. With less ratings overall, the Xbox One version stands at 2.0 while the PC alternative has a slightly higher 2.7.

Unsurprisingly, Virtual Currency has received the brunt of the criticism, with its associated gameplay grind dragging NBA 2k18 into the dirt.

Once again, I’ve dredged the user reviews for interesting, silly, and funny critiques from Metacritic’s charming community, starting with vysdel!

F2P game mechanics in a “AAA” title for 60$ forcing people to buy VC. This is a joke.

No Good No Good No Good No Good No Good No Good No Good No Good (0/10)

VincentWarte’s incredulity is incredible.

Holy balls, wtf is this shiat!? You’re kidding me? Are you expecting me to pay 80$ more on your shiat just to have fun, with a game I already paid a small fortune for? 2K, bijatsh, please!
Don’t buy this game, you want have fun with it. Unless you’re ready to spend another fortune. (0/10)

Xmicta lays it all out there.

The career mode is virtually unplayable if you don’t purchase extra VC. Your player is unrealistically bad. You either have to spent lots of extra money or suffer through hours of comically poor gameplay, in what they call the road to 99. This is not the road to 99, this is the road to hell. (0/10)

So Ilbones has written some words. They sure are some dang ol’ words!

vc,vc,vc for everything!! i play most in my career mode and my player is a total noob, i max all the stats and he can’t score a single shot! garbage! cut scene not skippable and servers problem…. (0/10)

KarlesMFah is not one to beat around the bush, but they’ll beat this game into submission.

I’m going to make it sweet and simple and to the point. 2k is the pimp and the consumer is the trick period! that explains this game perfectly. $150 won’t be enough to enjoy your MyCareer (0/10)

As if the Virtual Currency wasn’t bad enough on its own, a bug has been deleting peoples’ progress and literally flushing their money down the toilet. Here’s Infiniteaverage to explain in detail.

This seemed like it could be the greatest NBA 2k of all time. Open world, new netcode, new park, etc. I was excited to see all these new things until my game crashed and wiped my character that i just bought VC for and upgraded. This is a game-breaking bug that has affected thousands of paying customers. 2k support hasn’t helped anyone yet, and I personally have been waiting 40 hours just for a response. DO NOT BUY THIS GAME UNTIL IT IS FIXED!! (0/10)

Some of these reviews, like LTT’s, I enjoy posting just because fuck 2K Games. The more criticism, the better.

This game is an absolute money grab, the the microtransactions you would expect from a free game. MyCareer, is broken and is riddled with unskippable loading screens and long loading times. The gameplay doesn’t make too much innovation either, but it can be fun once you are actually able to get to it. Unless you’re a hard core NBA fan, there would be no reason to buy 2K18 instead of 2k17 or 2k16. (0/10)

There were a lot of reviews using “joke” this time around. If you’re new to this series, calling games a “joke” or a “slap in the face” is something angry gamers love to do in droves. Vstyle likes it too.

The currency system in this game is a joke. 2k has cut down the amount of VC (in game currency) you can earn considerably, and has started charging for ridiculous things like haircuts. They’ve implemented a free-to-play model in a $60 video game. It’s unbelievably greedy and dishonest. (0/10)

And right next to Vstyle’s review was this one by Devinstrat.

The worst 2k ive played in a long time, maybe even all time. The gameplay was awful, the my career mode was the worst its ever been. VC has become a joke, and you cant even play mycareer offline. (0/10)

I’ve been writing reviews for over ten years but I don’t think I’ll ever be better than top7.

No Good No Good No Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No GoodNo Good No Good (0/10)

As always, the Devil has its advocates. I think this particularly smug review from ptea is going to be read by a certain Duke in the near future.

It always suprises me how stupid most of the people are. This is one of the best sports games ever made. If you cannot appreciate this maybe it’s better you don’t try to understand basketball at all. For those who like real sports NBA 2k-series and pro evolution soccer are the only choices. Those who are casual enough to play EA-sports **** franchise can go to Turkmenistan. If the servers don’t work properly it doesn’t mean that the game sucks. It’s minor problem when compared to games that don’t even try to simulate real sports. They only buy the licenses and have dumb brained fans who buy the game even if it’s horrible (10/10)

SupremeHonour is here to fight hate wherever they see it.

great as always. Love the career mode. Packed sh aq on my first pack. bought VC. already maxed. Going for road to 99 level. Ignore the haters. They are just haters that are going to hate. (10/10)

You know, I may just have to get this one read out aloud too, because notbutt’s sycophantic trash is rather astounding.

