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  • Writer's pictureJames Stephanie Sterling

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.


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