If NBA 2K21 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC was the last dance of the generation, it was clear that its version for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X was going to be a inauguration of the new generation in style. The efforts by 2K Sports this time have been similar to those that occurred during the previous generational change, it is NBA 2K21 but the change is really felt, the power offered by the new consoles is almost palpable.
Before even starting a game, the lighting and textures transport us to a more realistic court than ever, where animations and player collisions during the game make NBA 2K21 a more fluid game. And well, what to say about the sweat, that would almost give for another article although who better than Erick Boenisch, executive producer of visual concepts of the game and Mike Wang, gameplay director, to tell first-hand what they have been working on these last two years .
QUESTION: How much has the AI defense system improved?
ANSWER: Defensive AI has been completely rewritten for this new generation. So players will enjoy a better defensive transition. Although one thing that I would like to highlight is the play planning function, which will allow users to know well who their best players are for each role, the star players and execute a better offensive play.
For example, in the game you will be able to pick and roll with LeBron and efficiently choose who accesses the basket or who gives the pass. AI has improved attack and defense over the previous generation, avoiding having to switch to manual defense.
QUESTION:> NBA 2K21 says goodbye to El Barrio and welcomes La Ciudad, an ambitious multiplayer open world with a larger map, with more courts and an event center where rival Affiliations, who control the different districts, will be measured . Is this city based on a royal capital and what new roles will it introduce?
ANSWER: NBA 2K21 says goodbye to El Barrio and welcomes La Ciudad, an ambitious multiplayer open world with a larger map, with more courts and an event center where rival Affiliations, who control the different districts, will be measured. Is this city based on a royal capital and what new roles will it introduce?
QUESTION: While the brightness of both the players’ skin and the court look extremely realistic, for example, in the trailer of the game between the Maverick and the Golden State Warriors, in a gameplay you can see that the network is shown something static. Will this change with a future patch? Do you have it planned?
ANSWER: I invite you to check again the trailer of The Mavericks against the Golden State Warriors in 4K, the duel between Luca Doncic and Stephen Curry. There is a moment when Curry is seen shooting for a basket and the camera is focused on the ball. I encourage you to put just that aside in slow motion to see the definition of both the ball and the basket.
The physics of the network is completely rewritten, as are its animations. Before it was a simple mesh, but for this new generation, you can see how it is all made in 3D with interlaced strings.
QUESTION: Continuing with the quality of reflections and shadows that can be seen on the court, a graphic improvement will also be seen in public. Since it always seems a pending subject in sports games.
ANSWER: In the version for the new generation the entire pavilion comes to life. There are more than 150 unique AI-powered spectators interacting in a realistic way, something that will be highly visible in the area called the low seating area. Before the public were what we call state machines or among ourselves, the arm club. They all sat and stood in unison and their arms were locked in one position, with their fingers joined.
Now, in the crowd, children, boys and young girls will be seen for the first time. We have improved the integration and coherence of the public with the court with lighting and self-shading techniques.
QUESTION: It is seen both in the trailers and in the promotional images that sweat has its own prominence. Will this be dynamic during the game?
ANSWER: As you start the game you will notice that the players are not that sweaty, but the longer they play and the more they move. This will sprout. Sweat is an area that we have been working on for the past two years. For example, in the previous generation you could see players who have not left the bench sweating, this is something that not many people noticed but that we have decided to change for the next generation. Players on the bench will no longer sweat spontaneously and those on the court, the more they run, the more they will sweat.
QUESTION: Could you tell us a bit about the differences in shooting with the pro stick (which forces us to use the lever to place the bar right in the center of the area marked in the shape of a semicircle, and then move the stick slightly to the left or right to make a more precise launch), instead of the traditional button, in the new generation.
ANSWER: Shooting with the square button is simpler, while with the pro stick it is more professional. Specifically, now you can aim the shot and choose the ideal moment, which will be determined by the speed when initially deflecting the Pro Stick when starting a shot. In this way, although it carries more risk, the reward will be greater by having the option to compensate for poor aim with good timing and vice versa. Also, with a little skill you can do both well and have a better chance of achieving a perfect shot compared to the traditional way of shooting.
QUESTION: What differences are there when making an attack move such as a pick and roll in the PS 4 version versus the PS5 version?
ANSWER: You will feel the biggest difference visually, in the collisions between players and defenders, which will look more realistic. For example, we are not going to see those gaps between players, in the new generation during defensive plays the contact between players will be seen and specifically, in collisions the players will be repelled.
QUESTION: Could you tell us about the differences between the men’s and women’s league? Because we have appreciated that the WNBA has its own movements and animations.
ANSWER: Good observation, there are also differences in the collisions, this is because there are differences in the nature of both leagues. In one there are many more outward ball moves. Even graphically there are differences between male and female players, in no case did we pretend that the WNBA was the NBA with female skins.
We are so proud of all the little different nuances between the WNBA and the NBA that make the title stand out and fans enjoy both leagues.
QUESTION: Another novelty is the possibility of choosing a player in My Career mode called The W. Are women here to stay?
ANSWER: Definitely yes, they will always be in future editions. We are proud to bring The W because we believe in women’s basketball. This is our second year spending a significant amount of hours building this new mode. We are still excited about how well this decision has been received. When we released it, we saw tons of messages from parents excited to be able to show and share their passion for basketball with their daughters. It is a great opportunity for us to bring more awareness to the world of basketball.