Rising Hollywood actor, Michael B. Jordan, is continuing to move up in the ranks, landing important roles throughout the film industry. His latest role isn't a big blockbuster or an indie darling, though, it's a video game... specifically, it's 2K Games' NBA 2K17.
Polygon is reporting that the actor will co-star in the game as the player's long time friend, accompanying them through the ups and downs of the national basketball league. Michael B. Jordan takes on the role of Justice Young, a buddy to the player character. The duo will attempt to rise up through the ranks together, going through the ups and downs of an NBA career while attempting to work together on the court.
The storyline this time around actually plays hand-in-hand with the on-court action. According to the article's Visual Concepts and 2K wanted to move away from the more over-the-top storytelling of Spike Lee's scripted career mode presented in NBA 2K16.
Director Aaron Covington will step into the chair this time around, reuniting with Michael B. Jordan after they worked on the movie Creed, which managed to get the attention of the Academy Awards. Covington was in charge of varied cast of actors, including Matt Walsh and Hannibal Buress.
They mention that players will be able to visit the barber shop, which I can only imagine will be more utilitarian than just for cinematics. It would be a missed opportunity if you couldn't use the barber shop to actually change up your created character looks in this upcoming NBA 2K title.
But looks and voice actors aside, bringing Michael B. Jordan into the role has more to do with just aesthetics and Hollywood credibility. Visual Concepts wanted the cinematics and the bond and growth of the written friendship to translate into gameplay mechanics.
According to senior producer Ben Bishop, the player and Michael B. Jordan's character will develop a bond that the in-game media will refer to as "Orange Juice" due to the chemistry the two have on the court. Bishop mentions that this plays into the dual player controls that will be introduced for the first time in an NBA 2K MyCareer mode, saying...
When the two of you are locked in, you have the opportunity to utilize dual player controls for the first time ever in MyCareer. Not only can you tell Justice to do things like cut to the basket, take a shot, or isolate, you can also switch over and control him entirely.
That's a pretty cool setup actually. It reminds me of tag-teaming in pro wrestling. Essentially that's what it's going to be like, as players will develop their relationship with Jordan's Justice character on the court and they attempt to b-ball their way through the MyCareer mode in NBA 2K17.
The developers are promising a more interactive story that's more dynamic than Spike Lee's take in last year's NBA 2K16. Whether or not that comes to fruition depends on how well gamers adapt to the new feature.
Speaking of gamers and adaptation, starting September 9th players will be able to dabble in the opening segments of the MyCareer mode for free on home consoles. This will give gamers an opportunity to see if it's something they would be willing to pursue with a full purchase when NBA 2K17 launches for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 on September 20th.