The Good, The Bad, And The Bottom Line In NBA 2K21 Next-Gen
2k21 next gen : Many people are questioning if buying the next-generation version of NBA 2K21 is worth it if they already own the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version, or if the game is any good at all.
I’ve played a lot of NBA 2K21 on the current generation, but I’ll admit that I played it with one foot out the door, waiting for the next-gen release.
I’ve had access to the next-gen version for a while now, and I’ve already spent a ridiculous amount of time playing it in various modes.
Let’s take a look at what’s good, what’s poor, and what the bottom line is for NBA 2K21.
Animations and graphics
Mostly Beautiful Visuals – Some of the renders and pictures are truly breathtaking.
Even screens of things, such as hands, legs, shoes, and so on, can trigger a longer double take than in prior games.
I’d read that 2K was considered the most gorgeous next-gen game by one of the console manufacturers, and I can see why.
With the exception of a few minor details that I’ll go over later, 2K on next-gen looks fantastic.
Because of system constraints for capturing, the majority of the footage you’ll see on YouTube don’t do the game justice.
On a 4K screen with HDR and the appropriate colour balance, it looks wonderful.
The Smoothest Basketball Animations Ever – The beauty isn’t limited to static images.
It’s incredible to watch the players and items on the court move. I felt like I was in the scene from American Beauty where Wes Bentley describes the floating plastic bag.
Basic movements and physics like those in 2K are awe-inspiring, albeit a touch over-dramatic.
Stunning Environments – I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the environments to round off the visual love.
They’re as lifelike as any sports video game I’ve ever seen.
The stadia appear to be living organisms, and if you’ve ever seen a live NBA game, you know how busy the building is while the players are on the field playing and the coaching staff is on the sidelines.
The rush and bustle is perfectly captured in 2K21 on next-gen, and it’s best enjoyed during the pre-game festivities.
Inconsistent Renders – Some of the player renders are straight ports from current-gen, and many of them weren’t very accurate on those platforms.
Some of the players with darker skin tones have been over-baked to the point that they appear almost unnaturally dark.
Perhaps some of this is due to HDR, which can enhance your picture’s black levels, but players like Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics and Taurean Prince of the Brooklyn Nets have had this problem.
However, it appears that assistance is on the way, as gamers are still being scanned.
Clipping is Still a Big Deal – One of the things I was hoping to see less of on next-gen was clipping.
Unfortunately, NBA 2K21’s next-gen edition has the same amount of passthrough as the current-gen version.
Don’t get me wrong: I realise that totally eliminating this is nearly difficult.
However, because clipping is such a widely discussed issue, I felt compelled to notify anyone who has yet to play the game that it is still present.
Gameplay, realism, and entertainment
Great Speed and Weight Expressions – I can feel the difference between the bigger people and the lesser guards now more than ever.
Different players run, dribble, jump, and handle the ball in different ways.
It’s difficult to express how critical this is for immersion. This is increased even more on the PlayStation 5 because to the haptic feedback provided by the controller.
Sound Rebounding Technology – 2K may have discovered the most realistic and balanced rebounding mechanism in the series’ history.
The easiest way for me to express this part of the game is to state that every time a player gets a rebound, I feel as if I understand how they got the ball.
The Winner is Impact Engine – There are two aspects of the game that I particularly enjoy.
One of these is the Impact Engine. The game’s numerous contact dunks, chucks, and other small collisions help to generate some of the game’s most exciting situations.
There are several excellent gameplay moments that can only be experienced on the next-gen edition as a result of this enhancement.
WNBA Gameplay Shines – You owe it to yourself to play a WNBA game if you want to witness the most fundamentally sound and pure concept of basketball in 2K.
The smoothness of the game comes from the fact that it is balanced and does not highlight the size or athleticism of the players in the W.
I’ve had just as much fun playing with Breonna Stewart, Candace Parker, and A’Ja Wilson as I have with the NBA’s greatest names.
This component of the game is as near to flawless as it gets. A Seattle Storm vs. Las Vegas Aces game may be seen at the 4:01:00 mark of the video below.
