NBA Elite 11 - Xbox 360

Game Description: NBA Elite will be the new moniker of the long running EA Sports NBA video game franchise. NBA Elite 11 will revolutionize the way basketball simulation games are played, with an all-new technology base, a new control scheme and a real-time physics system.
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NBA Elite 11 Hands-On Preview

NBA Elite 11 Hands-On Preview

By Harold Goldberg - Posted Jul 26, 2010

NBA Elite 11

If you’re a fan of the EA Sports games, you know that most have been seriously redesigned in the past three years. First came the NHL and then the FIFA franchises. In August, Madden NFL gets a facelift. It’s also time for the NBA series’ revitalization. The name’s even been changed from NBA Live to NBA Elite 11.

Sitting down to play the game, the first thing I was told is that the controls had changed. Now, over the past couple of years, I’ve changed with Facebook, Twitter, iPad games, all that stuff I love, except Farmville. But when it comes to sports games, I’m still old school: I like controller buttons more than controller sticks.

This isn’t buttons, said the rep. There’s the fearful thought that strikes me immediately. Oh, no: sticks. I’m going to be horrible at this. There will be other gamers watching as I play, and I’m the nerd that’s going to have to hang his head in utter shame.

In fact, it was just the opposite. The hands-On control mechanics were so intuitive and so precise, I’ll never want to play an NBA game without this particular control map again.  Buttons? You don’t need no stinkin’ buttons. Here’s why.

The right stick ably moves your player around the court and the left stick moves your hands to throw and lifts your feet to jump. To throw from the paint or from downtown, you need to move from six o’clock to 12 o’clock pretty much exactly. And you have to release at the zenith of your jump.  There’s some wiggle room, especially with the ace players, and most especially with my opponent who has the Oklahoma City Thunder advantage with the game’s cover athlete, Kevin Durant. You can see the slim margin for error you have by looking at the second of two round, radar-type screens that feature green sweet spots around the 12 o’clock point. You find this in the top right of the screen. 


I really felt engaged because the controls made me feel like I was actually playing. You might say, "Actually playing? Give me a break; who’s paying this guy?" The thing is, I’ve been playing the NBA games for well over a decade now, and these really are the NBA controls most worthy of enthusiasm. Certainly others have tried that control scheme in which the right stick invokes the jump and shoot. But it has never felt this fluid or this natural or this authentic.

After the tip off, I saw my opponent getting really fancy with the controls, pretty much a master of the Thunder. His players dribbled like All-Stars – behind the back, too, as the quarter progressed; he even did a spin move to get past me. One thing was clear, you can be as creative as Kobe in this game, even if you’re not a household word.

However, the defense was so intuitive, I managed to block some shots by using the right stick as well (again, up and down at 12 o’clock to jump up and block). I even stopped him from under the basket, by getting right up on him and using the stick again to push back on him. This felt real, too, like I was using all my strength to hold him back.

NBA Elite 11

And I stole the ball twice (which was accomplished by moving the right stick from left to right and back again. The result: a lethal but elegant swiping motion). At the end of the quarter with a few seconds to go, he was up by one point. I passed the ball to LeBron, but I couldn’t get inside the paint. Out went the ball to Wade. Gulp. There’s like two seconds on the clock now.  I’m thinking, play like there’s more time because one quarter is all the time you get for this demo; move the stick straight up and down and release at the apex of the jump. Bam! I hit it from downtown as time ran out. I was Wade and I appreciated James’s controversial contract much more (although I still think LeBron should be in Cleveland).

Unfortunately, online play was not shown and the din was so loud in the demo room that I couldn’t hear the announcers, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen. There were some glitches that the designers will fix before the game drops in October, in particular, players sliding across the floor when they should be running or dribbling. One thing the demo expert said was that this year, EA would sacrifice some of the graphics for better AI and game design. The designers, however, promise to tweak the graphics next year.

