The closer we get to the unveiling of NBA 2K21 on next-gen, the more excited I am about what’s ahead. The current-gen version has fumbled around a bit, but I have to believe some of the issues are due to 2K dividing its resources with the next-gen iteration.
It seems clear, 2K has gone guns blazing on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions, and let us not forget what they did to set the bar as we moved into the current-gen back in 2013.
This time around, all signs point to 2K doing their best to deliver the kind of visual experience that is unmatched across–at the very least–all of the other titles set to launch in the first week of next-gen availability.
Right now, the single most impressive looking game that I’ve seen on next-gen is Spider-Man: Miles Morales. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a sneak peak and you tell me if you can easily distinguish when the action moves from cutscene to actual gameplay.
The game looks completely bonkers, and there is every reason to believe it’ll be a blast to play. That said, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that NBA 2K21 on PS5 and Xbox Series X will be even more impressive.
Let’s consider a few things.
When we saw the Zion Williamson trailer below, many were impressed, but there were jokes about excessive sweat, and others wondered if this would be actual in-game footage.
Sweat jokes aside, this looks great, and when you imagine what it will look like in a virtual arena, packed with completely 3-D-rendered fans, officials, cheerleaders, coaches, benches and nine other players on the floor, things go to the next level.
Take a look at a couple of videos designed to show off the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
In each of those thumbnails, you get an opportunity to see a recognizable face, which helps to bring forth the amazement in the accuracy of the render. Sports games, particularly NBA games that feature athletes whose faces are completely uncovered, have an opportunity to tap into a sense of familiarity that non-sports titles don’t get to do as often.
As we look at the thumbnails above, and the Zion Williamson trailer from 2K, it’s easy to imagine every player in the game rendered with this level of authenticity and detail. Now translate all of that fidelity to the ball, the court, the crowd, the net, the sneakers, and everything else.
If this is the case, when we finally get an extended look at this game, it could again set the bar for visual excellence for a new generation of gaming.
Now, let’s also hope the servers work and that troublesome shooting situation is resolved too.