For years, playing the latest NBA 2K release seemed to be presented with a cubic zirconia ring. Every year your partner tells you the diamond is coming, but instead it's just a ring bigger and brighter than cubic zirconia.
"NBA 2K21" summarizes this.
Rather than correcting issues that spoiled previous versions of the game - like routinely blowing up open settings while playing online - 2K tries to distract players from actual issues with silly fuzz like adding 'realistic' drops of sweat to Zion Williamson's face, a wide variety of tattoos and a new location Great beach.
Also striking as an outrageous thing for the franchise that has already been criticized for little change during the year is that due to the COVID-19 delay in the 2019-2020 season, even the listings are the same as "NBA 2K20". There isn't even the thrill of getting your hands on the upcoming entry-level class. Instead, you get a lot of the same experience you had a year ago, and you have to pay for the privilege.
I'm not here to say that "NBA 2K21" isn't worth your money, but the value of "2K21" largely depends on whether you plan on upgrading to the latest PlayStation and/or Xbox later this year. console. If you do, there is no point in investing in "NBA 2K21" now, even if you want to release Mamba with Kobe Bryant on the cover.
If you're like me and don't know when to plan on buying the next generation of consoles, but still need a way to get the buckets you've been craving since your high school career ends very soon - "NBA 2K21 "is more than satisfying. If not, the best step is probably to wait for a real next-generation release, rather than just a "2K21" upgrade. While we all understand the difficulties involved in creating a new game amid a global pandemic, 2K hasn't reduced a price drop for gamers this year ($ 60 for the base version, $ 100 for the Mamba edition, which is an upgrade to the next generation of consoles when it comes out in November). Players shouldn't spend that on what was essentially rebuilt from "NBA 2K20".
With all that in mind, here are the things I noticed after playing the game:
Sights and sounds
As usual, "NBA 2K21" provides an enjoyable experience for both eyes and ears by capturing the cultural atmosphere of the NBA. The way fans cheer and interact with in-game plays, like Alex Caruso tickling the strings with three deep ones, perfectly repeats what it's like to watch Bald Mamba do its job at Staples Center.
However, the in-game commentary appears to have been recycled from "2K20". For example, while playing with the Raptors, there are several interview scenes and jerky comments about Kawhi Leonard's absence that formed a lot of in-game talk from the previous episode. Hopefully, that will be updated once the 2019-2020 season is officially over.
2K The Neighborhood (an online MyCareer feature) has given a major facelift this time around. Instead of the usual dark background of the inner city, this year the district is situated on the coast. The design is a little weird to navigate, but the neighborhoods aesthetic makes it a sight to behold and a welcome change from last year's sickening 'casino in town' theme.
The Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard did an exceptional job with the soundtrack. A full rap playlist contains enough sub-genres [pop rap, rap rap, etc.] so that most players on the go don't have to use their Spotify playlists on the go. One caveat: The pandemic issue of Dwayne Wade, the “season ticket holder” Rick Ross pops up every time, needs to be muted.
WNBA's features continue to grow
Despite the inability to create a female MyPlayer - although this is rumored to change in the next generation release - 2K has made a concerted effort to create a greater WNBA presence in the game. Like last year, players can play one full WNBA season, but unlike last year, players' appearance and dimensions can be changed in this mode.
The overall feel for WNBA is looking a lot smoother this year, and the game does a good job of introducing new audiences to players and the styles and teams that make up the W.
New photography option
2K introduced a new Pro Stick shooting option, prompting users to focus their energy on the right target versus the right version when using the traditional X, Square, or right stick options.
The new option initially wreaked havoc on players' shootout ratios and inspired 2K to release a game patch for lower game levels, but just like getting virtual coins (VC, in-game currency), NBA 2K21 MT and badges, when you're ready to grind, you start to see the benefits.
I still prefer the traditional firing action [X, square and right stick], but if I kept losing the wide open trios, despite a 3-point rating of 86, on an early or slightly late release, I might create a permanent key.
