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Video games: NBA 2K21, impressions of a 5 major rookie!

Oct-03-2020 PST

It is in the midst of the final phase of the NBA Playoffs that the new version of the most complete and cutting-edge sports simulation on the market is making its comeback. Not an expert in basketball or even basketball at all, so I approached this version of 2K21 with a rookie eye familiar to sports games for ages without losing my critical eye on what it could have done. propose in the past. Here are my impressions of a rookie, Air Jordan on the feet and pad in hand.


For any novice to basketball games, it is important to understand the tour de force achieved by the series developed by Visual Concept by relegating to the substitute bench the historic license of Electronic Arts NBA live, present on the market for more than 20 years. In 2000, NBA 2K was however a simple palliative for Dreamcast players who could not enjoy NBA live and an alternative to the game of Electronic arts on other media. In 20 years, the series has progressed and has now handily surpassed the game of EA for many years. If live NBA players could find their pleasure in the arcade side of the title, 2K has always strived for an approach more dear to purists. The cutting-edge, technical and exhaustive simulation which has been refined year after year!

At first glance, the gameplay of the title can make you dizzy for the uninitiated. The game is ultra-complete and requires constant concentration. The first direction you will need to go will be 2KU. The game's training room where you can familiarize yourself with the full range of movements available to the game: pass, bell pass, pass to the ground, fake shot, double step, shot with the board, different dunks, defense, movement with or without the ball is very complete and very well explained by a joystick diagram and the possibility of repeating the sequences endlessly until you have mastered the moves. With or without opposition in front according to the movements to be worked. The shoot has been changed this season which may tend to disturb regulars. In my case of newbie with the franchise, no problem on my end.

Once you have understood the basics of the game, you will be able to perform a short practice match which will be the synthesis of everything you have learned. The best way not to jump headlong into a high-stakes game or a serious setback awaits you. However, be careful not to see yourself as a new MVP too quickly, once the basics of basketball have been learned, a knowledge of the qualities of the players on your team will also be a plus to make the most of them. In NBA 2K, there is no room for arcade and chance. Each player has their own qualities and do not ask a pivot to shoot at three points or it is immediate "air ball" that awaits you. As your talent asserts itself on the floors, 4 difficulty modes are available to you for your matches: Rookie Debutant Pro, All Star and Hall Of Fame. Everything is fully configurable to push the realism closer to a real NBA meeting. Length of quarters, removal of assists and different gauges The possibilities are as usual immense to reinforce the immersion in the matches.


As always in 2K the content for those who discover the license is impressive As long as you stick to the series, the lifespan will seem unlimited. Regulars of the franchise will find the great classics with My League, personalized or with the original teams. In the new department this year, the 12 women's teams of the WNBA are arriving. You will be able to play a full season of 82 matches or less and those in a hurry can only play play-offs to experience the high-stakes games at the end of the season. The less reckless will have the opportunity to play quick matches locally, against the CPU on an NBA floor or on the asphalt of the neighborhood. Added to this is My GM Season where you will take command of the team as the manager of the franchise of your choice, My Online Season or My Team with its game of virtual cards to be collected via the virtual currency of the game ( VC) or many hours await you.

Big advantage of 2K, the My Career mode where you create your own avatar and follow the course of it from college to the NBA is still present. In a scripted story that includes real actors like Jesse Williams, whose second video game appearance after Detroid Become Human and Jim Hounsou as coach Henry Bishop. This always nice game mode allows you to appreciate the efforts that sports franchises and especially the title of Visual Concept have now made in recent years to offer something that goes beyond the sequence of simple matches. Even though the story may seem a bit cliché at times, this fad is still notable and progresses with each passing year. This time you will be Junior, the son of a former great basketball star who will have to take on the legacy of his name and write his own story.

A storyline already seen mostly in sports backstory movies but still refreshing when it comes to a video game. In this mode, a companion app on your mobile phone will allow you to create a character that looks like two drops of water thanks to the precise scan of your face in several easy steps. A technology that once again must spread to all sports titles on the market and beyond. Having the opportunity to be included in a game enhances the immersion in it. It's a certainty. A challenge facing the next generation of game consoles. It will then be up to you to allocate the basic skill points to your foal, to fill in his identity card and to choose his signature movements in match.


One of the great qualities of the title is this season is intact. The grandiose atmosphere of the matches of the biggest world basketball championship is always there. The pre-match intros and David Aldridge's interviews on the edges of the floor punctuate this atmosphere, as well as the half-time tv show in the company of Shaq and the two specialists who analyze the statistics of the meeting as well as the spectacular replays. A selection of highlights and the men's sequences of the match and pass from the match once again reinforce this impression of television broadcasting. We literally experience the great American sports show with cheerleader shows, dunk contests and ubiquitous product placements. The matches are commented in the original American version with as always a lot of accuracy and sometimes that little grain of madness when the game ignites.


Technically, the title has changed very little and remains within these standards of irreproachable quality. The game is a benchmark in the field both in terms of the modeling of athletes recognizable immediately up close but also in matches by their particular gestures. Unsurprisingly, the result is ultra-fluid, beautiful to cry despite very complete menus that can sometimes lack sparkle.


While the very season to which he was to succeed is barely ending. This version 2K21 offers regulars of the series the minimum union by destabilizing some by the modification of the way of shooting which is the subject of much debate. To see a real evolution of the franchise, we will therefore have to wait for the PS5 or Series X versions which will certainly only be cosmetic with the addition of the famous raytracing. Adding SSDs will improve the gaming experience by avoiding sometimes slow loads on standard PS4. The upgraded version of the title will soon be possible on next gen consoles under certain conditions which have certainly made players react. For the future, the 2K22 opus will hit the floors with probably one year of existence of next gen consoles and will have the heavy task of bringing a new course to the title which remains for any novice a quality reference for fans of the orange ball. Until then, even as it is, 2K21 remains king in the racket.