NBA Live 18 Defense Shines at EA PLAY

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There is so much pressure already on yearly sports titles to please the fanbase that they cater to and the casuals they want to bring in. So when NBA Live franchise took a year off there were many who speculated if they could come back with the firepower to not only compete with it’s competitors but to put their fanbase and others on notice that they are back for good. Well at EA Play they did just that.

They say defense wins championships (don’t tell Golden State or the Cavs) and after playing a boat load of NBA Live 18 at EA Play it looks like EA is aiming for the throne.  Defense is hard to get right in almost every sports game already, whether it’s Football, Hockey, or Baseball it always seems as if the offense has the upper hand, and that’s especially true in Basketball. You can tell that the devs at EA really went into the lab and took their time to rebuild the defensive side of the ball.

With a simple left trigger (L2 or LT) you can activate the defensive assist and use the left analog to stay in front of your guy. You’ll see from a user interface perspective that there are arrows. There are timing windows when your opponent with the ball starts to go right or left; depending on your skills as a user and the players on ball defensive rating, that window shrinks and grows. Green arrows mean you have a successful cut off.  With each successful cutoff it may initiate a jostle/bump; which will cause the offensive player to lose stamina. Also depending on the offensive player’s dribble rating they may pick up the ball or even lose the ball. There is also a window in there to initiate a steal.  The steal window grows or shrinks depending on the defensive players’ steal and on ball defensive rating. With that said if the offensive player catches you stealing and flicks back on the right analog, that will send the defensive player to the floor (twerking) allowing the offensive player a clean path to the lane or a step back 3. So don’t go spamming the steal button.  If you use the defensive assist and get a red arrow it means you missed the timing window and your opponent has the advantage on a drive.

Lebron’s highlight film is filled with chased down blocks. Who can forget the chasedown block, pinned on the backboard of Andre Iguodala, well that’s in NBA Live 18.  Not only will you see chase down blocks, but blocks at the rim, catch blocks, blocks on dunks. blocks on layups, you name it it’s in NBA Live 18. Not only will you see all of those blocks but you’ll hear it as well.  One of the developers were telling me that they actually boosted the sound of blocks so they seem to be more impactful in the game and they do sound good.

In the past defense has not always been the best feeling in the world, especially when you are matched up on an iso against Kyrie Irving or Lebron James, but these new defensive assist make you feel like you have a chance. Defense in NBA Live 18 feels really good and I actually had fun. The defensive controls, ability to double team on the fly and blocks at the rim made those late, close games more exciting and I can’t wait to lock up in September when NBA Live 18 releases.

Make sure you come back later today to check out my NBA Live 18 – Hands On Impressions.