Alright, I’m not sure if I should be reviewing this, as it is my first time ever playing a 2K game, but I’ll try. First off, I’d like to tell the rest of the imbeciles here, that you review a game for its gameplay first and foremost. It seems like theyre only putting their scores down for things that piss them off. Im a level 13 trophies-wise; I’ve played my fair shair of games, and I must say the story mode here seems pretty good. I like the whole live your own life aspect of it. Gameplay is smooth, with a few players running into one another occasionally, but what sports game doesnt have that. Overall this is an entertaining and enjoyable game. If you enjoy good gameplay and story, but this game, because no amount of micro-transactions will ruin your gameplay experience. (8/10)

I feel as if Casualgamer23 went on a personal journey as they wrote this one.

This game is not as bad as those bad reviews lmao. A lot of the people who are raging over the game are raging at the lack of features and the VC issues. And I totally agree with them. 2k has become extremely selfish with the stupid micro transactions. They better change it or they will lose fans real quick. As for the gameplay, the game is still very good. It is still better than NBA Live 18 by a good margin. I can’t believe there are some people who say NBA live 18 has better gameplay SMH. Overall this gameplay is an 8/10 for me. However with all the other stuff going on, I will give it a 6/10. (6/10)

Kartarna adequately explains why microtransactions are never “optional.” We don’t get to choose the things publishers slowly take away from the player with each new sequel. We don’t opt in to the insidious warping of a series’ economy.

The last few years NBA 2K’s were one thing but this year crossed the line with the barber shop. Cosmetic stuff was was free before costs a ridiculous amount of VC now. They should be ashamed. Not to mention the MyNBA app giving almost no VC this year. It’s blatantly obvious that this is just to force people to buy VC. You get less for free, earn less and everything costs more. How more obvious could it be? (4/10)

Here’s a review written by someone who didn’t play it but has very strong opinions on trashy videogames.

I cancelled my preorder luckily before release after playing the prelude. I was shocked at how bad the game mechanics were. I could see they were going the micro transaction route. I agree with those that call this game poor. What was most telling was the release trailer just showed a kid walking through a neighborhood for 10 mins. With maybe 10-20 secs of actual game footage. Mostly of a kid running thru a neighborhood GTA style. When a game hides their gameplay in a trailer, that should be a red flag for everyone. I’ll pass this year and so should you. When the “pro” reviews come out you will all see. And any game under a 6 is trash. I predict this game will come in at mid 6 maybe. (4/10)

Gotta love a good bit of sarcasm. AeRoTR delivers.

Great F2P and P2W with micro-transactions game, AFTER ONLY YOU PAY 60 bucks 🙂 A good F2P game, you can be the best by buying lots of VC. I recommend this game for any real basketball fan who likes computer games, and who likes to give money to 2K regular basis. (4/10)

Mike21 lays into the Virtual Currency hard.

when you are on the court the game is great, with solid gameplay and good presentation, but the cons are too many:

VC – they have made the game almost unplayable in order to force people to pay for VC. It’s not even done in a subtle way. Just a straight robbery.
Loading Screens – prepare to spend a lot of time looking at one.
Cut scenes that can not be skipped.
Can’t play MyCareer offline – yesterday I wanted to play, but I had to wait for an update to download before I could. Not cool.
Story – possibly written by children, in which case, it’s only somewhat terrible.
Paying ridiculous amounts of VC for customization of player (said customization can not be previewed either). (3/10)

I like this Matilda_BBD character.

I don’t really care about annual releases in sports games even with only the tiniest tweaks here and there with new roster, but 2k has gone too far with the MICROTRANSACTIONS. I’m a long time NBA 2k fan and even I had to create an account just to review-bomb this crap. If you’re gonna get this game as a casual NBA fan this game will not disappoint. The presentation and gameplay is top notch and always has been. But if you’re looking forward to mycareer I suggest sticking to 2k17 and not waste your money because spending real money is the only way you’ll enjoy it for a long time. They basically made 2k18’s mycareer a freaking next gen mobile game that you paid $60 for. If this is the direction this franchise is going, count me out from now on. It’s a sad day in gaming when EA is holding 2k’s beer while they demonstrate how to milk a full-priced game like a champ. (3/10)

We’ll close with Maglen’s short n’ sweet description.

You need a lot of VC to upgrade your attributes
You can’t earn VC because you can’t play well without decent attributes

This game is the definition of Pay to Win. (1/10)

And that’s the way “AAA” games are going, I tell you. In the early stages, people let them off lightly when microtransactions starting filtering into premium games. They tolerated them because they were “optional” or “cosmetic” or “didn’t affect gameplay.”

