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NBA 2K18: Visual Concepts on The Neighborhood, its new open world

NBA 2K18 will introduce The Neighborhood this year, essentially combining all the popular online modes of the NBA 2K series and jams them into an open world that players can interact in. Senior Producer at Visual Concepts, Ben Bishop, gave us a quick rundown of what to expect from this new feature.

“What are you seeing is literally what it means; there is a neighbourhood, there is a place where you can run around with different people who are in their MyCareer at the same time as you,” Bishop said.

“Whether it is going to different shops to get your style setup, whether it’s playing games in the park, or just playing NBA games — you are all in this same space. We really just tried to bring everything all together so that you’re all competing at the same time with everyone else; it makes it a much more shared experience than it has been before.”

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The Neighborhood looks like an ambitious feature to centralise everything inside of NBA 2K18 around the MyPlayer character and going through modes like MyCareer. So I was curious to get some information in relation to one of my small complaints about NBA 2K17 last year, which was the downtime in between games during the MyCareer mode. Senior Producer, Rob Jones happily had some answers for that when asked if any tweaks had been made.

“This year the big change with the Neighbourhood is that you don’t have to do any of that. You get to play the game the way you want to,” Jones said. “You can follow your story line, you can follow your social media stuff, you can do all of that – or can you completely skip it if you don’t want to. But we don’t penalise you, last year we felt like we were.

“This year we are letting you play the way you want, make the choices that you want along the way, and we will go along with those choices and affect your game that way. So if you go through drills, we are going to let you do drills that help you. We’ve gone out of our way to really try and clean up that exact thing.”