We are in the midst of a global pandemic and a new console release is coming. The NBA season is the most reversible of all time, and it ends just as the new NBA video game is due to appear.
So you don’t blame NBA 2K21 for playing it safe this year. Hell, end-of-life console sports video games are often made.
And that’s exactly what NBA 2K21 is doing, except for an equally big (and bold) change. All in all, this is an NBA 2K20 with slightly redesigned menus and the same modes you feel and love. However, it can be a completely different title if you’re interested in a bold (and frustrating) new shooting mechanic.
In recent years, shooting has been doomed to the right stick: I pull it down to start the shot, then shoot it at the exact time that matches the shooter’s height and shooting style. This year, 2K21 is trying to take the game forward, ostensibly to provide a more consistent online experience. The shot still started by pulling the right stick, but now the speedometer starts. You should hit the right trigger at just the right time to bring your jump down.
And yes, it's annoying. It’s a mechanic who should be more resilient online, be more resistant to delay and latency problems. It is also an important new part of learning. And if you’re not ready for it (or you’re not interested in learning it because you liked the old mechanic), it comes from nowhere. 2K21 really doesn’t explain that there was a new shooting mechanic in the beginning, so I spent five matches pondering where my three-point shot went and how suddenly it started to move everything.
Many other players were also very frustrated, but 2K21 was quickly modified, the game update made filming more friendly, and the change was announced initially (as it should have been at first). You can now choose a shooting mechanic when you start the game, either to return to last year’s settings or to try a new method.
It was a smart, fast and necessary change. I still like the classic photography method because it worked well and it rarely caused me problems online. However, the new photographic method is also effective, although it can be difficult to follow.
The new shooting mechanic is the only new chip for the game that other elders feel is almost identical to last year’s game. Playing on the field, regardless of the change in shooting, is exactly the same as a year ago, and that’s ok. It’s a smooth experience that lets you complete every mod, from submarines to gameplay, without leaving action inside the game.
You also get a number of facilities to keep you busy. You get the strongest franchise mode in the sport, Be A GM and Be a Player modes. Yes, micro-events are available all the time, but you don’t have to use any of them to get a lot of action from the game.
NBA 2K21 brings WNBA season mode again, which is also fun, even if you would like them to offer the same strong WNBA franchise mode they present to the NBA. And I still hope they let WNBA players land on the free NBA dealer pool and NBA list, just as they did when they had European leagues available.
However, all this sounds very familiar. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s also pretty familiar, as the lists are well, exactly the same as in the NBA 2K20. There are no beginners in this game, and since there is no free office demo, there are no new faces that are popular in new places.
All of this is understandable, but in many ways the only difference between 2K20 and 2K21 is that due to the presence of a new game, you won’t get a new official list in 2K20. If you don’t like the new shooting mechanic, this is the same game as last year, with new player headshots and a new cover star, Mrs. Lillard.
None of this makes NBA 2K21 a bad game. No, it’s the same great game as last year, the same great basketball experience as last year. It’s not just a necessary purchase, especially if you’re targeting the Xbox X or PlayStation 5.
This is a rare year when you can spend time filming NBA 2K21 and you don’t have to stop taking time and grab it now. NBA2king will provide you with quality service, we are here waiting for your arrival.