At this point, it somewhat goes without saying that NBA Live 19 has quite a bit to prove. One way in which they hope to drive home just how serious this year’s entry is would be through their impressively in-depth “Create your Court” tool. The homebrew hardwood will actually play a critical role into The One mode and will have plenty of other hooks into how the rest of the world interacts with your career. Unfortunately, we have to sit on those details until a later date. Until then, let’s dig into a few of the premier features that will allow players to truly make the home court of their dreams.
From the moment you start designing, the level of customization allowed is fairly substantial. Basic starting customizations include adjusting the overall theme, colors, selecting a new type of floor, line configurations for the court itself, logos, text to appear on the hardwood or adjusting the equipment. From there, each menu opens up an expansive set of further personalizations.
The easiest way to get started is to choose from one of the predetermined themes that are available right out of the box. Our preview build showed a rather meager offering of fifteen templates, but keep in mind that this was a build from back in July. Things could have come quite a ways since then or could even be added in the future as unlockables in The One mode.
Once a court theme has been selected, this is where the depth of the tool gets ridiculous. You have the option to drill down and put the fine touches on color schemes which digs heavy into the minutia of the sport. Some of the elements I was able to tweak were the colors of pads on the base of the hoop and at the ends of the court and the actual shade of color applied to the rim. And for those of you who are wondering, I was rocking the hell out of that purple rim. What can I say? It really contrasts well with a pristine, white net.
Go with the Grain
Next up was the selection of the type of floor on the court itself. This is a critical decision that (at least for me) came down to choosing between the warm parquet hardwoods found in the Boston Garden, the herringbone design that the Raptors have been rocking from an eternity, or a more neutral matte color. Once this has been determined, this is where things can really go off the rails, because of the graphic designs that can be applied to all of the area inside of the three point arch. Luckily I ended up steering clear of the fabulous panther print and instead opting for the less abrasive camo motif. In this case, it was the lesser of way too many other evils.
Later I realized that you can also customize or mirror your current design for the center court, perimeter, free throw circle, key, and apron. Each one of the customizable positions mentioned have their own unique collection of settings. Have you ever wanted to adjust to opacity of the center court? You can now live that dream, along with also tweaking the color of the overlay as well.
Are you one who prefers to focus on the art displayed at different spots on the floor? There’s also an option to insert logos at up to five different positions on the floor itself. Once again, in this build there were very few options available right out of the box, but I can confirm that many locked assets will become available as each The One career progresses.
Expanding the Palette
Another interesting note that was specifically called out were the Livestrike Artist Series designs. EA has commissioned some of the most prominent artists working today to provide assets that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. These unique touches will have a generous amount available at launch, with more being added to the palette as the season goes along. Without dipping too far into spoiler territory, some of the courts that are played on early in the campaign are fantastic examples of this amazing artwork on full display. I can’t say much more than that, but you will ABSOLUTELY know what I am talking about once you see it firsthand.
Just to throw one last wrinkle into the absurdity of what can be tweaked in the designer, let’s take a look at the custom equipment. As I mentioned earlier, you can further adjust the color of the rim from this menu, as well as assign a different tone to the backboard itself and the protector pad on the underside of the glass. And last, but most certainly not least, you also have the option to select the type of ball that will be used during gameplay. Interestingly enough, you do have the option to select between both the NBA and WNBA design, which is a nice touch.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the capabilities of the court designer is concerned. Even in an unfinished state, I was genuinely impressed with the level of detail that was at the player’s fingertips. It is going to be really fun to see what creative types can do when they get to build a court of their own on September 7, 2018. Keep it tuned here for more NBA Live 19 preview content as we draw closer to launch.
Our hands-on NBA Live 19 PS4 preview was done at an event. Travel and accommodations were provided by Electronic Arts.