Developer Joycity is no stranger to freestyle basketball games on the PC, but for the first time, the developer is making the jump to consoles with its newest entry, 3on3 Freestyle. 3on3 Freestyle is a basketball game that focuses on getting a group of friends together to play some good ol’ couch co-op. During the PlayStation Experience last week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the game and I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw.
3on3 Freestyle exudes style with everything it does. Every character was bursting with a unique and interesting personality, which really helped to elevate the game past what I normally expect from a sports game.
I am a huge proponent of local co-op in games, which seems like an aspect that is fading from the gaming world in many areas, so I was delighted to see how prominent the feature is implemented in 3on3 Freestyle. When I was talking with the developers, they made it clear the game is meant to be played in a group environment when they told me, “You bring the pizza, I’ll bring the game.”
The team aspect on the game’s 3 vs 3 mode, which is the game’s main mode and the one that I got to play, far surpassed my expectations. Hearing the reaction of your teammates and the opponents when one of you makes a three point shot or an alley-oop was a wonderful experience. The 3 vs 3 mode supports up to six players online and up to 3 players locally, but if you want to get some practice in before playing on a team, the game does come with a 1 vs 1 mode.
In 3on3 Freestyle, unlike other basketball video games, you will only be able to play one character at a time, as opposed to the more common method where you play as an entire team and control whichever player currently has the ball. I have seen this feature in some games before, but it has never been something that drew me in. After playing 3on3, I might have changed my mind. This method clearly benefits 3on3 Freestyle, which is a game that is suppose to be very accessible and easy to learn. Being able to focus on a single player and their position helps you improve your skills much quicker, and in a game that doesn’t have actual basketball stars in it, this method definitely helps you to connect more with a particular character, who you can then upgrade by using the game’s level up system to make even more unique to you.
During my time with the game I learned the hard way that team selection is one of its most important aspects. Each character has their own skills and abilities, as well as a position they play, I played as two point guards, Helena and Cindy. While my team was easily winning early on, when we got a chance to switch characters during halves I didn’t make the best choice and our opponents quickly caught up. To get back in the game we had to call a timeout, at which time we were able to switch characters again. Luckily we were able to hold them off to win the match with a one point lead.
3on3 Freestyle is out now on PS4.