On the eve of the release of new consoles, the situation with sports simulators is traditionally depressing – no one is eager to run ahead of the locomotive.
Honest all came Konami: football PES 2021, with fresh lineups and pinpoint balance adjustments, costs half the usual price, and the Japanese will show a full-fledged Next gen on the Unreal Engine next year.
Conceptions the contrary, she decided to sit on all the chairs at once. Now we buy an old-style game for full price, and then, having paid besides, we will get a version for PS5 / XBX – by the way, also not very similar to a breakthrough.
But NBA 2K21 in its current form, for the first time in many years, this does not reach the “gold” level. Part of the problem is the corona-virus, which has disrupted the league. Usually, NBA 2K is released in preparation for the next basketball season.
The champion has long held a solemn parade, the best free agents have scattered across the teams, the clubs have chosen newcomers to the draft, and the outline of what will happen in the next 8-9 months is already visible.
In 2020, everything broke down: because of the pandemic, only recently, Miami and the Lakers finished the final series, there is no sign of transitions yet, the draft is on November 18, the next matches are probably around Christmas.
Since the lineups and assets of the clubs are almost the same as those that remained in NBA 2K20, manager modes immediately lose their appeal. Moreover, the authors simply gave up on them: MyGM is structured as badly as a year ago, and in My League, even illustrations for off-season events have not been changed, not to mention the logic of exchanges and the rest.
The collectible card My Team is much more fortunate. The main innovation is the seasons with sets of temporary tasks and rewards. Challenges in difficulty range from “apply a contract to a basketball player” to “make 25 assists from a special set with Luka Doncic in a few matches.”
Some of them change daily, others – once a week, and still, others are stretched out for more than a month. A check mark opposite the next mission brings experience points needed to get prizes – up to Steph Curry and Blake Griffin caliber Pink Diamond.
The seasonal structure in My Team is sticking out from almost everywhere, including a new section – My Team Limited. In fact, these are the usual “hacks” five by five, but with a couple of nuances. First, they are available in three-day chunks, just like the Weekend League from FIFA.
The main prize of the weekend is the ring, and the luckiest ones have a chance to get it even after the first match. And for six rings you get an elite card – for example, now they are giving out Jilen Brown with a rating of 93.
Visual Concepts successfully refreshed one fundamental mode but reacted without enthusiasm to the second – My Career. Apart from the move of The Neighborhood to a sunny beach, nothing remarkable happened in the online part.
In the single-player campaign, the changes are not for the better. We are told a pretty well-worn story about a son who, without much desire, has followed in the footsteps of the legendary basketball player father and is becoming a big star (or not).
Controversial decisions did not pass by the game play either. As you know, the trickiest way to create a novelty effect without undue effort is to force the player to perform the usual actions in an unfamiliar way.
For example, shovel over the interface in Football Manager. Or change the controls in NBA 2K. When throwing, are you used to the need to clearly deflect the stick and release at the highest point of the jump, when the indicator strip is filled to the limit?
Now learn a different scheme: there is a small yellow segment on the scale, into which you need to drive the arrow with the right stick during the execution of the throwing animation. We hit the middle of this section – an ideal attack, slightly deviated from its center – the ball can both fall into the ring and bounce off the bow.
We flew past the coveted zone – and he will envy your mistake Paul George. Besides, it also travels along the scale in different directions and changes size depending on the position and actions of the basketball player.
The number of misses at first does not go into any gate, and at high levels of difficulty, the computer almost does not forgive blots when throwing.
In the first weeks in online matches, it reached the point of absurdity: no one defended the arc, everyone crowded under the basket, realizing that if some three-pointer from an opponent flies in, the next four will go by.
Needless to say, even one of the best scorers in the world Damian Lillard, the “face” of NBA 2K21, on Twitter booted that the shot meter cannot tame.
Rating: * * *
Well, Dame, it’s not for you to bury Oklahoma from the center of the site, you have to be able to do this! However, over time, patches and addiction did their job, and Visual Concepts just in the case returned the old mechanics as an option.
Otherwise, basketball is almost the same as a year ago, with minor changes. Dribbling has become more useful, centers and forwards are more willing to block the shots of the “kids” running to the backboard, the variety of movements has grown noticeably, especially when the player loses control of the ball.
But the feeling that you are dealing with something new does not arise. Perhaps changes in the setting of matches could affect the perception, but the developers did not come up with anything other than more frequent repetitions of block shots.
On the other hand, this is clearly not an area where you need to redo something other than sour graphics.
NBA 2K21in general keeps the bar, but today it is hardly worth the attention of those who have already gotten enough of the previous version.
My Team fans are the only ones who are in the unconditional “plus”, considering that in NBA 2K20 the economy is already broken by the dominance of cheap top cards. The rest can safely wait for the next NBA season and then pick up the project at a discount.