NBA 2K20 was released this September just gone, yet there’s already speculation around the next game in the series. Sports games follow a regular pattern of release that fuels early rumours and hype, and in this article we’re more than willing to indulge. Will NBA 2K21 offer more in the way of graphics and gameplay? Who will feature on the cover?
NBA 2K20 – Solid Game, Lots Of Bugs
The NBA 2K series has been around since its 1999 release on the Dreamcast. Since then, the franchise has taken a multi-platform approach, bringing annual basketball simulation titles to consoles like the PS and XBox. The series has had its ups and downs, but even the games that were generally considered rehashes, like 2K17, were often well received by fans.
NBA 2K20 was a solid addition to the series, with more fluid gameplay than its predecessors, including better footwork, spacing, and both attacking and defensive play. The Story Mode is surprisingly well written, though modes like MyLeague still remain weak and critics have complained at the predatory nature of the microtransactions, especially in modes like MyTeam.
This year’s title has also been plagued with bugs and issues, leading to a near constant stream of patches since the game’s release. Patch 9 is the latest to be released. It focuses on changes to the Neighbourhood and MyTeam modes. Well… at least the developers are trying to fix the bugs.
Despite the issues, NBA 2K20 has been well received by fans of the series. In a lot of ways, it had the potential to be the best edition yet, but the developers bit off more than they could chew, releasing a version that could have done with more time to fine tune. What would be possible on the next generation consoles?
NBA 2K21 Rumoured Release Date and Features
The release date for NBA 2K21 is fairly predictable. Barring any hiccups on the part of the developers, there’s no reason to expect the next title to deviate from the norm. Fans will be eagerly awaiting the game’s release in September 2021.
Big news for console lovers; gamers are now expecting the release of the PS5 in November 2020. It’s highly likely that 2K21 will be released for the next generation consoles. It’s unlikely that the developers would wait until after November to make the initial release of the game, but perhaps the next-gen upgrade will follow later in the year.
If NBA 2K21 does come to the next-gen consoles, big changes are on the horizon. The PS5 is rumoured to be the biggest console computing jump yet, so the capabilities of the hardware will increase dramatically. The physics of the gameplay will improve, graphics will be enhanced, and details that have previously been overlooked, such as the quality and realism of the crowd, can finally be given the processing power that they are usually deprived of.
We might also see vast improvements to game modes such as Neighbourhood. There would be the opportunity for bigger open worlds, still focused on basketball but with more possibilities for side questing and character development. This, for now, is pure speculation – what would be possible as the game jumps to the next generation?
NBA 2K21 Cover Athletes
Fans of the series love to speculate over which athlete will be on the cover for the game. Who will be the face of NBA 2K21?
So far, all of the rumours suggest that Kawhi Leonard, shooting guard for the NBA Championship favourites LA Clippers, could be the player to feature on the cover of the next title. He won the last NBA Finals with the Raptors, and is in a good position to do it again with the Clippers. Leonard has already led his team to second place in the Western Conference, and could be in line for this season’s MVP.
Zion Williamson has also been linked as a potential cover athlete, though a lot will depend on his upcoming performances. Williamson was number one pick in the 2019 Draft, but only played one game for the New Orleans Pelicans before suffering injury. He is set to return in the new year, and expected to make a big impact.
The NBA 2K producers tend to keep a close eye on the real world happenings of the NBA, so although it’s difficult to tell who will make the cover, it’s likely the most popular and successful players of the season will be first pick.