NBA Elite 11 to Include Standard Controls Alongside New Analog Set

EA Sports put out three more screens of the newly renamed NBA Elite 11, and series producer David Littman - you might recognize that name from NHL 10 - gave an interview explaining how the new controls will work.

Littman told GameSpot that NBA Elite will include a standard button control set for those comfortable with playing basketball that way, but vowed that "you won't want to when you see the freedom that the new controls give you."

How it breaks down, generally speaking, is the left analog stick is the controlled player's feet, and the right is his hands. In addition to re-emphasizing the dribble to beating a defense, Littman says it empowers you to play even tougher D on your own, a part of the game that hasn't been fully served, if at all, in past iterations."You can track an opponent from behind and do a LeBron-like block off the backboard," Littman said.

NBA Elite 11 to Include Standard Controls Alongside New Analog Set

Shooting is mapped to the right analog stick and, while it is skill based, will still have some attribute ratings affecting the outcome. You move the right stick up to start the shot and release the stick to release the ball. A straight up motion will be a straight shot; missing left or right misses the shot in that direction, too, but it allows for deliberate bank shots. Additionally, there will be a "sweet spot" range governing accuracy at the top of the stick, which will be narrower for poor shooters, wider for good shooters, and will still depend on distance from the basket. This is all so that shooting doesn't become purely a skill-based act.

Littman mentioned EA Sports' baseball series transformation from the lackluster Triple Play series to the acclaimed MVP Baseball as a kind of template for what the publisher is doing with its NBA franchise, which has lagged NBA 2K for several years and, while it improved last year, still sold poorly.

NBA Elite 11 to Include Standard Controls Alongside New Analog Set

And regarding the game's rivalry, and often public feuding with NBA 2K, Littman's evidently told the team to cut that out and keep its mind on making a better game.

"We are in this business to make great games, not to get involved in public bickering. It might be one of the reasons that basketball games have been left behind in this generation," Littman told GameSpot. "Metacritic numbers are lower than other sports. The gamers and the reviewers have spoken with their words and their wallets. That ends this year with NBA Elite 11. The first thing I said when I came onto NBA was that we are fighting the wrong battle. We need to be comparing ourselves to FIFA, NHL, and MLB The Show."

NBA Elite 11 Q&A with David Littman [GameSpot]