Gameplay details have been revealed for NBA 2K23 ‘The Jordan Challenge’. These are also the first game mode details we’ve received for the new game with information still to come around the MyPark, MyCareer, and MyTeam modes.
Players of the NBA 2K franchise will remember The Jordan Challenge from 2K11 where you could play and relive some of Michael Jordan’s best NBA moments in a challenging offline game mode. More than a decade later – and with MJ gracing the cover for a special edition version of the game – players will have the chance to relive those moments again, but this time with new animations, sliders, and even camera styles that reflect the era of each moment.
The Jordan Challenge – Player Experience
The player experience has been one of the main focuses of the development team. In a media briefing earlier this week, the team explained to AUNZ media how the majority of their core audience wasn’t alive during Michael Jordan’s career and how creating a top-tier player experience was a “no expenses spared” task. This led to a “ground-up rebuild” where the entire game mode has been chopped and changed from a visual and connected standpoint.
It all starts with the look and feel of The Jordan Challenge and it all starts with the camera. Each challenge will feature a bespoke camera style that brings you into the living room as if you were sitting on the couch watching MJ in college at North Carolina or drilling that patented mid-range jumper from the elbow. The team have gone as so far to include era-specific advertising with period-correct logos.
Every game will offer exclusive interviews from Michael Jordan’s biggest fans and competitors, including; Marv Albert (courtside commentator for The Shrug game), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (opponent in the 1988 All-Star game in Chicago), Dennis Rodman (opponent in the Bad Boys game), Phil Jackson (head coach in The Last Dance game), and many more. In the commentary box sits legendary coach and analyst Mike Fratello, alongside Ray Clay, who was the PA during the 90s Bulls. And the dev team have even remodelled the late great David Stern with permission from his estate.
The Jordan Challenge – Gameplay Experience
With a more authentic approach to graphics and cameras, gameplay follows suit with changes to sliders, tendencies, and animations. These sliders are adjusted as you progress through Michael Jordan’s career, so don’t expect to be putting up three’s in college, pulling off euro steps in tight situations, or leaking out to the corners in transition.
On the offensive end, the devs have spent time perfecting each challenge and you can run sets from some of the greatest coaching minds in NBA history: Jack Ramsay, Hubie Brown, Dick Motta, Lenny Wilkens, Phil Jackson, Jerry Sloan, Rick Adelman and more. Why mention this? Those who remember playing 2K11 would recall how tough these challenges were, so running players and getting open looks is the only way to secure the rewards mentioned below.
On the defensive end, the team have rewritten the matchup logic so that when Jordan plays against Dominique Wilkins, they’ll match up and try to outscore each other in the Shootout challenge. The ‘Jordan Rules’ have been implemented when you play against the Pistons (force to left, double drives, double on catch on the left wing, double on drives on the right, etc.) so expect this matchup to be a tough one with a lot more hard fouls that put Jordan on the floor.
Signature styles have seen a massive upgrade with Magic Johnson having his signature no-look passes, and a number of classic greats have an all-new jump shot, layup, and dunk packages that we hope to see the transition into other areas of the game. Dribbling will reflect the Jordan era – sorry no ‘Shamgods’ – and the way Michael Jordan moves, dunks, shrugs, etc. has all been reconfigured for accuracy. It’s set to be one of the best game mode additions we’ve seen from NBA 2K in years.
What are the 15 Jordan Challenges?
Here is a list of The Jordan Challenges for NBA 2K23.
- 1982 National Championship: The University of North Carolina vs. Georgetown
- 1984 Team USA Basketball Scrimmage
- 1986 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 2
- 1988 NBA All-Star Game
- 1989 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 5
- 1990 Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls
- 1990 Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers
- 1990 Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3
- 1991 NBA Finals, Game 5
- 1992 NBA Finals, Game 1
- 1995 Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks
- 1996 NBA Finals, Game 6
- 1997 NBA Finals, Game 5
- 1997 Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers
- 1998 NBA Finals, Game 6
What are The Jordan Challenge Rewards?
Each of the 15 Jordan Challenges listed above will offer three goals for you to achieve, and each goal will unlock a star. Completing most of the goals and unlocking 40 stars will unlock unique rewards in both MyTeam and MyCareer mode – this will be the only place to unlock MJ’s UNC jersey to wear in The City and The Neighborhood.
More information about NBA 2K23 The Jordan Challenge can be read in the full courtside report linked below.
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