Anthony Mackie & Haley Joel Osment Star in NBA 2K19's Story Mode

A new, star-studded trailer has been released for NBA 2k19, featuring Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Infinity War) and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense). The basketball-centric video game is the latest installment of the popular, long-running franchise developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. The latter is a division of 2K Games, which in turn is a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, which is also responsible for games of such varying genres as WWE 2K franchise, Red Dead Redemption, and even the increasingly unhackable Grand Theft Auto V.

The MYCAREER mode was first introduced in 2010. The new hybrid format had proven a popular addition to the WWE gaming franchise and it was the same to this one. The popularity grew with NBA 2K15 when it was upgraded and reached new heights with NBA 2k16 when director Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) was offered control and introduced a more realistic approach and a wider-ranging story. The formula was repeated in NBA 2K17 when Creed writer Aaron Covington crafted the storyline and infamous fan-surpriser Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) provided the main character's voice.

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According to the trailer, released by 2K Games on YouTube, the story they have created and the talents they have amassed for NBA 2k19 are no less substantial. As well as Mackie and Osment, the voice cast also includes Michael Rapaport (Atypical), Rob Huebel (Transparent), Ricky Whittle (American Gods), and many more.

Titled 'The Way Back', the story will see gamers take on the role of a professional basketball player in the Chinese Basketball League. Players will have to develop the character's skills and gain recognition (on and off the court) in China. From there, through hard work and perserverance, players will be able to progress their character back stateside, where they can play in the G League and, eventually, work towards the ultimate goal of playing in the NBA. As a bonus, a prelude for the game is also being released on August 31st. Any players who download it will be able to play the first chapter, for free, ahead of release.

The graphics of the cut scenes are far from the best ever made for a game, but the voice work seems solid across the board. Osment especially stands out, hilariously playing a "social media manager" and thus adding a real-world compenent that is faced by numerous real-life athletes. Also, the story at its core seems to be a personal, relatable one that players can easily become invested in. That will surely not matter to the hardcore sports fans, who simply want to play basketball and will welcome the news that they can be skipped if desired.

The market of sports fans is all but assured, however. The increased development and evolution of the MYCAREER mode will serve to draw in much-needed new players who usually lean more towards narrative-based games. As such, it's a continued step in the right direction if 2K Games wants to keep appealing to new customers and drive up sales.

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The NBA 2K19 Standard Edition will be available on September 11, 2018. The 20th Anniversary Edition will be available on September 7, 2018. Pre-orders for both editions are available now.

Source: NBA 2K/Youtube

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