Immediately once my game finished installing, I went directly to the “Jordan Challenges,” a new game mode that allows you to play through some of Michael Jordan’s most iconic moments. With specific in-game goals, such as winning the game by 15 points or getting nine rebounds with Michael Jordan.
When this game mode was first announced, 2K had promised that they “scouted, studied, and made key gameplay changes to fit the feel of each era to make each game feel like time traveling through NBA history.” This unique game mode adopts a retro visual filter by giving you the feel of watching a basketball game on a fuzzy TV, which is a refreshing experience. Before each game, there is a live interview from one of Jordan’s rivals, teammates, or sometimes friends.
In the first challenge, you play with Michael Jordan’s 1982 UNC squad against Patrick Ewing and Georgetown in the NCAA championship. This game genuinely felt like a college game from the 80s. Georgetown consistently worked the ball around the perimeter, not settling for shots. The AI would take its time each possession, but near the end game, as I was winning, I noticed the AI start to up the tempo and run their offense through Ewing. Watching Georgetown desperately try to feed Ewing in an attempt to come back was something I haven’t really noticed in a 2K game before.
Gameplay-wise, there is nothing much new here. The difficulty isn’t all that challenging. They’ve also made Michael Jordan somewhat overpowered, making the game more enjoyable. This mode makes sure to make your on-court players move slowly, but that’s just because the pace and tempo in that era were slower. Each challenge is a full-length game in itself, so even though there isn’t much to do after beating all the challenges, it won’t be a quick endeavor.