People forgot what happens when you give game publishers the benefit of the doubt.

2K Games is reminding us.

PokeMaster22222
Member

“This is not the road to 99, this is the road to hell” – Retribution 1%?

I get the feeling 2K wants people to pay at least their eponymous amount of money…greedy pigs.

mjc0961
Member

“I think this particularly smug review from ptea is going to be read by a certain Duke in the near future.”

Duke Nukem? 😀

Yeah just kidding. I can’t wait!

mjc0961
Member
“Im a level 13 trophies-wise” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA 😂 1. Nobody cares what your PSN trophy level is 2. If they did, then still nobody would care because 13 is not a high level at all. I’m level 27 despite spreading my gaming across PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Not that I’m trying to brag that I’m better than this guy, see rule #1, I’m merely demonstrating that 13 isn’t a high level (neither is 27, BTW). 3. See rule #1. Oh and before some smart-arse pulls that tired old “u must care if ur commenting about it lolol”, nope.… Read more »
Captiosus
Member

“1. Nobody cares what your PSN trophy level is”

So true. I can count the times I’ve looked up someone’s trophy information on PSN over the last decade on one hand. With all my fingers and thumbs cut off. People who believe trophies (or gamer score) actually mean something are part of the problem with modern AAA gaming.

RipTide
Member

“no amount of micro-transactions will ruin your gameplay experience”… just … This game seems to literally stop you from having a good game play experience without paying them more money. How, just how can you look at this shit show and think this.

Amy
Member

The sad thing is, I bet it still sells like crazy. I know people like to bash yearly released sports games but the people who play them deserve better than this game.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

The special edition of this is £80 on the Switch’s Eshop. On top of those lovely microtransactions.

KeekingItReal
Member


And that’s the way “AAA” games are going, I tell you. In the early stages, people let them off lightly when microtransactions starting filtering into premium games. They tolerated them because they were “optional” or “cosmetic” or “didn’t affect gameplay.”

At least in the solo mode the computer players don’t get the opportunity to pay real money to get better stats too.

(also because this is the internet, yes this is a joke.)

Lloyd Arold
Member

The thing SupremeHonour and others like them don’t get is the difference between justified hate and hate for the sake of it. You may not have a problem with the microtransactions but that doesn’t mean the people that do are hating without reason.

mjc0961
Member

My favorite is “you need to review the game for the game, not the microtransactions.”

The microtransactions have a direct and severe impact on the game, how can you not review based on that? Furthermore, reviews exist to inform consumers so they can make wise purchase decisions. They aren’t for giving the developers and publishers attaboys.

Benj
Member
Benj

Me: I hate Nazis and paedophiles!

Supremehonour: Ooh, hate is a bit of a strong word.

squid spitt
Member
‘It’s like I’ve always said’, ever since the mobile market has flourished and it’s unwanted practices have overflowed into the AAA marketplace. Companies who make AAA titles need to evermore encourage those poor unfortunate addicted WHALES who blindly pay for in-game virtual CRAP in their Mobile F2P (Clash Royale etc) & Multi-player only (Overwatch etc) games, and leave the single player titles free of these practices. As those morons who can’t help themselves deserve to be endlessly fuk’ed over, because of their relentless addiction of ‘touch & swipe’ & running around in circles with they’re dressed-up characters. And those of… Read more »
kimiyoribaka
Member
kimiyoribaka

So the name having “2K18” rather than “2018” is a reference to the publisher? That seems narcissistic to me. Also, it makes me want a cyberpunk basketball game where you play as robots fighting to get names rather than ID tags.

Xion Eternum
Member
Xion Eternum

I’ve played many F2P mobile games that I’ve not had to pay a cent into to enjoy. How dare you all equate this utter shit Pay-2-Win Fee-2-Pay “game” to mobile games. This isn’t even worthy of being called a money-burning barrel because at least the barrel can keep you warm this winter.

mjc0961
Member

Dungeon Keeper Mobile. How dare you equate your experience with mobile games that aren’t utter shit to all mobile games.

Galactix100
Member
Galactix100

You wait ages for a meta bombed article ant then 2 come along at the same time. Damn have I missed the best examples of poorly spelled and apoplectic rage the internet has to offer, hell truly hath no fury like a gamer scorned.

I have many more trite phrases and adages, give me a shout if you fancy a bit more disappointingly unoriginal humour.

Roger Civit
Member

I would shit in the mouth of the fucking bastard who greenlit these shitty pay to win mechanics if I knew they would not like it, but i’m not sure that person isn’t a shit-muncher.

