lalramdina's blog

The new-generation NBA looks great and makes numerous improvements, but it also introduces some new issues and does not address microtransactions.

Usually, when we play cross-generation games like this, we expect to see the exact same game on the shiny new boxes, only prettier. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21, on the other hand, take advantage of the opportunity to make the bold step forward that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions did not. Everything, from the jaw-dropping variety of presentation to the massive City that can be explored in MyPlayer, appears to be bigger and better. However, it does nothing to change the bad habits that have robbed the existing version of greatness: we're still stuck with pointless grinding, rotten pay-to-win microtransactions, and a slew of other issues that appear to be a direct result of NBA 2K21's ambition. There is a lot to be excited about, but, much like a fast-break dunk gone wrong, flash can be overshadowed by substance on occasion.

But, my goodness, it looks fantastic. Everything on the court – as well as everything that revolves around it – in NBA 2K21 is a technical marvel of engineering. The player models are incredibly detailed, to the point where I would frequently pause the game and watch a replay just to take it all in. It is truly impressive to watch the expressions of players change as they make contact with one another in the air or fight for position off the ball. Even outside of the players, the sidelines have taken on a much more alive and dynamic feel. It was one of the first things I noticed about NBA 2K21 after years of sitting courtside and watching static (or sometimes non-existent) movement. The unfortunate side effect of all of this realistic glitz is that when things go wrong, such as when a player stands at the free-throw line staring blankly into space, it appears even stranger than it would otherwise. Despite this, NBA 2K21 is an excellent representation of what the new generation of consoles is capable of in terms of graphics.

NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Best Shooting Badges

As a result of the improved AI, which makes the computer opponent more aggressive on defense, I'm finding that my computer opponents are setting up zone defenses quite early in the game. At long last, the commentary isn't very good; it pales in comparison to the animated commentary found in NFL 2K2. However, these minor criticisms are made because there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the game, and when compared to the competition - or, should I say, the lack of competition - NBA 2K2 is one of the most comprehensive sports games available on any console.

Keep playing if you've been addicted to Sega's hoop title; it's been improved and improved even more. If you're a new player looking for a really solid basketball simulation that is both intelligent and realistic, this is the game for you. For those looking for more run-and-gun excitement this year, consider one of the other options available, as NBA 2K3 is a game that will aggravate you if you are not prepared.