K Sports has released a new gameplay trailer for NBA 2K21 that showcases the professional basketball game’s next-gen edition, and, generally speaking, it looks very, very good.
In the video, executive producer Erick Boenisch and gameplay director Mike Wang show off NBA 2K21’s PS5 edition and provide commentary for a game between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans. The first thing you’ll notice in the video is how NBA 2K21 loads into a game almost instantly–this is made possible by the SSDs in the new consoles.
Another highlight from the video is how the “lower bowl” animations have been improved and expanded upon. 2K says there are more than 150 independent AI characters in the seats of the lower bowl and courtside to help make the game look more authentic to a real-life TV broadcast. In addition to the players, you’ll now see arena staff like security guards and other personnel interacting as they would before a game, while coaching staffs huddle together. Basically, if you’ve watched an NBA game on TV, this looks quite similar to the pre-game broadcast.
It’s not perfect, however. You might have noticed that at around 41 seconds into the video, as the developers are speaking about the power of the new consoles and how it allows the game to look and feel more realistic, two player models are moving back and forth in sync. People who play sports games know how jarring and immersion-breaking these sequences can be.
Also in the video we get a look at the new “rail cam” perspective that players can use for the camera. This camera angle, which is presumably optional, puts your eyes close to the perspective of people sitting in the lowest seats on the court. The camera then moves horizontally as play progresses back and forth.
The video also showcases the second commentary team that’s now in NBA 2K21 on next-gen. Players can choose to hear Brian Anderson and Grant Hill do the play-by-play and color commentating, respectively, with Allie LaForce reporting from the sideline. The other commentating team is comprised of Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony, and David Aldridge. In addition to these voices, a number of other famous NBA personalities like Doris Burke, Steve Smith, Chris Webber, Brent Barry, and Clark Kellogg will cycle in for various games to provide insight and analysis.
2K will share more details on NBA 2K21’s next-gen edition this coming Thursday, October 29, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.
NBA 2K21 releases as a launch title for the Xbox Series X and S on November 10 before also debuting as a launch title for the PS5, beginning on November 12. NBA 2K21 for next-gen carries a premium price tag of $70 USD.
GameSpot’s NBA 2K21 review for the current-gen edition scored it a 6/10. “NBA 2K21 shows that the lone basketball sim we have now has largely stagnated,” reviewer Michael Higham said.
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