Why Is the Next-Gen Trailer for NBA 2K21 Kinda Fire?

Illustration for article titled Why Is the Next-Gen Trailer for NBA 2K21 Kinda Fire?
Screenshot: Take Two Interactive

Let me keep it firmly a buck with you: I typically ain’t checking for the new NBA2K.


Growing up, I loved playing games like NBA Live, NBA Ballers, and of course NBA Street. I tried to give the 2K series a fair shake in recent years but I’m just ass, y’all. I simply struggle to wrap my head around the simulation style controls. When some of my friends come at me with that “You know I can work you in 2K, right?” I can only respond, “I know. I know.”

I say this because even with my prolonged struggle to get into the series, I was incredibly impressed with the next-gen trailer for NBA 2K21. Take a quick look so we can talk about it.

That shit looked good, right?! When it comes to launch titles, I find sports games to be a solid benchmark of what a console will probably be capable of in its early years. Given that sports games have become remarkably iterative in the gameplay, I feel like most of the effort is put in making the experience look and feel as realistic as possible.

The tracking shot following Dallas Mavericks player Luka Dončić as he walked out of the tunnel and onto the court had me shook, y’all. Not only in the graphical fidelity but in the realism of his movements.

The gameplay looks like, well, basketball, but the attention to detail placed on the athletes’ facial expressions and mannerisms is incredibly impressive. I’m curious to see how some of the reaction shots seen in the trailer will actually play out in gameplay. It would certainly give the game a lot more personality to see the players visibly reacting to what’s happening on court.

If they can make the gameplay more accessible and the experience feel less like a strung out cousin constantly begging me for money, I might actually be interested in this version.

NBA 2K21 released for current-gen consoles last month and received mixed reviews. Many critics and players felt that the current-gen version lacked any notable improvements from prior years, feeling alarmingly similar to the previous entries in the franchise.


Basically, it’s a sports game.

Hopefully, the next-gen version will have some fancy gameplay additions to show off in addition to the impressive graphics. Though, realistically, it’ll probably just be more cosmetic items to spend money on.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.



Basically, it’s a sports game.

Actually, the best description I heard of NBA2K20 was that it was a terrible gambling simulator with a pretty fun basketball minigame.