Still, players need not worry about the game's graphics. In the game I played, the Miami Heat versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh, The Holy Trinity (or Unholy, depending on your point of view), looked pretty much like they do in reality. I didn’t see much of drop in graphical excellence, though I did witness some sliding. But the only thing that irked me was the floor cleaning guy, the dude who mops up the sweat on the court. Action was happening right in front of him, and he’s daydreaming, looking up in the stands for someone or something I couldn’t see. I mean, it’s LeBron, Dwayne and Chris. Get excited!

Comments are Closed

  • smsnh

    I just wanted to let you 2k fans know 2k sports games SUCKS the graphics are HORRIBLE on every game and the online play is STUPID it dosen't even keep track of your wins and losses!!!! I prefer EA Sports cause the graphics are better than freakin 2k sports games it looks like they put no effort into their games cause i've owned a 2k Sports game and it was just horrible!!! The only 2k Sports game i would prefer is like MLB 2K10 and that is it!!! Sorry if you guys read this comment and think i am stupid cause i hate 2k Sports but think about it EA Sports controlls are much easier now just watch the trailer thats how easy it is!!!! Well i will admit EA Sports will did copy the " Become a legend" mode but in my opinion EA Sports is better!!! Peace

    Posted: September 16, 2010 5:59 PM
  • kue2086

    Everything they mentioned... 2K already does...Lets not forget how Be Legendary is a carbon copy of 2K's My Player... come on man... be original!

    Posted: September 1, 2010 4:50 PM
  • Terron1015

    Well to me personally the new controls sound a little odd. I'm a 2K fan and very much anti EA after watching my friend being worked into the ground at Tiburon. With that being said I will still play both Demos when they're out and make a choice. Since EA seems to have gotten rid of the sprint factor in their games maybe things are looking up being that people won't just be running up and down the court dunking and shooting 3's.

    Posted: August 2, 2010 12:44 PM
  • KingChino16

    I.ve always loved nba live man. Does anyone know if there is going to be ranked team matches this year?

    Posted: August 2, 2010 8:16 AM
  • mrkbizzle

    ea nba live is not the better game. ea got the rights to the nfl franchise and its my opinion that most of the comments on here are based on the idea that because they have made madden the only football game to have nfl licenses, and therefore the most realistic, they had to have made the better basketball game as well. Far from reality son. While nba live is not all bad, 2k's gameplay offers better animations, graphics, realism, and replay ability plus alot more than i wish to express in words. I used to play alot of nba live in 05, 06, on the PC, and did not give 2k a chance until 09 because I did not have a new gaming system until the end of 08. Nba live 06 was a flop and seemed like the programmers tinkered with the game engine to make a more realistic game but in the end was no where near the fun of nba live 05. Each year got progressively worse in my opinion as I played through each new game until I got frustrated with the mechanics and left it for dead. When 2k came out with NBA2k9, i realized what was missing. 2k9's was the best 4 it's time and 2k10's improved on it's already robust gameplay. Im just a gamer that wants to get the most out of his paper when he buys a 60 dollar game, and 2k gave me that satisfaction. If nba elite proves to be superior then that's great, more power to them. I just know that the nba2k series has probably been the more superior franchise and witnessed how popular it had become when I purchased 2k10. Alot of stores sold out quickly and poor old nba live sat on the store shelves. Im not trying to knock anyone if that their game but when me and my friends get together for some nba hoops, the choice is always nba 2k. I know 2k will come out with a great game even if it fails to be better than ea's. Ive been looking forward to 2k11 since 2k10 came out and what I mean by that is that I felt that 2k10 improvements were worthy of a 60 update. I will probably check out NBA elite seeing as they have implemented a whole new system, but judging from game play videos and their track record in releasing both nfl and nba games that are bunk, (including madden, and even madden lovers will agree with me) I can tell it's gonna be a whole new year of 2K goodness. See you at the foul line.

