NBA 2K21 Review: Great Update!

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Steven L. Ken
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September has arrived and, with it, also the new Visual Concepts basketball title. Let's see if NBA 2K21 has exceeded our expectations or looks like a real airball, in our review

We tell you the truth. You want because the last chapter did not surprise us, or because it is a cross-gen title that then (as it obviously is) will give its best with the release on PS5 and Xbox Series X, we started quite biased. These prejudices, however, did not arise by chance, but dictated by the developers who for some years now have shown themselves lazy in wanting to bring news.



Starting from the assumption that it is a sports title and, therefore, cannot be distorted or changed too much, let's see why we made this premise, in our review of NBA 2K21.

My name is Junior

Among the various categories that have been present for several years now such as "My LEAGUE", "My GM" or "Play Now", we started our test with the backbone of the title: My career. After a precise and complex creation of the character that will determine not only the role to be filled, but also the own style of play and the build of the character, we will be ready to begin what will be a (not so short) narrative parenthesis that will precede our debut in the NBA.

We will be the protagonists of the plot, Junior: the son of a famous collegiate champion who has now passed away for some time. In all sincerity, although it is not a plot at the levels of TLOU and is in some ways similar to the previous chapters, Junior's story didn't displease us at all. The greater longevity and much more "human" dialogues made us appreciate the collegial rise that leads to the real landing in the most famous basketball league in the world.



Furthermore, the arrival in the NBA will allow us to start playing in the Neighborhood. In this chapter it looks like a sort of Venice Beach with an area full of playgrounds to challenge other players, as well as some streets where you can buy shoes, upgrades and so on.

Take the Field - NBA 2K21 Review

Spitting on the pitch in our first High School game with Junior, we realized how something had changed. Let's talk first of the shooting mode. To shoot, in fact, a bar will pop up horizontally on the player's head and we will have two ways to conclude. The first is the classic seen in previous chapters and consists of hold down the square button (on PS4), and then release it at the right time. The second method, on the other hand, consists nell'direct the right stick so that it perfectly centers the indicator, holding it steady.

Although it has aroused some suspicion in the community, once you get used to the new release it will be more difficult than in 2K20 (or in the previous ones), but it is a price to pay that helps to make the title more realistic and more meritocratic based on the player who c 'and behind. The most faithful imprint to reality, however, is not dictated solely by the shooting method, but also by movements more suited to the type of player and a damn more reactive defensive approach.


Actions that were previously concluded from the start, with players running on the counterattack and scoring easily, in NBA 2K21 they are not (or at least not all). Not only shots are contested much better, but now the point guards will also play their part in defense, managing, for example, to snatch the ball from the hands of a center in the general crowd. Obviously, we are not talking about the perfect and improved gameplay from all fronts, but the various tricks and the elimination of some animations that made the title sometimes unplayable have made the experience much more enjoyable.


Those are my boys! - NBA 2K21 Review

The new chapter does not present any news only in terms of gameplay. The mode with the most additions is undoubtedly "My team". In this mode we will have to create our teams, player after player and challenge after challenge. To rejuvenate everything a bit, making progress more dynamic, is the new level system, la Limited mode, the various agenda to complete and the new reward system.

By playing the various matches against other users, in fact, we will be rewarded with experience points aimed at making us advance in level, unlocking prizes. Everything is divided into seasons and, once the season is over, we will return to level 0, ready to unlock new items and players.

La Limited mode consists of facing matches against other players, but it will impose some rules that your team will have to respect. Available only on weekends, by winning the various games you will have to find a ring and, if you get them all, you will win the player whose turn it is. Of course, you can only unlock one ring per week and the rules will change from time to time. In addition to agenda which are challenges to complete in order to get rewards, the Unlimited mode will reward you with cards that start from the emerald color up to go up according to the yield.


Although it remains a possible pay-2-win, all these modes allow the user to earn credits and get players thanks to their commitment, increasing the challenge and, consequently, the fun.

 

Graphic, sound and… online sector - NBA 2K21 review

Without mincing words, the graphics sector of NBA 2K21 is the same as last year. Everything is clean, with few effects to make the title run at its best. The faces are always made in an excellent way, as are the arenas: with attention to the smallest details and with their own sound effects. Not at the top various kinematics that go to make up the plot in My Career, which are very sparse. It is clear, if for the current gen we did not have big claims and it was obvious that it was so, in the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions we expect a really important qualitative leap and in the tests we will be more critical.


As always, the soundtrack of the title proposed by Visual Concepts and 2K it is always a cut above all, with names such as The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Juice WRLD and so many others. Not only musically speaking but, as mentioned before, all game sounds are studied and are truly faithful to reality, as if we were ourselves on the parquet of an arena.

As for the online modalities, based on the experience we have had, the Netcode seemed much improved to us compared to last year where, especially in the period following the release of the game, there were continuous disconnections and very persistent LAGs. The team has certainly worked on the infrastructures, in order to make everything more stable and efficient.

Sound the siren, game over!

If we were to describe NBA 2K21 in a nutshell we would compare it to a veteran who, having taken the field in the final stages of his career (perhaps in an important match such as a game 7 in the playoffs), tries to give his best, squeezing as much as possible. Although the old hen makes good broth (as LeBron teaches), however, we are looking for a real breath of fresh air, hoping that the next-gen versions can give us bread for our teeth.

We remind you that if you intend to buy one of the new generation consoles and NBA 2K21, the Mamba Edition which will contain, in addition to the game and various bonuses, a code to redeem the title on PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Nba 2K21 Edition Mamba Forever - PlayStation 4 [Edition: France] 99,99 EUR Buy on Amazon8 Waiting for the next-gen

Points in favor

  • Fun and with more content
  • More responsive defenses and better animations
  • Stronger Netcode

Points against

  • This is a real update of the predecessor
  • Always present microtransactions
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