NBA 2K21 LOSES ITS HOOP SENSATION

We have been down on this road before: same graphics, same glitchy animation, and a very sluggish loading screen. That’s NBA 2K21 in a nutshell. Nothing has changed in the last five iterations except that each year the roster gets updated.

I can’t say enough the list of overwhelmingly poor performances this game has. To put that into perspective, my high-ranking custom player can’t shoot squat. A simple fast break or an open layup should have been converted into an easy basket. Not in this game.

What’s worst is that you get called for fouls for the most strangest things, like swatting the air for example. I don’t know how that’s a foul, but the way gameplay works, it feels like I’m in the Twilight Zone.

Another crazy thing that happens often, heading into 4th quarter, is the infamous handicap of the AI. If you are ahead by eight points, somehow there is an invisible force that evens it up.

It doesn’t matter whether your team carries the Guinness world record in shot percentage, there is just no end in sight for constantly being humiliated.

And here’s a kicker: I am using Golden State against Orlando Magic (which by the way is one of the worst teams in NBA), but still the Warriors managed to lose by 10 points on normal difficulty setting!

I have been playing the 2K series since 2001 and my scoring ability isn’t this bad. In fact, I am a pretty good player. But in this game, I am facing zero consistency in the shooting mechanics. Even if I am wide open for a shot, it’s hard to believe that I’d actually miss it.

It feels as if the AI is almost cheating. You are destined to lose no matter what the circumstances are. The only good component that’s going for it is the local co-op party – and maybe the side-line commentaries, too! Other than those, the game is lousy.

The glitches of the past iteration are still there. Animation is robotic and stiff when it comes to defense. Though the player creation feature is still top-notch, the visuals could use another facelift.

I would have overlooked the stiff animation and swallowed my pride if not for the terrible AI, but there are just so many nuisances on the hardwood that the entire match leaves much to be desired. Even if you have a beast of a PC, loading times are unforgivable.

Surprisingly, I managed to cut down the latencies in MyCareer mode by turning on both vertical and dynamic syncs, reducing the resolution in-game, and changing the Low Latency Mode to Ultra in the Nvidia panel. Boy, this game needs a lot of optimization in order to get it properly working.

Since the controls are mostly rigid, my player is snubbed from achieving the optimal space to knock down a shot. So after an hour of shuffling through various game discrepancies, I decided to put it down.

I am not saying that I have given up on the 2K franchise completely but I do I wish there were better options out there. For 60 bucks, that’s pretty steep for a lot of recycled materials. For now, I am not recommending it.

FINAL SCORE: 4.0 OUT OF 10

Emmanuel Flores

Emmanuel joined the team in 2004. He helped design the website during the time when video games magazines were still in print format. Besides writing reviews, he is responsible for quality assurance and content distribution.

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