MyCareer mode is my favorite and most played the part of NBA 2K. As a result, most of my frustrations about this year's game lie in it.
For starters: After spending over 30 minutes trying to convince my gamer to repeat the masterpiece that greets me in the mirror every day (taking the liberty of giving myself an 11-inch growth spurt) is the last what I want to do, jump on another very interesting story From the story of Spike Lee Joint. But this is exactly what awaits you.
In this year's iteration, MyPlayer convinced high school basketball coach [Djimon Hounsou] to return to solid wood after your father's death [Jesse Williams] [We don't know how or why he died]. From there, you'll work your way from an unknown high school player to the NBA.
The extra playability in high school and the extra school options are a nice touch. But the story lacks structure and contains many unanswered questions to make the gameplay worthwhile.
For example, why do you and your parents look at the same age? Why does a strange basketball blogger get on your team bus and follow you all over campus and nobody seems to care? Why does the aforementioned blogger admit that she insults you online because she doesn't want to risk her career writing positive things while you're bankrupt? Why would a man who seems so kind and friendly to you be your nemesis? Why does your college girlfriend look like blogger twins? Why contract the random boy next door who is banned from playing basketball in college for illegal activities as your agent? Why did you and your opponent have No. 1 and No. 2 drafted by the same team? The anomaly persists even after that list.
To make matters worse, the players were ruled less than usual. Aside from choosing your school destination and playing 8-10 games as fun, you're actually watching a movie made for BET.
Fortunately, after the story is done creating, the story ends and returns to the traditional method of getting badges and VC that have made 2K fun to play over the years. But here's the problem if you're planning to upgrade to a next-gen version of the game: while migrating MyTeam to the PS5 / Series X, all MyPlayer progress will be lost.
One final complaint: For whatever reason, all scenes cut from MyPlayer during press conferences or in-game interviews with David Aldridge have been canceled. This is bad, as these elements added an extra bit of realism to the game that they were really missing now that they're gone.
When Kobe Bryant was announced as the third NBA 2K athlete earlier this year after his tragic death, NBA fans around the world raved about the possibilities. I was excited to think that there would be a list of challenges, similar to what Michael Jordan received when he hit the cover of "NBA 2K11". Instead, the Mamba edition gives users a handful of no-nonsense in-game tokens such as 100,000 virtual coins, 10,000 MyTeam points, MyTeam packs, and access to a pair of Bryant T-shirts and shoes for MyPlayer to play sports. As previously mentioned, the Mamba edition offers an upgrade to the next-generation console, so you don't have to buy another copy for the PS5 or Series X ... but you'll have to pay an extra $ 40 when some free game franchises next allow generation upgrades.
It might have been expected that 2K would add a full challenge mode to pay homage to the previous Lakers legend during the pandemic, but if you're going to charge an extra $ 40 for the Mamba version over the standard version, your users should be more to give. Aside from the next generation upgrade, there are no real savings or value. 2K does not offer the 100,000 VC package, but if you were to manually purchase a similar amount of virtual currency based on the options available (75,000 VC for $ 19.99 plus 35,000 VC for $ 9.99), you can get most buy free content that comes with the Mamba version.
All of this makes the current "NBA 2K21: Mamba Edition" seem more like an attempt to tap into the NBA fans' love for Kobe than a celebration of his life, especially when you consider that Kobe was the cover athlete in the Legend edition in 2017.
The truth is, it doesn't make much sense to buy something that is essentially a copy of "NBA 2K20". But that doesn't mean there is no reason to do so. With "2K21" now and looking for actors, you will be better equipped and have better skills to play online. Even if you want to make up for the lost time and buy a way to get a better rating, you won't master the game mechanics to make you an efficient player.
That's really not a good reason to drop $ 60. And the rest of the new offering in "2K21" doesn't offer much reason either. Most people should wait for the next-gen consoles to land and then spend money on "2K21" (hopefully update).
For a series where it's always hard to find reasons to buy the latest edition of the franchise, "NBA 2K21" offers fewer than usual for now.