NBA 2K21 has made the jump to next-gen hardware, but do the PS5 and Xbox Series versions is a whole new game? Here, we reveal some hints about how the current-gen and next-gen versions will be different.
Let’s look at the key areas of the gameplay that have improved or been made better by next-gen tech.
The next-gen version of 2K21 takes all the goodness of the dribbling we experienced in the current-gen and envelops it with further control over your dribbling.
Skills on the sticks come back into play here as well. The speed you dribble with the right stick will control how slowly or quickly your player’s in-game pulls off their dribble moves. This delivers a whole new level of intricacy to dribbling, and this is where the skill gap comes back into play as well.
Next-gen shooting has received all the updates to allow shooting to return to a more balanced playing field. You choose from the game’s first launch if you want to go with shot aiming or shot timing. Improvements within shooting itself with the stick lend to more depth when using shot aiming, including ball trajectory.
Improvements here are so much more rewarding than they were on the current-gen. The battle between dribbler and defender feels more realistic. As much as the ball handlers have to work to get by you, you also feel like you have just as good of a chance to stop them on defense.
Not once playing did I feel that the ball would hit the rim and then fall to the hardwood for multiple bounces with no players in sight. I almost always see players who are in a position to have a chance at the ball tracking it and making the play to bring in the board, sometimes even getting into small self-tip battles.
With the addition of foot planting and improvements in size and weight recognition, the next-gen version of 2K21 plays incredibly well. You can see and feel the improvements over the current-gen almost instantly when you get into a game. Everything you do on the court feels better and more organic.
6). Impact Engine
With the introduction and execution of the Impact Engine, the 2K dev team has allowed contact and movement, both subtle and profound, to stand out and have their place in games as we see in real life. The dynamic that it brings to each game is amazing. We were apparently only capable of getting this on NBA 2K21 next-gen, and it’s been implemented quite well.
From the players to their uniforms, the commitment to detail is prevalent and the visual fidelity allows you to see the very materials that make up these objects. Sweat is the typical joke pointed at as an expression of graphical improvement in sports games, but in NBA 2K21 that’s simply the salty tip of the iceberg.
With next-gen consoles, animations’s taken to another level and gamers can experience some of the smoothest animations in a sports game, let alone NBA 2K. The game simply flows in a way that is captivating and adds to the overall sense of immersion when you are defending a game-winning shot or running out on the fastbreak.
The New Neighborhood
The next-gen version of The Neighborhood will not be the same, and it introduced the City. It is a massively robust experience for players to engage in, including RPG elements and the return of Affiliations. With the number of players on next-gen not currently as numerous as we’ll probably see in the upcoming months, if you have the luxury of being able to play in The City right now, you should take full advantage of it. It’s really something incredible to behold.
WNBA in Next-Gen
2K also confirms for the first time in the 2K series, and female MyPlayers can be made on the next-gen version of NBA 2K21. The introduction of WNBA MyCareer, MyWNBA, and The W, an online 3-on-3 experience, shows why we had to wait just a little longer to play these modes. On top of that, the WNBA gameplay feels great, and it might even be the most balanced gameplay in all of 2K21.
Greatly welcomed was the revamp and reworking of the MyPlayer Builder. Players now have full control over their builds, and we are no longer completely restricted to builds through pie charts. There are still some restrictions on things so that you can’t make a completely overpowered build, but some builds out there are pretty strong.
Speed & Weight
The next-gen version of NBA 2K21 does a great job at communicating the difference in weight and speed of players. Each athlete runs, jumps, and handles the ball differently, which helps add to the level of depth and strategy whenever players step out onto the court controlling their favorite player or team.
MyNBA Combines MyLeague and MyGM, and More
My favorite piece of the next-gen improvements comes in the form of the MyNBA franchise mode. This humongous mode combines MyLeague and MyGM and adds a set of new features. Tattoos on created players, options to include the Elam Ending, full G-League management, and more.
MyTeam Carryover Connects with Current-Gen
Current-gen player’s VC, 2K MT, and other MyTeam collections will transfer over to next-gen consoles. The mode appears to be mostly the same, however, there are at least a few new environments including a spot called the Pink Diamond Plaza in The City.
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