PARK PLAY IS BETTER THAN IT HAS BEEN IN YEARS – PARK PLAY is meant to be extravagant, but it’s at its finest when it’s still governed by some sort of basketball notion.
In NBA 2K21, it appears that 2K has established a much better balance in this area.
Where current-gen has flaws in some areas, 2K appears to have taken that information and community feedback and turned it into something special for next-gen.
The dribbling, physicality, and player-development adventures have rekindled my interest in a mode that has gone out of favour in recent years.
Shooting is more balanced – One of the major complaints many users had with the current-gen version was the shooting.
To put it bluntly, the majority of the 2K community had trouble shooting.
Some of the complaints could be attributed to whiners who simply want things to be simple, but others were valid.
Based on community feedback, 2K appears to have established the right balance for the next-gen edition.
The shot metre has been increased in size, and shot-aiming is still possible, but with even more control than before.
Dribbling is Fantastic – The dribbling was the other aspect of the game that I was most thrilled with.
It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of being able to control your movement speed.
It creates a true skill gap for those who are more skilled with the sticks than their colleagues, and when properly chained together with the right players, it can result in some of the most satisfying moments in the game.
Defense Isn’t as “Grabby” – Most of the improvements to the gameplay would be impossible to achieve in any mode if the action felt as “grabby” as it did in previous versions.
It’s not as simple to make the magnetic contact that stymied a ball-movement.
handler’s This had become the defensive meta in past years, but now it’s more about anticipation than riding the wave of a broken mechanism.
By no means ideal, but 2K has made some progress in terms of refining the contact balance between the ballhandler and the defence.
MyPlayer Building’s Leniency is Appreciated – The constraints placed on the building and upgrade process were one of the things that turned me off about the MyPlayer experience over the years.
Because 2K was trying to keep the game balanced for online play, there were so many constraints that it was no longer enjoyable.
Some of the limitations remain, but you now have significantly more power, allowing you to construct individuals who are simply more enjoyable to progress with.
AI Partners Continue to Make Horrible Decisions – In 5v5 gameplay, I’m still perplexed as to why my AI teammates make such poor choices.
They’re still not reacting effectively to double teams, and their spacing on offence is erratic. This can lead to some frustrating gameplay moments.
Ball Tangibility Requires Improvement – We’ll get to clipping in a minute, but that’ll be more about what happens with player bodies.
Ball tangibility is perhaps more important because it’s critical that when the rock is dealt with, contact is honoured and displayed in the game.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. I’ve seen a few passes go through players’ sides, across a guy’s shoe, and so on.
This doesn’t happen frequently enough to ruin the gameplay experience, but it happens frequently enough to warrant noting as a flaw.
In fact, it’s probably the most serious issue I have of the game on any level.
Presentation and Sound
Multiple Commentary Teams – The next-generation version features multiple commentary teams, each with special guests.
The audio presentation in games is kept fresh as a result of this. Many gamers rely on their Spotify playlists, but this is a wonderful addition for gamers like myself who enjoy the broadcast-style approach.
The Accurate Look and Sound of NBA Arenas – In addition to the realistic look of NBA arenas, there is also increased sound.
If you choose the broadcast option, you’ll hear a nice mix of floor sound effects, audience noise (which I miss in real life), and commentary.
Still No Appropriate Halftime Show – I’d love to see a halftime show where Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith provided commentary that complemented the highlights presented on the highlight reel.
On next-gen, it feels a little less random, but that won’t stop me from skipping through it.
Modes and Options
NBA 2K already offered the deepest franchise mode experience in sports video games with MyNBA.
They have blasted away everyone in a race they were already winning by integrating MyGM and MyLeague into MyNBA.
For a more comprehensive look at this mode, I recommend reading my essay on it, but trust me when I say it’s as amazing as it sounds if you’re a franchise mode lover.
Unrivaled Roster Building and Share Options – Roster creation and franchise mode go hand in hand, and both have experienced significant improvements.
The next-gen version allows fans to share their MyNBA sets and scenarios with others in the community, providing practically limitless replay value.
Every other sports gaming community envies what 2K franchise fans have at their disposal due to the level of customisation available in this family of modes.
