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NBA 2k21 What’s New and Demo Review

NBA 2k21 is Almost here and why am I not excited? NBA 2k21’s release date is making its way to us and there’s a lot that’s being addressed. Problems from 2k20 are potentially going to get fixed or so we hope. NBA 2k Gameplay Director Mike Wang released some vital information on his blog and I must say some of the stuff being added in the game scares me. 

Pro Stick

In the past, we have been used to holding the pro stick in any direction to release a jumper, but in NBA 2k21 it’s a lot different. You hold the pro stick in the direction you want for a brief moment, then rotate it to 12 o’clock to find an ideal aim point. In other words, shooting will rely on the player more than relying on the pro stick to do the work. It will take more effort to time your own shot. This will create more balance and again separate beginners from experienced players. 

Jump ShotXbox – Hold down RS
PS4 – Hold down R3
Escape Dribble MovesXbox – Hold RS left or right
PS4 – Hold R3 left or right
Signature Size-UpsXbox – Hold RS up
PS4 – Hold R3 up
Quick 1-to-1 Dribble MovesXbox – Tap RS
PS4 – Tap R3
Quick Momentum Dribble MovesXbox – Tap RS w/ sprint held down
PS4 – Tap R3 w/ sprint held down

DemiGods

Buckle up because it’s back and according to Mike Wang it’s all Damian Lillard’s fault. To me this is not a good look and I hope that 2k has their act together and can control all the problems I can see brewing. 

The biggest problem for years was the era of ‘DemiGods’ and the difficulty it took to contain them in the park. For those who don’t know what a DemiGod is, then you haven’t been playing 2k long enough to understand the frustration behind it. These 6’8 point guards did EVERYTHING from shooting lights to rebounding at the highest clip possible. It made many gamers quit playing 2k all together. Now can you see the correlation as to why this being back scares me? 

In other terms, doesn’t this mean we will see 7’7 centers? For bigs like myself I can only wonder if they will be dominant or if 2k will contain their dominance. Overall, if this stays true, being a small big man will soon become non reliable. Are we seeing NBA 2k21 bring back 2k16? Only time will tell right?

Shooting

According to Mike Wang “When you shoot with the Pro Stick, the shot meter changes from a timing bar to a targeting system. So instead of trying to stop the shot meter when you reach the perfect release window, you adjust the Pro Stick in real time to hit the ideal center aim point”. 

Essentially timing your layups and shooting is now on two different systems and It’s giving me mixed feelings. Resulting to different systems could screw up a lot of flow during gameplay.

NBA 2K21 Demo Review

If you were aiming to completely mirror 2k20s demo and barely change a thing to it they succeeded. I’ve been in pain these past two days as I haven’t finished a career game or a quick game. I know this is the last time we are going to see 2k on these consoles, but to go out like this is flat out depressing.

MyPlayer Builder

Stared at the screen for a few hours then you would realize that nothing changed at all with the builder system as we didn’t think there would be much emphasis on this. After two years of the same builder no matter what overall and badges you put on your player you just don’t play well at all or you play like a god. There’s no in between.

Gameplay

The major change is the shot meter and it can either go out really well or really bad. For those experienced  players it’s a leg up on the competition because now it takes more stick work and skill to shoot than ever before. People I’ve come across have made their concerns known as the shooting should stay the same as last year. People aren’t used to change.

The movement is a bit slower as moves take more than a second to get going; especially in that post up-back to the basket moves. It easier to stop the baseline and 2k is finally rewarding the defense if you get to the spots first. Not much to dive really in depth with because the demo this year was difficult to stay in tune with.

On the contrary, they managed to make the same park as last year, but added new buildings. The story looks similar except the high school, and college circuits are back, Idris Elda was replaced with Djimon Hounsou, and to sum everything up 2k21 is looking like a disappointment.

James “JMan” Macey

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