    Posted: July 30, 2010 4:07 PM
  • fishandtaxes

    I think the stans from both sides are hilarious. No one here has even experienced the new features of Elite, to see how they are actually gonna translate into better gameplay, nor has anyone heard any news of the changes or new features of NBA 2K11 aside from the edition to Jordan. So as of right now there is absolutely no way you can compare the two. For those that are jumping on the Elite bandwagon, remember they have a track record over the last 3 or 4 years of being seriously behind 2K even with new features, or those that are jumping on the 2K bandwagon, remember last years game was extremely glitchy and was a serious step backwards from there usual award winning titles, also aside from new animations they haven't really added anything new since 2k8. Both game developers have a lot to prove this year.

    And for those arguing who stole ideas from who, both games have been utilizing each others ideas ever since the first 2K came out. From the dunk contest, to the shot stick, to player specific animations,.

    Posted: July 30, 2010 9:03 AM
  • r3al

    I ve always been a fan of both NBA Elite (Live) and NBA 2K, but what grinds my gears is the fact that everybody has became NBA 2K stans, like everyone is now in copy mode, I m a huge basketball fan and I love that there are more than one basketball game to choose from, but people now days don t use there own minds or opinions, when NBA Elite (Live) first made a dunk contest available on a video game, the world were on their coat tails, I only knew a few who were hardcore NBA 2K fans since Sega Dreamcast first introduce it to the world, and those people can actually express intelligent reasons why they are and always will be NBA 2K fans, now since NBA 2K is now More Popular than NBA Elite (Live) you can find every bandwagon rider giving every goofy reasons why NBA 2K is the greatest of all time and NBA Elite (Live) is garbage, while the NBA 2K bandwagon riders were the same ones who swore that NBA Elite (Live) was the greatest because of the dunk contest, bandwagon riders are the ones who drains the fun out of the spirit of competition with these two games by riding with whatever is on top at the time, and we all know those type of fans agrees with anybody regardless of how ignorant that persons two cents are as long as that person is on their side, and of course they are they are the main ones who have already made up their minds because of the return of Michael Jordan, no one has yet to see any finished game play of either game, but the stans are already claiming NBA 2K is gonna blow NBA Elite out of the water regardless of how much improvement the game is making as we speak, there are already stans trying to convince people to hate NBA Elite before anybody sees it either game, I m telling you if Sony makes an NBA 11, and it just so happens to beat out NBA Elite and NBA 2K11, watch all the bandwagon riders slide to their side. Just enjoy what you like and stop trying to fit in with the larger crowd, because the larger crowd isn t always right, Peace!

    Posted: July 28, 2010 2:40 PM
  • Remis

    http://mkk.lt/ref/go/7182 if you need more info visit this site

    Posted: July 28, 2010 2:35 PM
  • niko900

    the game seems harder but it will have real time phiysics so it might be the best one yet

    Posted: July 28, 2010 11:00 AM
  • Pippdaddy

    I'll stick with NBA 2k, when I have a choice in a sports genre I usually stay away from EA. EA's presentation is usually lacking, realism not nearly as real as they claim every year, and EA has never come close to matching 2k when it comes to NBA games. Now that MJ is in 2k, it puts them over the top with the new scenarios and more. Plus, these new controls for elite would not mesh with me. I've been playing basketball games since the 80's and as much as I love change, this change seems a little too much so quick, if classic controls are offered than it wont be a big deal but if not, boo.

    Like I said, sticking with 2k and praying EA doesn't try to buy out the NBA license.

