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NBA 2K21 on PS5: First Reality Impressions



I’m especially excited to play NBA 2K21 on PS5 as this is one of the few next-generation launch games that are being built specifically for the new console. Yes, 2K21 is out now on PS4, but the next generation version of the popular basketball sim is a new, built-from-scratch version that has unique technologies, modes, and features. Developer Visual Con Concept has taken the same next generation approach last time with NBA 2K14, and the PS4 version finally got pretty straightforward next to that year’s PS3 game. Not with 2K21. It has everything in the current generation version and beyond, including a bold new City mode and deeper WNBA integration. But first, let’s talk about the most exciting part of sports game̵
7;s generation transition: the graphics. The native 4K / 60fps presentation in NBA 2K21 is impressive. Out of the dozens of titles released on both the PS5 and Xbox Series X, this might be the first game you fire up to showcase the power of your new next-generation console. Animation is much better, with leg planting and gaining momentum being the main areas of improvement. Players now also go through the procedural steps instead of just box animations, which results in less “skating”.

NBA 2K21 PlayStation 5 Screenshot

Of course, the players’ faces are more detailed than ever, and it’s worth noting that now the others look much better, too, from the crowd (there’s finally kids in it!) Until the referee, the people in the scoresheet, the dance team, the mascot, the mop boy, the cameraman, the security guard, etc. Visual Conception said they added custom AI processes for 150 NPCs in the bowl low of the arena. More obviously, they’ve even added an entire second-game broadcast team led by Brian Anderson and Grant Hill.

The entire interface of NBA 2K has a much more holistic feel than the current generation versions.


In short, the entire interface of NBA 2K has a much more holistic feel than current generation versions. 2K Studio Art Director Anton Dawson told me that the team has a whole new set of tools for scanning player faces and arena lighting, and they’ve been working on the next generation version since mid too. development program 2K20. In short, everything about how players were brought into the game and then rendered and lighting has changed and you can see the results on the screen.Outside of simulation, the big new idea for NBA 2K21 next generation is City. It’s billed as the next step after Neighborhood and it’s a truly open world, where you can walk around, join one of four branches and compete in one-on-one (or group) events. bigger). You walk, skateboard or cycle around it. There are shops, pick-ups, etc. There’s even a FourSquare-esque feature that lets you run for mayor of each county, complete with in-game voting locations for voting every six weeks when the New elections are held. The four mayors would then manage the appropriate soundtracks, design the courts of their branches and customize the look and feel of their district. Hundreds of players will come back and forth at a given time, although when I jumped into the preview build, only a few QA testers were figuring out. Still, it’s an attractive feature if Visual Concept can pull it off successfully.

Cities are an attractive feature if Visual Concept can pull it off successfully.


The new 2K also doubles WNBA integration. You now have a full MyPlayer career mode, along with a full online tournament option. I played a bit as the Phoenix Mercury, or my only professional Arizona sports team that is truly capable of winning the championship, and certainly these women move differently and play differently. to men, as they should. The Visual Con Concept validation here seems to be correct, which 2K says is due to the women and men on the team, the big WNBA fans.And back on the men’s side, MyCareer offers a new story mode called Long Shadow, which introduces the G League as another major career path option besides college. Ironically, various enemies from the MyCareer modes of previous years will return here as teammates on your G League team, complete with plenty of out-of-court dramas that are bound to be. follow.

It will be interesting to see how the new beginnings of NBA 2K21 on the next generation come together. My practice period is very encouraging, but things like The City will need to be experienced with a full and dynamic community of real-life players. NBA 2K21 will launch on Xbox Series X on November 10 and on PS5 on November 12.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Preview Executive Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, pick him up on Unlocked and drop him a Taylor Ham burger from New Jersey whenever possible.




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