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3on3 Freestyle is an upcoming basketball simulation game being developed by Joycity for the PlayStation 4. The game is designed for a multiplayer and online experience. Players will have the option to play with up to 3 other players in local multiplayer to challenge other players online. 3on3 Freestyle is meant to simulate street basketball in particular. In a post on Sony’s PlayStation blog, the process for development of the game and its aesthetic, stylistic goals are listed, that post can be read here.
Essentially, 3on3 Freestyle is meant to satisfy the sensibilities of both people who play pickup basketball and those who have a long history playing sports games. Although the cartoony look of the game may suggest otherwise, the basketball aspect of the game is taken very seriously. As Joycity puts it, “We wanted to challenge ourselves to build a truly authentic street basketball game experience for everyone.” Joycity is definitely a company with the potential to do this, after all they have previously developed 2 other basketball simulation games: Freestyle and Freestyle 2, as well as a soccer simulation game Football Freestyle ZZ. 3on3 Freestyle is currently holding a closed beta and people can sign up for that here. 3on3 Freestyle is also set to be released in Q4 2016 as a free to play game on the PlayStation 4.
There are also a variety of features of 3on3 Freestyle that have been revealed. The game will revolve around a massive online multiplayer community, essentially making it like a basketball MMO. 3on3 Freestyle will be powered by the Unreal Engine. There is a diverse cast of characters with their own unique abilities and the combinations of which will create unique team experiences. The characters are as diverse in playstyle as they are in appearance. The playstyles are meant to reflect the real life roles that are present in pick-up basketball, ex: A rim protector, lock down defender, 3-point ace, etc. New character skills can also be unlocked as the player progresses in the game as well as new features.
A game like this definitely harkens back to the early 2000s, when games like this were most prominent. While those games like: NBA Street, NBA Ballers, and the immortal NBA Jam, were different not only because of their inclusion of the likenesses of real life ball players but also because these games were about being as over the top as possible. 3on3 Freestyle seems to be going in the other direction and it will be interesting to see how the finished product turns out.