Being a basketball icon today means global recognition.
From the Field of Mars in the cool shadow of the Eiffel Tower, to the beating heart of the Tenement Court in Manila – wherever there are lines on blacktop, there are people in love with the game.
For NBA LIVE 19, we’ve taken our pro-am play space and infused it with that global sense of passion to bring you The World Tour. Now, you can travel to over a dozen different venues across the globe, throw down against a diverse cast of ballers throughout 70 total games, and prove that you can dominate whenever, wherever, as The One.
And you won’t be alone out there, either. Plenty of other NBA and WNBA stars have also taken to The Streets, and you’ll be tasked with going head-to-head against some of the greatest basketball talent in the world. Show them you’ve earned every one of your accolades at each venue’s tournament final, and they may even be convinced to lend your squad a hand.
So, get ready to pick your best players, choose your destination, and play your way in this year’s World Tour.
See the Sights
With over 14 venues in total, NBA LIVE 19 features nine returning courts from last year, one completely reconstructed court from LIVE 16, one new domestic court, and three brand-new international courts, all built from the ground up to capture the essence of each location as faithfully as possible. While we’ve already given you an in-depth look at a few of the venues we’re featuring at home and abroad, here’s a quick rundown of some of the fresh places you and your squad will be able to compete at.
The Quai 54 in Paris is the first. France has been holding its premier streetball tournament here as far back as 2002. Hosted by Jordan Brand and consistently featuring some of the world’s top talent from the NBA and the streets, crowds of up to 20,000 regularly turn out for this unbeatable spectacle. Smack in the middle of the City of the Lights, the local landscape is a sight all on its own, with the Eiffel Tower itself watching over every game played.
Throughout the sprawling streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil you can find pickup games being played all year round at Rio Favela. Carmelo Anthony, back during the 2016 Olympics, took to the town in his downtime and could be spotted lacing up against locals on courts just like the Parque do Rio built for NBA LIVE 19. With its vivid colors and rolling hills, you’d be hard-pressed to find a basketball backdrop like this one anywhere else in the world.
For the last of our international courts, but nowhere near the least, the Tenement Court of Manila in Taguig, Philippines is an iconic site, and the location of events hosted by the likes of King James himself. Literally at the center of an entire living community, it represents some of the very best of what basketball means to people all around the world.
Don’t think we forgot about our own blacktops back home. Another spot we’re unveiling in NBA LIVE 19 is The Cage down at West 4th in New York City. New York is practically unparalleled for the quantity and quality of its iconic streetball locales, and The Cage is easily one of the most unique and recognizable among those hallowed grounds.
And finally, returning from NBA LIVE 16 this year after a serious graphical upgrade, we’ve brought back the Margaret Hie Ding Lin Park from the heart of Chicago. Now, more than ever, the spirit of the windy city is on full display as you battle it out beneath the tracks of the L – especially with a full crew of Chi-town natives like Anthony Davis and Derrick Rose ready to defend their turf.
What’s more, beyond just adding a few breathtaking sights, we’ve also opened up how you progress through the mode itself. Rather than force you to proceed linearly through one venue after another, we’ve divided all our locations into venue “groups” and you are giving you the choice of where and how you want to play.
It goes like this – the very first venue group provides a selection of three different places: Cherashore Park, Hoop Dome, and Quai 54. Complete any nine games across those three venues and then five venues open up! Take your pick of games from across all of those venues next, and eventually you’ll find even more groups unlocking in no time.
With World Tour, we want players to have a greater sense of freedom. Finding a challenge at one of the venues too tough? Train up someplace else until you feel confident about your ability to return and crush the competition. See a venue that’s from your hometown? Travel straight there to take a walk down memory lane. Want to clean up an earlier venue to make sure you unlock all the bonus gear and hype you can? Easy.
In the end, it’s all up to you.
For the completionists out there, here’s the FULL list of all 14 venues you’ll be tackling:
In addition to adding places to play, we really pushed to make sure that LIVE 19’s core gameplay and systems stand on their own as engaging and fun over the course of the entire campaign. So, one of the most exciting changes we’ve made to our single player Streets mode this year is the ability to recruit and customize your very own Squad – from the one to the five, you decide who has your back going into every game.
When you first start up, you’ll be provided with a few basic players to get your team up and running. But, after that, it’s all on you to track down and earn the respect of NBA stars and legends and recruit them to your team.