Dj_Ziio
Member
Dj_Ziio
This is not something I would normally suggest, but this game is available on torrent sites. Since you can’t access the online features there is no way to be pressured into paying for VC, even if you have an addictive personality, and its a perfect FU to the developers. Personally I support good games that don’t try to wring every last penny out of a customer with micro-transactions, but games like this don’t deserve anyone paying a cent, even for the casual game play. There has to be a point when gamers draw a line in the sand and say,… Read more »
mjc0961
Member
Okay, except one problem: if you don’t pay for VC, you have a tremendous grind ahead of you. They purposely made the game in such a way that you need to have a skilled avatar to earn a lot of VC, but you need a lot VC to upgrade your avatar to become skilled. You’re stuck in a loop, can’t earn VC because you need to be skilled, can’t be skilled because you need VC. Seems to me that pirating the game to play it that way is less an FU to the developers and more an FU to the… Read more »
E_Lincoln
Member
E_Lincoln

“EA is holding 2k’s beer while they demonstrate how to milk a full-priced game like a champ.”

Perfection.

Shaamaan
Member
I sort of wonder… can you still call it a meta-bomb in this case? I mean, I always thought a “meta-bomb” was when a game angered some people over something (usually) trivial, so people start creating new accounts just to slap those 1/10s all over. Or perhaps “the thing” isn’t so trivial, but before “the thing” was implemented the game was decent? Something along these lines anyway… But this? I can’t shake the feeling that a lot of these reviews might just as well be genuine (not all, obviously). Than again, I have never posted a review on Metacritic, so… Read more »
mjc0961
Member

Wikipedia: “A review bomb is an Internet phenomenon in which large groups of people leave negative user reviews for video games and other products in an attempt to harm their sales and popularity. This is often done in response to an actual or perceived slight towards customers by the creator or publisher of a game, such as anti-consumer gameplay changes or insults, in an attempt to force them to listen when other attempts have failed.”

So yes, it’s still a review bomb.

Kirk Hammer
Member
Kirk Hammer

For all the usual Metacritic bluster and horrendous spelling, grammar etc, when the game being ‘Bombed is genuinely a bad one you end up in a weird reversal where the where the 1/10’ers and 0/10’ers are actually a little more on point than the people upvoting it. Case in point [Translated from idiot]:

Anti: “This game sucks because of these specific reasons. This negatively affects the game in these ways.
Pro: “Lmao this game is great. The people who don’t like it are dumb.”

Now if they could only learn to spell…

BAH!
Member
BAH!

The lengths people will go to defend their Favorite Thing™ never ceases to amaze.

MuddyScarecrow
Member

Urgh. I’m so sick and tired of the “gameplay should come first” bullshit rule these apologists try to apply to reviews. I’m sorry but if the VC is so intrinsically tied to the gameplay like it is here then it deserves to be reviewed, chuckle fuck. Also to ptea: I’m not sure he actually read any of the reviews, since he seems a little confused as to why people don’t like the game. Unless bullshit freemium economies are such an important part of basketball I never knew about until now.

Kirk Hammer
Member
Kirk Hammer

I’m not sure which amused me more – “They only gave the game a bad score because of the bad parts!” or “It’s not a bad game just because it makes you play on servers that don’t work.”

Chris
Member

Ah, but you don’t realize, you’re not allowed to review the bad parts of the game. Only the parts everyone agrees are good. Objective reviews are only allowed to mention graphics and “gameplay”, here defined as “the things about a game I already like.” Duh. How else do you think all review scores are supposed to be the same and never below 8?

KeekingItReal
Member

To be fair athletes probably pay millions for personal trainers… and maybe performance enhancers. So… Yay for authenticity?

Deena
Member
Deena

In the immortal words of Dame Shirley Bass: “It’s all just a little bit of history rrrrrrepeating.”

McJohnson
Member
McJohnson
As someone who’s played the NBA 2K series since 2K11 I’m so glad I don’t bother with MyCareer or MyTeam, the main game modes that milk this shit for all its worth. But though the microtransactions were bad enough, the game’s also buggy as hell right after launch. There’s gifs going around of AI players suddenly sprinting back towards their own side of the court, which gives the other team the ball via backcourt violation. There’s issues with the game’s shot meter not showing up for layups, making it frustratingly easy to miss what’s usually a near-guaranteed shot, especially for… Read more »
Jack Trevor
Member
Jack Trevor

So I did a bit of research on VC and, wow, I didn’t think anybody could top Warmer Bros trying to sell us a fucking Gotcha Game for $60.