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NBA 2K21 review: 2K shoot to thrill in this near perfect sports sim


I’ve always been a huge NBA fan, thanks to the Chicago Bulls in the 90’s bringing the sport to a worldwide audience with their dominance and a certain Michael Jordan.

Basketball has always been depicted in video games over the years with varied success but now it seems as if 2K have hit the big time with this game because, oh my, it is outstanding.

NBA 2K21

Never have I played a sports sim and gotten goosebumps from playing a single player career mode until I played MyCareer in 2K21 and as my character made his 4th lay-up in a row the atmosphere in Madison Square Garden (I was drafted by the New York Knicks) literally popped.

Using my new Turtle Beach Stealth 600’s (wirelessly by the way) the game sounds amazing thanks to these absolutely stellar headphones and the crowd is the best i’ve heard in any sports game, not to mention every shout from team mates and movement on the floor.

NBA 2K21

Gameplay itself is a mix between the best I’ve played and the most frustrating I’ve played although the more basketball you play the better you will become and that’s a fact, but when you get the hang of the new shooting mechanism and the upgraded use of the Pro Stick (R3 to you and me) your experience goes from strength to strength.

The one bugbear I have for the game and it’s probably my only negative point is the absolute over-reliance on the in-game currency, VC. You need it to upgrade your pro athlete in MyCareer if you want to upgrade in some sort of decent time frame, you also need it to buy card packs in MyTeam game mode to help upgrade your squad.

NBA 2K21

Obviously the game wants you to upgrade both but the only way you do that is by buying more VC and here starts the microtransactions argument all over again. Your experience is somewhat diminished in both game modes without VC, but you can “earn” while playing the game, problem for some will be it just takes so long to get somewhere meaningful.

As a narrative experience though, MyCareer is still one of the best on offer, with the storyline feeling true and not over scripted with the help of some great voice and visual acting from talent like Michael K. Williams, (Boardwalk Empire, The Wire) and Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator, Black Panther.)

NBA 2K21

Online game mode The Neighbourhood is back, which is a good mode on its own, allowing you to navigate the “street” and play ball in any number of outdoor courts with online matchup determining your opponent. You can also train your pro athlete, buy him clothes, get him tattoos, the list goes on.

NBA2k21 is as near a perfect sports sim for game play as it can get, but it’s over dependence on in-game currency is a point worth noting, BUT if you enjoy the game as much as I have, playing to win and earning coins should be fun and rewarding, just make sure you set aside plenty time to do it.





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