NBA Live 2001 Preview
When we first aired the Live 2001 preview for PS2, all we had to judge the visuals on were press screen shots that EA Sports had given us, and the only players shown on the screens were Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnet. Basically all of the visual detail went on to those characters, but after "real" gameplay shots were released, the visuals for NBA Live 2001 still look great and match what EA has done for the PS2 in these past two months. If anybody remembers me saying "visually NBA Live 2001 blows Sega's NBA 2K1 out of the water", well I take that back, but I'll still say that NBA Live 2001 sports slightly better graphics than NBA 2K1, it just doesn't blow it out of the water though. Take a look at the screenshots of NBA Live 2001 and while I prefer not to run NBA 2K1 screenshots, I will just say that EA's game looks a bit better than Sega's game, and seeing how Madden NFL 2001 crushed NFL 2K1, I was expecting a similar result with the b-ball games, thankfully EA Sports delivers.
Now I know that this is a preview and I shouldn't really speak like all is finalized, but the fact is that these screenshots are taken from an 75-90% done version, and the remaining work that is left is mostly for bugs and a few other things (actually by the time you all read this, NBA Live 2001 will be complete). So the visuals are pretty much final, but who knows maybe EA Canada will do something extraordinary and put me in awe even further. Because of the high standards that EA had just set with NHL 2001, FIFA 2001, and Madden NFL 2001 the visuals could be made to look even better, since all of those games had twice as many characters running on screen, on bigger fields than a basketball court, but I'll take what I can get, at least for now. In next years version of Live, I better see even better graphics, because a b-ball game has a lot less to work with than, say a soccer or football game does.
Although the visuals are not bad though, no siree bob. The athletic detail seems to be better than NBA 2K1's, NBA Live 2001 does a great job of capturing the body detail of each ball player. Take a look at the on-screen characters in a few of these screenshots, one of which that shows Kevin Garnet pulling back for a sweet 2 points, notice how superb the facial detail is, how superb the grin on the Laker behind is, just notice how superb everything surrounding KG is! Judging by the movies I saw, the motion-capturing really couldn't get any better, the movement is beyond belief, it's incredibly smooth. Visually NBA Live 2001 may very well turn out to be the best basketball game to date, but Sega's game easily and not too far behind at all comes in second. NBA Live 2001 has been completed and is being manufactured as we speak, the release date will be January 9, 2001.