After the legendary Ingress, a worldwide success centered on Pokémons, then lots of other proposals based on Pikmins or sorcerer’s apprentices, Niantic adds a new string to its bow. The augmented reality mobile game specialist is today launching early access to its brand new NBA All-World, based on the famous American basketball league.
Like Pokemon GO, which breathed new life into location-based AR games thanks to colorful little monsters, the goal will be to build your collection. But here, the critters imagined by Satoshi Tajiri have been replaced by orange ball stars. You will be able to attach the services of the Serbian phenomenon Nikola Jokicwith his two MVP titles, chief gunner Steph Curry, and many other league captains like Chris Paul, James Harden or Draymond Green.
The NBA in Pokémon Go sauce
As in some other Niantic games, the objective will be to collect as many as possible by defeating their avatars on the map. This will help build the best team possible. Failing Pokéball, you’ll first have to defeat the players in question in a mini-game. For example, the trailer hints at what looks like a HORSE-inspired game of skill or timing. It is also possible to face other players, much like the PvP system of PokémonGo.
In terms of gameplay, the game phases are quite rudimentary. To score a basket or block a shot, you just have to press and release a button with the right timing. The displacements are carried out with a pressure or a sliding of the finger in the desired direction. Not enough to make fans of the NBA 2K franchise dream of.
And since this is an augmented reality location-based game, Niantic has also integrated some links with the real world. To recover money for his character, it will be necessary for example… to approach a bank. You can also find improvements near health institutes. The reasoning is understandable. But is it really a good idea to encourage crowds near this kind of building? Moreover, this kind of approach tends to make the title difficult to play for those who do not live in the center of a big city.
The Plague of Microtransactions
The bad news is that the game will also be entitled to a catalog of bonuses accessible through microtransactions. An approach still so detestable when it directly affects the gameplay. This is all the more damaging in the case of these location-based AR games. After all, they are designed to support the user over time.
However, these shortcuts tend to kill a considerable part of the experience, even for those who do not use them. Aficionados of this good old Ingress can attest to this. It remains to be seen whether this will help to heal the finances of Niantic, whose accountant has been looking gray for some time now.
After Pokémon GO, Niantic cancels 4 games and lays off its employees
Ultimately, NBA All-World looks like a revamped version of a concept that already exists in several forms, with no obvious added value. It remains to be seen if fans of sneakers, strings and big dunks will be seduced by this funny idea; who knows, maybe the American league will emerge as the ideal support for this kind of game!
You can download the early access version of NBA All-World from the Google Play Store or the AppStore.