NBA 2K21’s next-gen first look had the internet talking. Now its time to know what gameplay improvements players can look forward to when they upgrade.
When NBA 2K21 next-gen launches with PS5 and Xbox Series X, it won’t just look good, but it will also play a bit differently. In the latest Courtside Report for the game, NBA 2K Gameplay Director, Mike Wang breakdown the gameplay improvements Visual Concepts was able to bring to the game due to the new technology each console brings. Wang describes developing the game next-gen consoles as a “game-changer” and that they were “able to create a vastly deeper basketball experience than we’ve ever been able to before!”
Most of the improvements focused on this Courtside Report are on the offensive side. 2K fans can look forward to more improvements to Pro-Stick shooting, like giving you the ability to control the arc of your shot.
“For next-gen, the stick speed also now controls the arc of your jump shot. Slow flicks will give you extra high arcs, while fast flicks will make your shot flat. It feels really good to be able to have that extra bit of control over how you shoot, and also a lot of fun sitting in the practice gym chucking up rainbow 3’s. You also get a small bonus for shooting with an ideal shot arc, so it’s important to be mindful of the tempo of your initial stick throw to make sure you give yourself the best chance at making the shot.”
Bank shot control is now being introduced that will allow you to control bank shots by “slightly aiming in the direction of the backboard,” basically allowing you to get your Tim Duncan on who wasn’t shy about using the backboard during his career. For the first time ever, you will now have the ability to decide if you want to deliver a layup with finesse, drop it in the basket, play it safe and or put it off the window.
The shot meter once again is getting a new look. We will have to see if this will be a good thing because 2K players were not too thrilled with the new shot meter in current-gen NBA 2K21. Wang describes the new shot meter as “readable” and will now feature an arrowhead to help make it easier to see the “sweet spot.” The shot meter’s make window is now blue and will grow or shrink depending on how good the player is at shooting the basketball. Wang also does note that in NBA 2K21 next-gen, if you miss the window completely, you will miss the shot.
For NBA 2K21 next-gen, Wang reveals they have decided to disable layup timing on the shot button by default so players can just focus on taking it to the rim. This time around, they have redesigned the layup timing and aiming meters to be completely under the player’s control. Basically, if you choose to enable the feature and master it, you will have a big advantage over the competition when it comes to finishing tough contact/contested layups over those who choose not to use the feature. BUT, if you miss the window, there is a good chance you will blow an easy layup.
Other improvements to shooting include 3PT line recognition that will improve how players plant their feet and jump shot gathers feel more grounded. There will also be new signature shot packages for key players like LeBron James and Luka Doncic.
Pro-Stick Dribbling, of course, is also getting improved. Thanks to next-gen technology, players will now be able to control the speed of their size-up moves based on how slowly or quickly you flick the Pro Stick. There are also a whole bunch of new signature player animations coming to NBA 2K21 next-gen. Park dribbling moves can now be pulled off by clicking L3, are now tied to the Hall of Fame Tight Handles badge.
Passing has also been improved in NBA 2K21 next-gen. To see all of the improvements in action, you can head here. NBA 2K21 next-gen launches November 10 for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S globally, November 12 for PlayStation 5 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, and November 19 for PlayStation 5 in all other regions.
Photo: Visual Concepts/ NBA 2K21