Every one of the 14 venues throughout World Tour features a set of main tournament games. Work your way to the Final of a tournament at a given venue, and you’ll face off against a pro who’s come to defend his or her own home turf. Prove you’ve got what it takes to beat them, and they’ll agree to join your Squad for any future games where you might need the help.
Looking for a real rising star who can make a statement with his devastating dunks? Prove yourself over at Barry Farms and take on the Goodman League for a chance to recruit Victor Oladipo to your team, for example.
Want unparalleled three-point shooting and the power of a two-time MVP at your side instead? Look no further than the Kezar Pavilion, where Steph Curry’s squad will go head-to-head with your own.
Whoever you manage to recruit, it’s your call on how to make the best use of them. They’ll be critical to helping you progress throughout World Tour, so make sure you pick a squad that complements your own character’s strengths and weaknesses, or who can make a mean matchup against an opposing team that’s given you trouble in the past.
And don’t forget, once you’ve conquered the World Tour, your quest for global domination has really only just begun. In the recently announced Court Battles mode, you’ll be able to use any players you recruit from World Tour to attack opponents or defend your homecourt. Filling out your roster with a sizeable cast of basketball heroes will give you a big head start in your quest for Court Battles Icon status – so feel free to jump right in.
New Rules and Living Legends
With the ability to fine-tune who’s playing alongside you in every game, NBA LIVE 19 has also been able to add in more than a few unique bonus games and challenges that often shake up the standard rules of play.
For instance, throw down at the Hoop Dome arena in the “Air Canada” bonus game, where, not only will you face off against some the greatest dunking talent alive, but every vicious slam is worth five devastating points. Bring your own living highlight machines to outpace your opponents to the 35-point finish line or set up a squad of lockdown defenders who can keep the opposition from getting anywhere near the rim.
After that, share the rock down at Dyckman Park, where not only will shots off an assist be worth an extra point, but the Ball Hog rule is in full effect – anyone who holds onto the ball for too long will see the quality of their shot turn to dirt in a few seconds flat. Captain your team to keep things moving, though, and you’ll be one more game down on your path to world conquest.
In addition to the unique rule-bending bonus games, throwback challenges have also made their return to NBA LIVE 19. Like last year, AI and his peerless handles can still be found at Philly, this time teaching some tough lessons to newcomers who challenge Cherashore Park as one of their first venues in the World Tour.
Shaq also makes an appearance, playing at peak performance down at Venice Beach in LA. His squad is star-studded in their own right, so don’t expect any time to relax if you want to take them down.
Emerge victorious against either of those two, or any one of the other 14 total legends that headline their own games at venues across the globe, and you’ll be rewarded with some prime throwback gear in addition to the obvious bragging rights. These games offer a lot of fun what-if scenarios where you can pit your own team of greats against icons that shaped the sport itself over the years.
And while most have hung up their game-time sneakers for good, there might still be a few who are willing to lace up and play alongside your squad one last time.
We always want to push our players to mix up their strategies and try new things, but it’s even more important to us that those kinds of challenges end up being much more fun than frustrating. In pursuit of that, the NBA LIVE 19 team reworked a lot about how our bonus objectives are set up behind the scenes to make sure that for all of the in-game goals associated with each of the 70 games featured throughout the World Tour, essentially every single one falls neatly within the wheelhouse of your playstyle’s key abilities.
So, if you start the game off with an intimidating Rim Protector, you’ll be handsomely rewarded for demonstrating your mastery of the role by getting blocks and rebounds on defense. Playmakers will need to share the rock, sharpshooters will need to get open at the three-point line, and slashers will need to drive in and kill it up-close.
As you progress up through to the higher tiers of venues, the challenges will become more and more difficult as both your own skill and the abilities of your character grow. But they’ll always make sense for the playstyle you chose at the very outset. And if you decide to create a new player and restart the World Tour from the top? Those bonus objectives will be freshly tailored to your character every time.
Even the greatest heroes of the game could rarely do it all -- but what they did, they did without equal. Take that to heart as you work to forge your own legend on the world stage.
And that about does it for our look at the features in NBA LIVE 19’s new-and-improved World Tour mode. Talking personally for a second, I’m still one of the newer designers on the NBA LIVE team, and it was a huge honor to be trusted with design ownership over an entire mode of this scope and scale. The whole team, from leadership and QA to our artists and engineers, really helped make it a consistently fun and engaging experience that I’ve already had an awesome time playing from start to finish. Now it’s your turn!
Best of luck out there, and safe travels.
– Matt Owens
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