The City is a Revolution – With The Neighborhood in 2017, 2K transformed the single-player sports experience.
The concept was great, however there were a lot of snags and complications in the beginning.
From a server-strength aspect, The City, which is significantly more expansive, may benefit from having far fewer consoles and players to cope with, it is functioning much smoother with an even larger environment.
The entire city is enormous, and it is said that walking around every inch of it takes roughly 45 minutes.
There are so many things to do in this world that it could be considered its own game.
Any other sport will find it impossible to match this level of technical innovation.
Affiliations Are Back, and This Time They Make a Lot More Sense – Affiliations are back, and this time they make a lot more sense.
The addition of social-media-driven Mayoral themes has given the notion a boost.
In addition, all players must begin their trip in Rookieville before being admitted to either neighbourhood, which adds a bit of an achievement element.
It’s difficult to fathom not loving these features if you’re a MyPlayer fan.
The WNBA Experience is Fantastic – The entire WNBA tile is jam-packed with goodies.
2K has done the ladies of the community proud, from the aforementioned gameplay brilliance to the introduction of the WNBA MyCareer experience, MyWNBA, and the online play of The W, which gives a 3-on-3 PARK-style vibe.
Although there is still opportunity for greater expansion, 2K has established itself as the most diverse sports video game franchise.
Offline CAPs Get Tattoos – For years, roster creators have wanted to add tattoos to offline generated players but haven’t been able to do it.
Thankfully, 2K has made it possible to add the same tatts to offline CAPs that are available in MyPlayer.
It may appear insignificant, but it is significant for this segment of the 2K community.
No WNBA Play Now Online Feature – As excellent as the full WNBA experience is, it lacks the ability to play an online exhibition match with a friend or another community user.
One-on-one play is available on the couch and on MyNBA Online, but not on a one-time basis.
Create-A-Player Requirements Improved Face and Hair Sculpting – Although the CAPs now have the ability to add tattoos, the face and hair sculpting in games like MLB The Show and, most notably, WWE 2K titles is still lacking.
By removing this section of the game, you’ll be able to take an already good part of the game to the next level.
No MyNBA Carryover Saves – The lack of this functionality in NBA 2K games appears to be a philosophical decision.
For whatever reason, 2K doesn’t seem to see the benefit in allowing franchise gamers to carry over their saves from one game to the next.
MLB the Show first debuted this feature around seven years ago, and its fans adore it. In this regard, 2K is still lagging behind.
MyCareer Story Should Be a Separate Mode – The Long Shadow isn’t an entirely different storey mode than what’s available on current-gen, but even if it were, it’d be better suited as a standalone and optional mode that players could play and complete for a hefty VC reward and perhaps a unique badge, but it should have a conclusion.
At this point, it appears that players are being compelled to play the mode rather than being given the chance to enjoy it for its cinematic characteristics.
MyTeam doesn’t have a Draft Mode, and the current-gen version has the most of the upgrades.
There are some new courts and venues on next-gen, but it’s essentially the same.
That’s not a bad thing, because the mode was put together with a lot of care on current-gen, and your VC and collection will carry over. The issue is what is still missing.
One of the most notable omissions is the lack of a draught mode. MyTeam may be the only sports collector mode without a draught component at this time.
In MyTeam, there is no salary cap mode. MyTeam still doesn’t have a salary cap mode, just like it doesn’t have a draught option.
By January, the mode will be flooded with Pink Diamond and Galaxy Opal cards, making gaming absurd.
A salary-cap option would go a long way toward resolving this problem, but it was omitted from the game, which is unfortunate.
This is the only other big difficulty that comes close to matching the ball-tangibility issue.
NBA 2K21 on next-gen is unlike anything else we’ve ever seen in terms of gameplay and depth.
It’s not simply about better graphics. In practically every area, there is more behind the hood.
This isn’t an ideal game. There is potential for development in a number of areas, but what it does well much outweighs the minor, and far simpler to overlook flaws.
On a new console, 2K has once again set the bar, and everyone else is playing catch-up.
It’s inspirational that this game was created amid a pandemic.