    Posted: July 27, 2010 8:26 PM
  • Figh_Yop

    These "Elite" people are bandwagon jumpers. We have no clue how this "real time physics" will actually work in their title. After all they have lost in the battle of bball games for quite some time now. They have lost key components that use to work for Live that hopped on the 2k train as well.I have no faith in what
    they offer due to the fact of their track record. I need proof, a few videos and testimonials is not enough.
    I heard someone say the gamplay for Live was better, lmao. As ridiculous as that statement was, ii choose to ignore it...
    All these people who use to play LIVE now play 2k. NUFF SAID

    Posted: July 27, 2010 7:27 PM
  • AdamSesslerClone

    hold ur panties in a bunch, 2k hasnt released anything else besides the jordan info and we dunno what else 2k has in store. Elite's gameplay does sound great and fun but u cant just bash 2k just yet

    Posted: July 27, 2010 2:44 PM
  • ssh00

    2k just signed Jordan because they knew their GAME, in particular GAMEPLAY, couldn't compete. As made famous in the recent presidential election, you can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig. You want to support innovation in gaming (Elite), or support a nice looking pictures via an expensive license deal (2k)?

    Simply put, I buy video games to *play* them, not to *look* at a character in them. Elite looks amazing to play (think about the 1st fight night and how that changed boxing/sports games forever), and I know what has my money this year.

    Posted: July 27, 2010 2:14 PM
  • Cainn

    I have to agree with Live_Boii on this one. 2k is may have better graphics then the EA titles, but the gameplay is far from fluid and feels like there isn't much control over your player.

    I grew up idolizing MJ and even went to his basketball camp as a kid. But I wouldn't doubt if 2k went to great lengths to use him in their game because they knew what EA was putting out this year. And it's disappointing to say the least that most of you will write off EA because 2k has Michael Jordan.

    Hopefully EA will deliver on what they promise with this game because it really is what the 2k series lacks.

    Posted: July 27, 2010 12:30 PM
  • Live_Boii

    Half of you commenting should go and check out operationsports.com. because you guys are clueless as to what is happening.

    the controls are no where near that of 2k. and its completely 1:1. also elite is using REAL TIME PHYSICS simulation. contact will take leaps beyond things of old.

    as far as the controls, the left stick is your legs and the right is you hands. the only way you shoot is to go straight up, unless your doing a lay-up where you roll up left or right depending on the hand you want to use.

    there will be no two player animations. therefore you can break out of any animations. this has been a goal of ea as far as basketball. unlike 2k which has beautiful animations but you have no control(ever hug the ref while your opponent is scoring? thought so). what makes this funny is that mike wang left 2k saying that they could do nothing better and they had reached the ceiling of their potential. he also stated that ea had better tech. he worked with ea for a full year as head gameplay designer then he left back to 2k, saying he didnt agree with the choices of the team. now 2k has said that they want to go away from two player animations and bring 1:1 control. now whos coping who?

    before you get all bent up about 2k10 plus MJ, think about good gamneplay and fun. where your skills with the controls will win you the game. now like 2k which is a dunk fest in which whoever has turbo and a good dunker wins.

    ELITE will change things with its control as well as espn integrationg(full integration). also with be a pro, as it is in nhl. so now it will have a mode deeper than my player.

    how long before the Micheal Jordan hype wheres off and people are back on craigslist selling 2k11 like the did 2k10. you know what you are getting from 2k and i doubt that they will go away from a winning formula. so how can 2k be better standing still gameplay wise?

    Posted: July 27, 2010 12:07 PM
  • jaespur21

    me also viva humanity. ever since I played 2k on the dreamcast, i've been a huge fan. looking forward to 2k newest game. sorry nba live I dont think i'll ever go back

    Posted: July 27, 2010 7:27 AM
  • Viva_Humanity

    No thanks. Ever since 2000 I've been a 2K fan. It's always the superior product year after year. I'll Gamefly Elite, but I'll buy, day one, 2K.

    Posted: July 27, 2010 4:26 AM
  • Juggurnaut

    The controls sound a lot like nba 2k10, 2k9, etc...I was hoping you mentioned on how Elite controls are better.

    Posted: July 27, 2010 2:02 AM
  • AdamSesslerClone

    Nba Live changed its name to Nba Elite. so this is basically nba live lol

    2k looks promising though, MJ's backkkkkkkkk

    Posted: July 26, 2010 11:46 PM
  • Money08

    so will there be a nab live 2011 this year?

    Posted: July 26, 2010 10:12 PM