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NBA 2K21 Preview

/ Aug 28th, 2020 No Comments

NBA 2K21 Preview

When you make an annual sports game, it can be hard to differentiate from year to year. A short development window leaves little time to make major changes. However, NBA 2K21 took advantage of its development time to make significant changes to MyCareer and overhaul The Neighborhood.

The current-gen version of the game is due to launch on Sept. 4. When it does, players will be able to visit 2K Beach, a new setting for The Neighborhood that takes heavy inspiration from the beaches of Los Angeles. Swag’s, the NBA Store, The REC and all of the previous spots from the virtual community are back, but they’re located in a vibrant environment that looks like a combination of Venice Beach and Santa Monica. A trailer for 2K Beach, which can be seen below, showcases the new environment, complete with an in-game mural dedicated to the late Kobe Bryant.

Before you enter 2K Beach, you’ll go through the MyCareer narrative, which features a much different plot than last year’s version. This time around, you’ll literally be following in the footsteps of a former NBA star. As Junior, your character will be the son of an NBA great and you’ll play through high school and college games before making the leap to the pros. MyCareer features 10 potential colleges to attend, including UCLA, UConn and Villanova.

Actors Jesse Williams and Djimon Hounsou are among those portraying roles in the narrative, and you’ll also link up with cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson. The choices you make during the story-driven portion of MyCareer will have a lasting impact. For example, signing with a certain agent will allow you to gain fans when playing games in The Park, and you’ll also be able to choose when to enter the draft. Once you’ve completed the narrative, you’ll find earning badges isn’t so much of a grind this time around. In order to make it easier to unlock badges, developers sped up the badge point system by about 15 percent.

2K has previously discussed in detail the decision to remap the Pro Stick and bring back shot aiming for NBA 2K21. Developers say this adds an element of skill that rivals the game’s real-life counterpart and creates more balanced, responsive gameplay. Admittedly, it may take some getting used to, but ultimately, developers say the controls will feel more responsive.

Related: NBA 2K21 Courtside Report Details Gameplay Updates

No mode has been overlooked for this iteration. MyTeam will now feature Seasons and limited time game modes with special conditions like using only Bucks and Lakers players. MyGM features several community-requested updates and a boom or bust progression system where users could make or break their players’ careers.

A demo is available now, but players can expect more polished gameplay when NBA 2K21 releases for current-gen consoles on Sept. 4.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
Ryan Bloom

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